What is Mary Berry’s Chocolate Courgette Cake Recipe?
The Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake Recipe is for a moist chocolate cake that utilizes grated courgette as a surprise ingredient. Created by acclaimed British baker Mary Berry, this recipe is relatively easy to prepare and also healthier since it uses olive oil instead of butter and courgette instead of eggs. It includes cocoa powder, mixed spice, and toasted hazelnuts to provide additional flavor, richness, and crunch. The cake is topped with a simple yet decadent chocolate icing.
- Related: Mary Berry Chocolate Bundt Cake
Why use courgette in chocolate cake?
Courgette is a versatile vegetable that can be used in many dishes, including chocolate cake.
There are several benefits of using courgette in chocolate cake, such as:
- It adds moisture and softness to the cake, making it more tender and less dry.
- It reduces the amount of oil and eggs needed in the cake, making it lower in fat and cholesterol.
- It increases the volume and yield of the cake, making it bigger and more satisfying.
- It adds fiber and nutrients to the cake, making it more wholesome and healthy.
- It does not alter the flavor or color of the cake, making it still taste like chocolate.
Ingredients Needed to make Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake
You need the following ingredients to make Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake:
- 350g self-raising flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp salt
- 175ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 375g golden caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 500ml grated courgette (about 2 medium courgettes)
- 140g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 200g dark chocolate, chopped
- 100ml double cream
- A large bowl
- A medium bowl
- A grater
- A measuring jug
- A whisk
- A spatula
- A 24cm cake tin
- Greaseproof paper
- A knife
- A wire rack
- A saucepan
- A small bowl
Instructions to Make Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake
Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the cake tin
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Line a 24cm cake tin with greaseproof paper and set aside.
Step 2: Grate the courgette and squeeze out the excess water
Wash the courgettes and grate them into the center of a clean tea towel. Wring out as much moisture as you can over the sink. Courgettes can hold a lot of water, which can affect the texture of your cake. You want to get rid of as much water as possible but don’t worry if there is still some left. It will add moisture to your cake.
Step 3: Combine the dry ingredients
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, mixed spice, and salt. Whisk well to mix and aerate the ingredients. This will help your cake rise and be fluffy.
Step 4: Combine the wet ingredients
In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk well to combine and dissolve the sugar. Olive oil is a great choice for this cake, as it adds a fruity and nutty flavor, as well as moisture and richness. It also has healthy fats that are good for your heart.
Step 5: Mix the dry and wet ingredients and fold in the courgette and hazelnuts
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir well to combine, but do not overmix. You want to have a smooth and thick batter, but not too dense or runny. Fold in the grated courgette and the toasted hazelnuts. The courgette will add moisture and texture to your cake, while the hazelnuts will add crunch and nuttiness. You can also use other nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, or pecans if you prefer.
Step 6: Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and spread it evenly. Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. The baking time may vary depending on your oven and the water content of your courgette, so check your cake after 40 minutes and return it to the oven for another 10 minutes if needed. The cake should be firm and springy to the touch and have a rich and dark color.
Step 7: Cool the cake and make the icing
Let the cake cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack and let it cool completely. To make the icing, place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl and bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until completely smooth and melted. Let the icing cool slightly and thicken, then spread it over the cake so it covers it and the icing starts to drip down the sides. The icing will add a glossy and decadent finish to your cake, and make it even more chocolatey and delicious.
What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake?
- Serving as Dessert or Snack: Enjoy this cake as a delightful dessert or snack, paired perfectly with tea or coffee.
- With Whipped Cream or Ice Cream: Serve the cake with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream for added indulgence.
- Additional Toppings: Sprinkle extra chopped nuts or grated lime zest atop the cake for enhanced flavor and decorative flair.
Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake
To make the perfect Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake, here are some pro tips to follow:
- Extract Courgette Moisture: Thoroughly squeeze out water from the grated courgette to ensure optimal cake texture and consistent baking time.
- Select Quality Ingredients: Use premium cocoa powder and dark chocolate for superior flavor and rich color.
- Toast Hazelnuts for Flavor: Enhance the hazelnuts’ flavor and crunch by toasting them in a dry skillet until golden.
- Avoid Overmixing: Mix the batter just enough to combine ingredients well, avoiding a tough, rubbery texture.
- Monitor Baking Time: Start checking the cake at 40 minutes; it’s ready when firm to the touch, and a knife comes out clean.
