(Slightly soggy) courgette cake

(Slightly soggy) courgette cake

Okay okay this is two Nigella’s in as many weeks but I implore you to try this cake, please!  Have you ever eaten carrot cake and enjoyed it?  Did you find it at all weird?  No.  Because it’s amazing.  So courgette cake is just as amazing.  The courgettes, in my view, just make for a creamy and slightly dense cake.
I first made this cake with an orange buttercream and I still love it.  I only used orange because I had orange essence in the cupboard, no limes and  a half hour walk to the nearest shop.
When a leftover stumps you, try to think of what flavours it has – what do you like to eat it with?  So for me, courgette is great because it has so many uses  – this week’s were trying to keep it basic but there’s room for courgette week 2. (Needless to say my children *love* my work.  So many courgette recipes for them to be eating…).  So, courgettes are mild and can blend into the background and, to me, that’s a benefit.  They just make this cake extra dense, in a way that a carrot or fudge cake is.
THOUGH- note to feeders of picky people: if you need to hide the courgette then peel it because, unpeeled, you get a light green marbled colour.  Though little kids who want to be the Hulk or a Ninja Turtle may be convinced that way…

Courgette cake

Based on St Queen Nigella Lawson, ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ pp18-19

Ingredients

250g courgettes (2-3) weighed before grating
2 large eggs
125 ml vegetable oil
150g caster sugar
220g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 bicarbonate of soda
Pinch salt

Icing

100g cream cheese
100g unsalted butter OR 200g unsalted butter
500g caster sugar
100g icing sugar
few drops orange essence (no more than 1/4 teaspoon)

Tools

Scales
Box grater
Sieve
Two large mixing bowls
Measuring jug
x2 7 inch round cake tins
Fork
Balloon Whisk
Greaseproof paper
Scissors
Teaspoon
Wire cooling rack

Optional/Helpful
Electric whisk/stand mixer/food processor
Measuring spoons

Time
10 minutes prep
10-20 minutes to mix the cake
30-40 minutes baking
Couple of hours to cool fully

Level
Medium

Prep

Line the bottom of your cake tin with greaseproof paper
Turn the oven to 180C
Grate the courgettes on the chunky side of the box grater – do not use anything
finer because that will make mush. Mmm mush
Turn into a sieve so that any excess water will drip out

Method

Whisk/sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt into a small bowl and set aside
In a larger bowl, whisk together eggs, oil and sugar in a bowl until creamy
Sieve in the dry mixture
Stir in grated courgette
Pour mixture in tins
Bake for 30 minutes until browned and firm to the touch
Leave in tins on a rack for 5-10 minutes before turning out then leave on rack to cool completely

Icing

Place cream cheese/butter in a large bowl
Sift over icing sugar
Add orange essence
Beat together
Add milk a tablespoon-full at a time until you have an icing that is thin enough to spread

Combine the cakes

Look at the two cakes. Take the fattest and use it for the bottom
If it’s got a big hill in the middle, take a bread/serrated knife and slice off a little to make it (more or less) flat. Eat that bit (never a leftover & all that)
Take about quarter of the icing and place in the middle of the cake
Use your spatula to spread it out
Pop the next quarter on and add it
Place second cake on top and repeat the icing steps
I am unable to ice a cake neatly so always go with “intentionally messy”

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Cake Crumb topping for ice cream

Cake Crumb topping for ice cream

It’s summer fete season, oh lord it is. Baking and buying cakes for school and community fairs and then … buying them back again. And chez StorrCupboard it’s birthday season, so there’s an awful lot of butter, eggs, flour, sugar and all sorts going everywhere.
You get your tupperware back or you bring your box of cake from the fair and there’s a mass of crumbs …. everywhere. Or as you clear away a birthday cake, how much goes in the kids and how much on the floor, plates, mashed everywhere?
Cakes are wonderful, delicious and flipping expensive to bake. Full of butter, eggs and sugar, cakes are food-energy high foods. The chicken that laid your egg needed feeding and that egg was transported all around the goddam country for before it got as far as your basket. The (likely) wheat in your cake may be UK but could also be from as far as the US or Canada. The sugar is probably not British sugar beet, and is likely to have come from countries in Africa.  Not to mention the feed that the cows ate to produce to the milk that was transported to make the butter –
Sorry what? You were going to chuck that cake? No, come on now, you weren’t, were you?
This leftover idea comes from the amazing Rosie Ramsden. I have simplified a simple recipe, but sometimes it doesn’t take much to go from bin fodder to something delicous and more-ish. Take your cake crumbs, icing and all (which will bake into the cake and help it to caramelise), pop them in a warm oven and ten minutes later you have a tasty, topping for a bowl of ice-cream. You can use any cake for this, so happy baking!

