Thursday, 27 July 2017

Baking for my family - chocolate courgette cake and new machines!

I've decided to start doing a weekly baking session to as one thing I always used to dream of before we moved here is cooking and baking for the family. I started off well but it dwindled the busier we got. I always cook from scratch and I'm trying to fill the freezer with good, honest food but that doesn't seem to be baking these days. Unlike me, the kids can eat sweet stuff still without it affecting them on the waistline within 0.02 seconds of eating it. So last night saw me making the seasonal cake Courgette Chocolate Cake.
Ingredients.
120g softened butter
120ml sunflower oil
100g caster sugar
200g soft brown sugar
3 eggs
130ml milk
350g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
4tbsp cocoa powder
450g courgettes, grated
1tsp vanilla extract
Method
Line a baking tin, mine is apx 20x20cm. Ovens to be heated to Gas 5/190c.
Grate your courgettes, peeling first.
Beat butter, oil and sugars until fluffy.
Beat in the pre beaten eggs and milk.
Sift the fry ingredients and fold in. Stir in the courgettes and vanilla.
Tip into tin and bake for 30/40 mins. I have a 2 oven AGA so I put it on the bottom shelf with the cold shelf above it and it took about 45 mins for mine.
It came out lovely and is very moist (I hate that word!).  The kids have eaten it and have no idea there's courgettes in there. Ste likes it too but his work friend wasn't too keen (not sweet enough but he's a sweet toothed guy!).
All in all this is a lovey easy cake using ingredients I had in the house and veg plot. Perfect for a family as it produces a large amount however you'd be able to freeze too. Definitely one I will be doing again. 
We've also been getting in some new gadgets, the first one we've tried is a vac pack machine. Tonight we cooked a ham and tried out the meat slicer we bought some time ago. It worked a treat and the vac pack machine did too. I'm really pleased with them both. The only thing is the vac pack sucks all the juice out of the item and can affect a seal if there's too much. I guess things need to be partially froze to avoid that? 

18 comments:

  1. Chocolate courgette cake is a great way to use up (and disguise) those mutant Courgettes! You know, the ones you cannot imagine how you missed beneath a leaf. I added grated courgette to a lemon drizzle cake once and called it Lemon and Lime Loaf and no-one was any the wiser . . .

    I've never used a vac pack before. Perhaps it suits some things better than others?

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    1. I have a squash (something De Nice?) that did that. I swear it grew overnight! Very pleased with the cake and I'll keep trying with the vac pack!

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  2. Nice recipe. I have a vac pac and a slicer. What I tend to do is cook a bigger joint than we need then slice the cooked meat and either put it in a tray in gravy or just in slices in a vac packed bag. That way you can have a cooked meal in the middle of the week; all you have to do is add the veggies. We used to do this when my Nan was alive as well and then take a load of home cooked meals with us to pop into her freezer. She never had to rely on the old age pensioners meals. I used to do this and so did my mum so we kept her well stocked up between us. Somewhere in my blog there is a recipe for a bulk cake making session - a 3lb mix makes quite a lot of cup cakes/butterfly cakes and also a couple of Victoria sandwiches. There are also variations on a theme with different flavourings as well. You can freeze them. The kids will love them - especially if you get them both to help decorate them. Just don't always tell them what's actually in them. Have to involve them from an early age. When I had the children at home I used to use this on a regular basis but it was kind of self-defeating as I used to do the baking on a Sunday morning whilst I had the cooker on for the roast dinner and as fast as I was baking cakes and putting them on the freezer to cool in the dining room (that's where the freezer used to be) the kids and their Dad were nicking them. They were supposed to be for teas, and pack ups during the week. Keep an eye out in the Charity shops as well for books - especially baking ones I have managed to pick up some really good ones for next to nothing.

    Its just me and Missy the dog at the moment OH has gone to a pub quiz so I am getting a little me time. Take care Pattypanx

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    1. Enjoy your evening Tricia and thanks for the batch cooking tip for your blog. I think I'll look for that for next weeks session. Would you freeze a whole Victoria sponge or would that be the one you'd leave out to use straight away?
      I like the idea of quick meals, but home cooked still xx

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    2. http://tarragonnthyme.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/batch-baking-sandwich-cake-mix.html

      Here's the link Tracy xx

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    3. Tracy you freeze them all = although without the decorations or cream or buttercream. When I freeze a whole cake I either leave the greaseproof that they were cooked in on or interleave with a fresh greaseproof paper, wrap it in foil then in a freezer bag and pop into the freezer making sure it cannot be crushed easily.

      PPxx

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  3. Great recipe Tracey, I've been looking up ways if using cucumbers which I have more of than courgettes. I'm wondering if I could substitute? Cake does look lovely and moist😂Tx

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    1. LOL! I think cucumbers would work as you don't taste the courgettes, x

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  4. Great recipe Tracey, I've been looking up ways if using cucumbers which I have more of than courgettes. I'm wondering if I could substitute? Cake does look lovely and moist😂Tx

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  5. Our vacuum packer has different settings for dry or moist food. x

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  6. if you put it into a thin bag and then place it in the sealing bag, it prevents fluid reaching the seal. Works really well when sealing fresh meat.
    Kathy

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  8. You can add zucchini to lots of cakes as long as the substitution is equal?!?! I mean if it calls for a cup of carrots you could substitute all zucchini or half and half. I've added it to banana bread just have to be careful of the liquid you add, may have to reduce it. There are tons of zucchini recipes on the internet.

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  10. That looks a great recipe and a brilliant way of getting veg into my boys. Hope to try that at some stage.x

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