- Cool Before Icing: Let the cake cool completely to prevent the icing from melting off.
- Even Icing Application: Use a spatula or knife for a smooth, even spread of icing, and allow it to set before serving.
Variations of Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake
You can also try some variations of Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake, such as:
- Chocolate Chips Addition: For an extra burst of chocolate, consider adding chocolate chips or chunks to the batter.
- Nut Variations: Swap hazelnuts with other nuts like walnuts, almonds, or pecans. For those with nut allergies, omit nuts entirely.
- Spice Alterations: Experiment with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger, or add citrus zest such as orange or lemon for varied flavors.
- Healthier Oil and Sweetener Options: Try using coconut oil in place of olive oil, or substitute sugar with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.
- Vegetable Substitutes: For a different color and texture profile, replace courgettes with vegetables such as carrots, beetroots, or pumpkins.
How do I store Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake Leftovers?
If you have any leftovers of Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake, you can store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze them uniced for up to 3 months.
To store them, follow these steps:
Storing in an airtight container
- Let the cake cool completely and slice it into portions.
- Place the cake slices in a single layer in an airtight container, or stack them with parchment paper in between to prevent them from sticking together.
- Cover the container with a lid and store it in a cool and dry place, such as a pantry or a cupboard.
- Enjoy the cake within 3 days, or refrigerate it if you want to keep it longer.
- Let the cake cool completely and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil.
- Place the wrapped cake in a freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as you can.
- Label the bag with the date and the name of the cake, and store it in the freezer.
- Enjoy the cake within 3 months, or thaw it at room temperature for a few hours before icing and serving.
How do I reheat Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake Leftovers?
If you want to reheat Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake leftovers, you can do so in the microwave or the oven. To reheat them, follow these steps:
Reheating in the microwave
- Place a slice of cake on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a damp paper towel.
- Microwave it for 10 to 15 seconds, or until it is warm and soft.
- Enjoy the cake with some whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.
Reheating in the oven
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the cake slices on the prepared baking sheet and cover them loosely with foil.
- Bake them for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are warm and moist.
- Enjoy the cake with some whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.
The nutrition value per serving (assuming 10 servings) is:
- Calories: 716 kcal
- Fat: 40 g
- Saturates: 10 g
- Carbs: 84 g
- Sugars: 55 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 10 g
- Salt: 0.43 g
Related Recipes to Try
How do I make Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake vegan?
To make Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake vegan, you can replace the eggs with flax eggs, which are made by mixing 3 tbsp of ground flax seeds with 9 tbsp of water and letting it sit for 15 minutes. You can also replace the cream with coconut cream, and use vegan chocolate and sugar.
Can I use gluten-free flour for Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake?
Yes, you can use gluten-free flour for Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake, as long as it has similar consistency and baking properties as self-raising flour. You can also add 1 tsp of xanthan gum to the dry ingredients to help the cake hold together better.
How do I prevent Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake from sinking in the middle?
There are a few possible reasons why Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake might sink in the middle, such as:
- The oven temperature is too high or too low, causing the cake to rise too fast or too slow.
- The cake is underbaked or overbaked, causing the cake to collapse or dry out.
- The cake is not cooled properly, causing the cake to shrink or crack.
- The cake batter is overmixed or undermixed, causing the cake to have too much or too little air.
To prevent Mary Berry Chocolate Courgette Cake from sinking in the middle, you can try the following tips:
- Preheat the oven to the right temperature and use an oven thermometer to check it.
- Bake the cake for the recommended time and test it with a skewer or a knife to see if it is done.
- Let the cake cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack and let it cool completely.
- Mix the cake batter gently and just until everything is well combined, but not too smooth or lumpy.
In summary, Mary Berry’s Chocolate Courgette Cake is a moist, delicious chocolate cake that secretly incorporates grated courgette to add moisture and nutrients without impacting the taste. The courgette helps make this cake healthy while the addition of olive oil, cocoa powder, mixed spice, and toasted hazelnuts provides richness, flavor depth, and crunch. It is finished with an irresistible yet simple chocolate icing. This cake is an ideal way to use up abundant courgettes or to indulge chocolate cravings with the added bonus of some vegetables. Both novice and seasoned bakers will impress their loved ones with this easy recipe that delivers incredible chocolate decadence. There is no regret in trying this cake today and discovering just how delightful it is.