The clocks go back, evenings suddenly become darker and you feel yourself craving the more comforting things in life (blankies, soups and stews, chunky jumpers, candles…) - yep, autumn is here!
I knew I was in the mood to bake (another autumnal thing!) and had a vague idea that I wanted to make a courgette (zucchini, for my American friends…) cake but wanted to try something a little different…luckily I recently signed up with Abel & Cole so inspiration wasn't too far away!
I received my first box which was waaaaaay bigger than I thought it would be. The "Large Keen Cook's Fruit & Veg" box comes jam packed with 3 fruit and 8 veg and when I mean jam packed, I mean stuffed to the brim to the point where I was worried I wouldn't get through everything! Beets, courgettes, apples, pears, cabbage, salad leaves and cavalo nero to name a few of the seasonal goodies.
I wanted my loaf to have a kind of earthy and rich flavour so not wanting to let the beautiful beets and rosy apples go to waste I thought they would go really well with the courgette so hey presto - a truly seasonal and comforting loaf, perfect with a cup of tea when you're all snuggled up under a cosy blanket!
Preheat your oven to 170C (fan oven).
Grease a large loaf tin (or small tin or muffin tin…).
Grate the apples, courgette and beetroot - I used the larger holes on my grater. I left the skin on the courgette and apple but peeled the beetroot. Top tip - wear gloves when you grate the beetroot unless you fancy having pink fingertips! I also squeezed a little lemon juice over the apple to prevent it from browning. Keep these to one side for now.
Combine the flour, spices and baking powder and also keep to one side.
Mix the eggs and sugar together.
Melt the butter, stir into the egg and sugar mixture and then add the vanilla.
Slowly add the dry ingredients making sure that everything is well mixed.
Finally add the apple, beetroot and courgette and stir until all ingredients are well combined.
Bake for around 2 hours - I used the trusty skewer method to make sure it was baked all the way through. Because it's packed with veg it is quite a dense cake and not a fluffy or light as other cakes. Baking times will vary if you use this mixture to make muffins or smaller loaves.