Preparation time 10 minutes, plus cooling
Cooking time 40 minutes
250 g (8 oz) courgettes, coarsely grated
100 ml (3½ fl oz) vegetable oil
grated rind and juice of 1 orange
125 g (4 oz) caster sugar
225 g (7½ oz) self-raising flour
2 Tbs cocoa powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
50 g (2 oz) ready-to-eat-dried apricots,
200 g (7 oz) low-fat-cream cheese
2 Tbs chocolate hazelnut spread
1 Tbs hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
- Grease and line a 20 cm (8 inch) deep loose-bottomed cake tin.
- Place the courgettes in a sieve and squeeze out any excess liquid.
- Beat together the eggs, vegetable oil, orange rind and juice and sugar in a large bowl.
- Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and beat to combine.
- Fold in the courgettes and apricots, then spoon the mixture into the prepared tin.
- Bake in the preheated oven, 180˚C (350˚F), Gas Mark 4, for 40 minutes until risen and firm to the touch.
- Turn out on to a wire rack to cool.
- Beat together the cream cheese and chocolate hazelnut spread in a bowl, then spread over the top of the cake.
- Sprinkle over the hazelnuts and serve cut into 12 slices.
- For strawberry & fromage frais topping, to use instead of the chocolate and hazelnut topping, blend 100 g (3½ oz) strawberries in a blender or food processor with 1 Tbs clear honey to make a purée.
- Stir in 125 g (4 oz) fat-free natural fromage frais and spread over the top of the cooled cake.
- Decorate the top of the cake with halved strawberries, if liked.