Hannah friendly

Recipes from a lactose-free kitchen

Chocolate, courgette and hazelnut cake (psst, they're vegan too!)

Chocolate, courgette and hazelnut cake

We've been meaning to play around with courgette cake for ages. Carrot cake is a always a winner in this house so we couldn't see why courgette cake wouldn't be, plus this cake has chocolate in which just makes it even better, right? We certainly like to think so. This is a wonderfully moist and rich cake, and together with the sticky, fudgy icing is seriously decadent. Oh, and it's vegan! We've been doing some experimenting with alternative milks recently - in tea, on cereal, and in baking. This week was the turn of hazelnut milk which, let's be honest, is a bit weird in tea but is delicious with cereal and, so far, the baking experiments have been super tasty.

So, let's begin... we've made these into 12 pretty serious muffins but you could definitely make one large cake, or maybe two sandwiched together with the icing (more on that later).

First of all, sift together 250g plain flour, 225g caster sugar, 85g cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda. Mix the dry ingredients until the cocoa powder is evenly dispersed. In a jug, mix 300ml hazelnut milk, 125ml vegetable oil and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry and miz until thoroughly combined. Now mix in 250g grated courgettes and 75g chopped roasted hazelnuts.

Divide the mixture into a 12-hole muffin tin and cook for 20-25 minutes at 180C, until the muffins have risen, are springy to the touch, and a knife or skewer comes out clean. While the muffins are cooling, melt 40g Vitalite or other dairy free spread, together with 2 tablespoons boiling water. Once melted, sift in 20g cocoa and 250g icing sugar then stir until it comes together into a reasonably stiff icing - you can always add more icing sugar if it looks a bit runny. Spread the cooled muffins with the icing and leave to dry.