Crunchy cake crumbe for ice cream

Barely adapted from Rosie Ramsden, ‘The Recipe Wheel, p253

Ingredients

As many cake crumbs as you have!

Tools
Baking tray

Time
Time for your oven to preheat
5-10 minutes to bake

Level
Super easy

Method

Turn the oven to 180C
Line the baking tray with greaseproof paper
Crumble the cake onto the tray
Place the tray into the pre-heated oven
Toast for 5-10 minutes until crisp
Either leave to cool or sprinkle over whilst still warm and let it melt the ice-cream

 

 

 

 

 

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Leftover cake crumb trifle

Leftover cake crumb trifle

Yes, trifle! I didn’t grow up eating trifle, which is probably A Good Thing, because it means that I can come to this pudding, this English tiramisu, with happy abandon.
Keeping it cheap, though, well this isn’t a traditional trifle; chunks or layers of cake crumbs are fudgy because any icing will soak into the cake along with fruit. Trifle usually has lots of sherry but I want the kids to eat it and I’m not spending £6 or so on booze for one pudding, thanks.
Not sure which fruit to use?  You’ll want to use a fruit that pairs nicely with the cake. I had chocolate cake, so I used raspberries, though strawberries or cherries would be great.  Coffee and walnut?  Fruit can be tricky here, but some chocolate sauce would be delicious.  Victoria sponge cake would pair nicely with berries.  Carrot cake? Maybe some sultanas soaked in juice or rum. This pudding is a perfect use up for picnic bashed berries and over-ripe fruits.
I used fresh bought custard because it was easier, but if you want to make your own, or use powder, just go for making half a litre and you’ll be fine.
Take that stale cake that box full of crumbs or two sad slices of stale cake and look!  waste-less, cheap, tasty food for everyone, and never a leftover, leftover.

 

 

Cake Crumb Trifle

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Around 150g cake crumbs/stale cake
1-2 punnets raspberries/strawberries
Large pot custard (I used a 500g pot)
1 300ml pot double cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons caster sugar

Tools

Scales
Mixing bowls
Whisk
Teaspoon
Bowl for whisking
Bowl for serving

Optional tools

Electric whisk/stand mixer
Measuring spoons

Time

15m prep
10m to combine
At least 1 hour to rest before serving

Prep

If you have slices of cake, cut into cubes
Wash and dry fruit
Whisk the cream with vanilla and sugar until you have soft peaks

Method

Place cake cubes/crumbs in the bottom of serving bowl
Fruit on top
Pour over the custard
Spoon the cream on top
Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving

 

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Cake crumb cookies

Cake crumb cookies

How were your ice-cream crumbs?
I struggled with this leftover, I confess, and chatted with my eldest about my block.  She rolled her eyes (she’s really good at that – she’s 12) and said “cookies, d’uh”. This same child approaches a freshly baked cake saying “what is it? I have to check because could be anything with *you*”  She’s right to check, TBH.
So, thanks to my eldest, I give you cake crumble cookies! Unsurprisingly they are quite … cakey. Simple and spongy, we ate ours within a day.
Does it seem weird to take something half bin-fodder and add more to it to make more food? Well, are you going to eat biscuits?  As long as you eat what you’ve cooked here, then it’s not a waste – you’re stretching out your leftover by giving it a new lease of life.
If you’d like to add nuts or dried fruit just make it logical, e.g., carrot or coffee cake would be great with walnuts, almonds or peanuts with chocolate.
If you can, leave the dough in the drive overnight.  Your cookies will spread less because the butter will have hardened again. The flavours will have matured, too, so, give it ago and leave your cookies to have a rest.  Or just bake them right here, right now, and enjoy basking in that glow that you haven’t ended up chucking all that flour, butter, sugar, egg, milk and more – you’ve played another part in reducing food waste, one recipe at a time.

Cake crumb cookies

Makes around 16

Ingredients

125g caster sugar
115g unsalted butter
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
180 grams plain flour
up to 150g cake crumbs/stale cake

Tools
Scales
Mixing bowls
Baking trays
Greaseproof paper
Whisk
Wooden spoon
Teaspoon

Optional tools
Electric whisk/stand mixer
Measuring teaspoons

Time
10m prep (if you can leave the dough overnight, then all the better)
20m to make the dough
18-20m to bake

Level
Harder

TIPS!

