This cake is really tasty and you'd never know there were courgettes in there. It's extremely crumbly, but as long as you have a fork (or preferably a spoon) to eat it with it's no problem.
Self-raising flour - 350 g
Cocoa powder - 50 g
Mixed spice - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Olive oil - 175 ml
Golden caster sugar - 300 g
Eggs - 3
Vanilla extract - 2 tsp
Courgettes - 500 ml (about 2 medium-sized courgettes, measured by volume in a measuring jug), grated
Hazelnuts - 140 g, toasted in a frying pan (being careful not to burn) and then roughly chopped
For the ganache:
Dark chocolate - 200 g, chopped
Double cream - 100 ml
1) In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, mixed spice and salt. In another bowl, combine the olive oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and courgette.
2) Pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the dry and mix until just combined, then fold in the chopped hazelnuts. Line a 9 inch round cake tin with greaseproof paper, then pour in the mixture.
3) Bake at 180°C for about 80-90 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
4) To make the ganache place the chocolate in a mixing bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until it's melted. I wasn't convinced that the cream would melt the chocolate and certainly it was difficult so when I make it again I'll probably heat the chocolate to at least soften it before adding the cream.
5) Leave to cool slightly and then spread the ganache over the cake so it's covered and starts to drip down the sides. Serves 6-8.