Today was Steve's birthday so cake was required. There are several ways to decide what sort of cake to bake for someone's birthday. Sometimes there is a theme to a birthday and the cake is made to fit that. Sometimes the birthday star will request their favourite or some kind of special cake for their birthday. Some people might flick idly through a recipe book, looking for inspiration. The person who lives in a world of seasonal ingredients looks at what they have to hand and wondered how best to fashion them into cake.
With my courgette glut very much on my mind, it was nice to sit down for breakfast the other morning and thumb through the August edition of the Good Food Magazine, promising things to do with courgettes. Most of the recipes were sensible, savoury affairs but my eye was drawn towards the one for Pistachio, Courgette & Lemon Cake. Hmmm... Steve's favourite cakes are always lemon flavoured... and it contains courgettes... no brainer really. I stocked up on a 200g bag of pistachios and some Greek yoghurt and I was all set.
Yesterday, I spent about half an hour sat at the kitchen table shelling the whole bag of pistachios whilst verbally helping my youngest daughter who was busily creating an elephant out of modelling clay. I suspected that a 200g bag of pistachios in shells would not yield the required 150g of nuts and indeed discovered it gave me about 95g. By this point not only was I all out of pistachios but my fingers hurts, my nails were notched and I was bored with the shelling process. I did have a rather attractive pile of empty pistachio shells that looked like they might make a nice mulch for the garden if I had a ton or so more. Still, they looked rather nice around my root ginger plant, I discovered later.
Anyway, the cake baked beautifully and once it was cool, I wrapped it up in foil until this morning. (The modelling clay elephant turned out well too, should you be interested.) Then I mixed up 5 oz of icing sugar with the juice of half a lemon and asked my eldest if she fancied using her icing kit (a Christmas present) to decorate the cake. This evening, after dinner with his two eldest children and the girls, it was time to cut Steve's cake and very tasty it was too. A nice texture and a good lemony flavour. Even his son, still recovering from the trauma of too many courgettes in his childhood, was none the wiser!