Wednesday 22 November 2023

RECIPES Courgette Lemon Drizzle Cake (using Tromboncino)

Courgette Lemon Drizzle Cake  -

using Tromboncino

Tromboncino Lemon Drizzle Cake

Usually we have a glut of courgettes in the late summer with some growing into marrows so we have become quite skillful in adapting recipes to make full use of them - and one of our favourites is incorporating them in Lemon Drizzle Cake.

This autumn we had a glut of Tromboncinos, also known in Italian as zucchetta.

28 August 2023
Tromboncinos growing on our allotment

The tromboncino is an adaptable squash that can either be used as a summer squash, like a courgette (zucchini), when green and picked when it is 1-2 feet long or left to ripen when it may grow more than a metre in length.  

2 October
Tromboncino picked as a summer squash

The plant has a vining habit and we grow ours up an improvised trellis otherwise they trail on the ground and are likely to be damaged by pests. When mature the colour fades to beige rather like a butternut squash and it can then be used roasted or in soups or stews or any butternut squash recipe - we find it rather good in a Thai style curry with coconut milk or in a risotto with sage.

25 October
Tromboncino picked as a winter squash

One of the advantages over courgettes is that they have no seeds in the long stem, all the seeds being concentrated in the bulbous end which we often hollow out and roast, stuffed with a meat or vegetable stuffing.

Roast tromboncino stuffed with spicy minced meat

For the "courgette" cake we use the seedless stem from the young green vegetable, including the skin.  Most courgette cake recipes suggest grating the flesh.  We used a spiraliser which produces long spaghetti-like strands which we then roughly chop with a pair of scissors.  

The spiraliser

Spiralised tromboncino

You can buy spiralised courgette in supermarkets, sold as "courgetti spaghetti" and it can be used in may dishes, usually lightly steamed as a vegetable or as a pasta substitute.

When making a cake, if you are using courgettes, it is advisable to put the flesh in muslin or a clean tea towel and squeeze out some of the moisture - otherwise you will get a very sloppy cake.  We find that less necessary with tromboncinos as the flesh is usually much drier and firmer.

The recipe which we used is as follows:

Ingredients for the Cake

150 mls vegetable oil

200g caster sugar

2 large or 3 medium eggs

Grated or finely pared zest of 2 lemons

Juice of 1 lemon

200g Courgette spiralised and chopped or grated

250g Self Raising Flour

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Ingredients for the drizzle

Grated or finely pared zest and Juice of 1 lemon

75 g Caster sugar


Pre-heat oven to 160C Fan. (If using a conventional oven you may need a temperature of 180C - but we haven't tried that).

Mix together vegetable oil, caster sugar, eggs, lemon zest and juice and beat until smooth.  We use a food mixer for this.

Stir in grated courgette.

Add bicarbonate of soda to the flour and then gently fold into the cake mixture until there are no lumps and all the flour is absorbed.

Grease and or line with baking paper a 1lb loaf tin or cake tin.  Pour in the cake mixture and level off.  We sometimes worry at this stage if the cake mixture is quite runny - but the result has always been good.  Place in the pre-heated oven and cook for 55minutes – 1 hour.  It may be advisable to cover the cake with buttered paper or baking paper for the first 30 minutes.

After cooking test the cake with a metal skewer (it should come out clean with no cake mixture adhering). If it is not cooked through, put back in oven for a further 5/10 minutes but cover again so that the top does not burn.

Whilst the cake is cooking, mix together the drizzle ingredients – sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth.

Leave the cake to cool in the tin, but whilst still hot pierce the cake all over with a skewer then pour the drizzle evenly over the top and leave it to soak in.  Do not remove the cake from the tin until it is cool.

Hot from the oven and drizzled with the lemon

Tromboncino lemon drizzle cake ready for the table

John Austin

Hove, November 2023

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