Michelle Darmody: Make the most of the versatile courgette

Courgettes hold a lot of water so can add moistness as well as texture to a cake, a loaf or muffins.
Michelle Darmody: Make the most of the versatile courgette

Fresh zucchini bread

There is a glut of courgettes at this time of year, and while they are most often associated with savoury cooking, they are also a good baking ingredient. Courgettes hold a lot of water so can add moistness as well as texture to a cake, a loaf or muffins.

I have created a recipe for a courgette cake before with lemon curd filling and cream cheese icing. It is a real show-stopper and is often my go-to for special occasions. The recipes here are perhaps simpler, and suitable for an afternoon snack or a picnic in the park.

Courgettes blend very well with citrus fruits, such as lemon or orange, in fact you can substitute orange zest for the lemon in the loaf cake or use a combination of both. Courgettes also combine very well with lime.

All of the recipes below can be made using the paddle attachment of a mixer or simply by using a wooden spoon. The oil makes the batter easy to mix, you are not aiming for a light and fluffy result, instead a rich and dense texture is good. This denseness also lends itself to gluten-free flours.

The first two recipes are naturally dairy-free, and for the courgette and walnut muffins you can use a non-dairy milk if you wish.

When using olive oil, I always choose a very light and not so piquant oil, so it does not overpower the overall flavour.

A rapeseed or sunflower oil could be used in place of the olive oil.

Courgette and Lemon Zest Loaf

recipe by:Michelle Darmody

Courgettes blend very well with citrus fruits, such as lemon or orange, in fact you can substitute orange zest for the lemon in the loaf cake or use a combination of both.

Courgette and Lemon Zest Loaf

Servings

6

Preparation Time

10 mins

Cooking Time

55 mins

Total Time

1 hours 5 mins

Course

Dessert

Ingredients

  • 120mls of light olive oil 
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten 

  • 80g light muscovado sugar 

  • the zest of 3 lemons 

  • 350g of courgette, coarsely grated 

  • ½ tsp bread soda, sieved 

  • ½ tsp baking powder, sieved 

  • 300g plain flour 

  • 100g golden sultanas 

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a 2 lb loaf tin with parchment.
  2. Mix the oil, eggs, sugar and zest until combined. Stir in the courgettes.

  3. Mix the bread soda and baking powder into the flour and stir them well. Add this to the courgette mix and combine. Add in the sultanas and scoop the mixture into your prepared tin.

  4. Bake for about 55 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin until it is cool enough to handle, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Courgette and Chocolate Buns

recipe by:Michelle Darmody

These buns are a lovely mix of sweet and savoury ingredients

Courgette and Chocolate Buns

Servings

12

Preparation Time

5 mins

Cooking Time

25 mins

Total Time

30 mins

Course

Dessert

Ingredients

  • 25g of cocoa powder

  • 175g of self-raising flour

  • 80mls of light olive oil

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 175g of golden caster sugar

  • 220g of courgettes, roughly grated

  • 50g of dark chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and place 12 paper bun cases into a bun tin.
  2. Mix the cocoa powder and flour together.

  3. Mix the oil, eggs, sugar and courgette together. Combine the two mixtures well and stir in the chocolate chips.

  4. Scoop the mixture into the twelve bun cases and bake for about 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin until cool enough to handle then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Courgette and Walnut Muffins

recipe by:Michelle Darmody

For these courgette and walnut muffins you can use a non-dairy milk if you wish.

Courgette and Walnut Muffins

Servings

12

Preparation Time

5 mins

Cooking Time

20 mins

Total Time

25 mins

Course

Dessert

Ingredients

  • 100g courgettes, roughly grated 
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled 

  • 225g self-raising flour 

  • 170ml milk 

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten 

  • 55ml light olive oil 

  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper 

  • 40g walnuts, chopped 

  • a small handful of parsley, finely chopped - optional 

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C and place 12 paper bun cases into a bun tin.
  2. Mix the courgette, cheese and flour together and set aside.

  3. Stir the milk, egg, olive oil together and add this to the courgette mixture. Combine well. Stir in the cracked black pepper, the walnuts and parsley, if you are using it.

  4. Scoop the mixture into the twelve bun cases and bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin until cool enough to handle then transfer

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