Cookies will contine to cook on the baking tray for a couple of minutes so it’s best to take them out when they are slightly underdone
Use a timer! Cookies can overbake in a matter of minutes, and that is sad

Prep

Take butter out of the fridge at least 10 minutes, or up to a couple of hours before baking
Turn the oven to 180C, if baking now
Line three baking sheets with greaseproof paper (you don’t have to use three but you will just need to bake in batches)
Crumble up your cake, icing and all
Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt

Method

Beat the sugar and butter together until smooth
Mix in the egg
Add flour mixture and cake crumbs, and stir until combined
If you can, leave in the fridge for between 30m and 24 hours
Scoop the cookie dough with a teaspoon; this will give you roughly the right size
Place x8 cookies on a sheet at a time, spaced about 10cm apart
Bake for 18 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Don’t overbake, or they will be brittle
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack/scoff whilst they’re still warm
Store at room temperature in an airtight container

Storage/further meals

If you just want to use up the crumbs before they mould then make the dough, place in a freezer-proof bag/container, label and store for up to 3 months

 

 

 

 

 

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

(Why do I always have leftover) cream sponge cake

(Why do I always have leftover) cream sponge cake

This was my first experiment with my leftover double cream.

I figured: if a recipes says “cream the butter” and butter is made of cream … well, it can’t go that far wrong?  And I was right.  A little less light than a regular sponge cake but still rich, delicious and cake-y.  If you have say 100ml of cream just whip it and use a combination of butter and cream.

Some people might say that making a cake with this leftover cream is more wasteful, as we’re using more sugar, more flour and butter.  I argue that if you buy a cake, or biscuits or anything sweet that this is a good use of potential bin fodder.  As long as this cake gets eaten, you’ve used the cream to make something new.  And that is a wonderful thing.

I was pretty stumped when I had 500g of leftover cream. 500g! Half a bloody kilo! So first off, proof that it’s only worth buying food when you know what you want to do with it.  But when I thought about it as “thick milk/almost butter”, I freed up my brain to think: what is creamy? What’s nice with cream.  Just stirring some meringues in, or making into ice-cream sundaes would be great.

Leftover cream sponge

Makes Victoria sponge sized cake

Ingredients

250g whipped/double cream 250g caster sugar
250g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
50g cocoa powder (optional)
Pinch salt
4 eggs
75ml milk
1tsp vanilla essence

Icing

150g whipped/double cream
500g caster sugar
About 50ml milk
Optional: flavouring, e.g., a few drops of mint or orange essence, or dissolve 2 teaspoons of instant coffee in hot water

Tools

 

Optional/Helpful

Electric whisk/stand mixer/food processor
Measuring spoons

Time

10m prep
10-20m to mix the cake
30-40 baking
Couple of hours to cool fully

Level

Medium

Prep

Line the bottom of your cake tin with greaseproof paper
Turn the oven to 180C
If your leftover cream isn’t whisked, whisk it until it’s in peaks (with a hand whisk this will take no time at all; longer with a hand whisk or pour into a clean jam jar, screw the lid on *tightly* and shake shake shake until it’s whisked)

Method **

Whisk/sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt into a small bowl and set aside
In a larger bowl, whisk together whisked cream and sugar
Add one egg and beat until fully combined, then about a third of the flour mixture
Keep on going until you’ve used up all of the egg and flour
The mixture will be quite thick; add in your vanilla and a couple of tablespoons of milk, stir in|
Keep adding milk until the batter drops off the whisk in dollops
Spoon the mixture into the cake tins, half and half, and bake for 20 minutes
Check on the cake after 20 minutes; they may well need longer
They are cooked when a cake tester/skewer comes out clean
Leave to sit on a wire rack for 10m in its tin before removing
Remove from the tin and leave to cool, fully

 

Food Processor Method

** If you have a food processor, put everything in except the milk. Turn on. Blend
Check for thickness. Gently add milk until it’s a thick dropping consistency, and bake as the rest of the instructions

Icing

Place butter in a large bowl
Sift over icing sugar
Beat together
Add milk a tablespoon-full at a time until you have an icing that is thin enough to spread
If using a flavouring, add at the end and mix through thoroughly

Combine the cakes

Look at the two cakes. Take the fattest and use it for the bottom
If it’s got a big hill in the middle, take a bread/serrated knife and slice off a little to make it more flat. Eat that bit
Take about quarter of the icing and place in the middle of the cake
Use your spatula to spread it out
Pop the next quarter on and add it
Place second cake on top and repeat the icing steps
I am unable to ice a cake neatly so always go with “intentionally messy”

Storage

If you’re not going to eat within 24 hours, I’d cut this into pieces and freeze.

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Sign up to the Storr Cupboard Newsletter

...and receive monthly recipe ideas to help you ensure there's never a leftover, leftover PLUS a free downloadable meal planner & kitchen stock check.

Once signed up check your email to confirm your subscription!

We will, of course, always ensure that your data is safe and never spam you!

You have Successfully Subscribed!