Chocolate, courgette & nut cake

  Calories per serving 237

  Serves 12
  Preparation time 10 minutes, plus cooling
  Cooking time 40 minutes

  Ingredients:

  250 g (8 oz) courgettes, coarsely grated
  2 eggs
  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,
  chopped





     
      Topping

      200 g (7 oz) low-fat-cream cheese
      2 Tbs chocolate hazelnut spread
      1 Tbs hazelnuts, toasted and chopped


       Preparation:

  • 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.