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Recipe for family meals :

Fiona Bird's Courgette and Walnut Cake

This recipe for Courgette and Walnut Cake comes from Fiona Bird of Stirrin'Stuff.

Stirrin'Stuff is a campaign (based in Scotland but working across the UK) to encourage children in the practical skills of preparing food - aiming for enquiring minds, active skills, discriminating tongues, family bonding and healthy diets.

Fi Bird is a mother of six and a past Masterchef finalist who has always had a passion for cooking. She is self taught with an approach to food based on knowledge of tight budgets and limited time. When, time permits she will complete an MSc in food policy. A member of the Guild of Food Writers, Fi has written extensively - articles, recipes and as a campaigner both for healthier diets and for cookery teaching at Primary schools. Fi and Dr Stephen Bird are the founders of Stirrin'Stuff which works in partnerships, to educate children about food. Stirrin'Stuff is committed to sustainable development and ethical best practice. Fi develops recipes for Tern television and writes for Country Kitchen Magazine, Green Parent, Organiclife and an occasional parenting column in the Scotsman. Fi and her daughter, Lili Bird have a fortnightly mother and daughter food column, in the Aberdeen Press and Journal.

Dr Bird has recently completed a course in human nutrition and Fi, a children's cookery book, to be published by Barefoot Books in September 2008.

Ingredients for Courgette and Walnut Cake

10 oz (285g) caster sugar
8fl oz (235 ml) sunflower oil
6 oz (170g) Self-raising flour, sifted
3 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp seasalt
8oz (225g) grated and drained courgette
4oz (110g) finely chopped walnuts

2oz (55g) cream cheese
Approx. 4oz (110g) Icing sugar, to bind.
Dash lemon juice

How to make Courgette and Walnut Cake

  • Set oven to 350ºF / 180ºC / Gas4 / Aga lowest shelf, baking oven.
  • Line a 8 inch / 20cm cake tin with baking parchment.
  • Place the sugar in a bowl and stir in the oil with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time until they are amalgamated.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, cloves and cinnamon and fold into the mixture.
  • Fold in courgettes and walnuts.
  • Bake for 70 - 80 minutes until the top springs back. Cool on a wire rack.

To make the frosting:

  • Whizz cream cheese and icing sugar and a dash of lemon juice until smooth.
  • Spread over the top of the cake and decorate with grated courgette.

© Fiona Bird December 2001