Healthy chocolate cake is packed with hazelnuts and hidden vegetable

Chef Dominic Hoile has a tasty recipe for chocolate cake with a twist; it includes a courgette. 

Courgettes are packed with potassium, and bursting with vitamin C and folic acid. 

Half of a large courgette also counts as one of your five-a-day, so what better way to enjoy them baked in a cake? 

The recipe serves 12 and contains nuts. 

Preparation time: 15 minutes 

Cooking time: 55 minutes 


150g hazelnuts
100g caster sugar
Three eggs
300g golden caster sugar
500g courgettes, grated
100ml rapeseed oil
50ml hazelnut oil
One tsp vanilla bean paste
One tsp almond essence
300g self-raising flour, sifted
45g cocoa powder, sifted
Butter, for greasing

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1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan/gas mark four.

2. In a pan over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts for two minutes then add the caster sugar. After two minutes, the sugar will start to caramelise – don’t be tempted to stir as it may crystallise. When all the sugar has dissolved and it’s light brown, carefully pour it onto a plate lined with parchment paper and allow it to cool.

3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and golden caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Fold in the courgettes then mix in the oils, vanilla and almond essence.

4. In another bowl, combine the flour and cocoa powder. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and combine well.

Place the hazelnut praline in a zip-lock bag and break it up using a rolling pin, or pulse in a food processor. Combine the nuts into the cake mix.

5. Lightly grease and line a springform cake tin. Pour the cake mixture into the tin and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

6. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then take out to cool on a rack.

Recipe courtesy of OK! Magazine.

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