As I’m sure you’re all well aware, last week saw the eagerly anticipated return of the Great British Bake Off to our tellies. I think it’s fair to say we all breathed a sigh of relief when, despite losing our beloved Mary Berry and Mel & Sue, Channel 4 committed to keeping the Bake Off as we all know and love it (although a few less adverts wouldn’t go amiss!).
So as a celebration of all things sweet, each week I’ve decided to bake something of my own based on the week’s signature challenge. I’m hoping that with each week I’ll learn something new, even if it means sharing some dodgy cake results! I am by no means a proficient baker and I always bake for fun, so as the challenges become more *ahem* challenging the outcomes could be interesting, but it would be great to get your advice on how I can improve! Having said this I’m going to try and keep my recipes simple and relatively cheap to make so they can be easily replicated whatever your skill level.
For the first challenge the bakers were tasked with creating a fresh fruit cake. Having taken some inspiration from James and his use of home-grown rhubarb, I decided to see what I could salvage from my own very limited crop. As it turns out, I’ve somehow managed to procure some fairly decent courgettes without ever having planted anything before now. Chuffed with these, I decided to channel Julia’s thought process and have this as my main fruit (courgette is definitely a fruit, right?).
Also added to the mix was bananas to give the cake extra moistness. I confess I’ve cheated slightly by adding dried fruit for a touch more sweetness, but as the majority of fruit is fresh I figured it’s okay. Oh, and like Julia I didn’t squeeze my courgettes to remove the excess moisture, but all things considered I think the cake turned out reasonably well! It’s definitely a cake to enjoy within the first few days of baking, and can’t be beaten when it’s just-about-warm accompanied with a cup of Yorkshire tea! I’m sure the Pauls and Prues of the baking blogger world will notice it’s a bit under-baked, but that’s mainly because I’m greedy (and couldn’t be bothered with squeezing the courgette).
- 300g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 150g sultanas
- 85g soft brown sugar
- 60ml vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp low fat natural yogurt
- 225g courgette, grated
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 2lb loaf tin.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar and sultanas.
- In a separate bowl combine the remaining ingredients, before gently folding into the dry mixture.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the cake is risen and golden brown. If the loaf is browning too quickly cover loosely with aluminium foil.
- Leave to cool in the tin before turning out. Cut into thick slices and serve with a cuppa!