If you haven’t tried vegetables in your baking yet, you should. Beetroot, sweet potato and courgettes (when done right) can add extra flavour and nutrients and help keep a sponge moist.
It also means you can skip using so much butter, for a much lighter and more diet-friendly dessert. Tom Kerridge devised this courgette and cardamom cake for his new book, Lose Weight For Good, for people who want to keep a check on their weight but still enjoy good grub.
Courgette and cardamom cake
- Large mixing bowl
- Stand mixer or electric hand whisk
- Sunflower oil spray
- 250 g half-fat margarine
- 100 g caster sugar
- 4 tbsp granulated sweetener
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 250 g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 vanilla pod split and seeds scraped
- Finely grated zest of 2 limes
- 200 g courgettes grated
For the icing:
- 100 g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp light cream cheese
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Grated zest of 1 lime
- Preheat the oven to fan 180°C/gas 4. Spray a 900g (2lb) non-stick loaf tin with a few sprays of oil.
- Using a stand mixer or electric hand whisk and large bowl, cream together the margarine, caster sugar and sweetener until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground cardamom together over the mixture, add the vanilla seeds and lime zest and fold in gently, using a spatula, until just combined. Lastly, fold in the grated courgettes.
- Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and gently level the surface. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 50–60 minutes. To test, insert a skewer into the middle of the cake: it should come out clean; if not give it a little longer.
- Once cooked, leave the cake to cool in the tin for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the icing, in a bowl, whisk the icing sugar, cream cheese and lime juice together until smoothly combined.
- Spread the icing on top of the cake and sprinkle with the lime zest. Cut into eight thick slices to serve.
Lose Weight For Good: Full-Flavour Cooking For A Low-Calorie Diet by Tom Kerridge is published by Absolute.
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