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Flora's Famous Zucchini Cake

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

If you're using raisins, put them in a bowl and cover with warm water to plump them up.

Wipe the zucchini with a kitchen towel (but don't peel them), then grate. The coarse side of an ordinary box grater is the best thing to use: anything too fine or too quick can turn them to a wet mush. When you've grated them, put them in a sieve over the sink to drain.

Put the eggs, oil, and sugar in a bowl and beat them until creamy. Sift in the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and continue to beat until well combined. Now stir in the grated zucchini and add the drained raisins. Pour the mixture into the pans, and bake for 30 minutes until slightly browned and firm to the touch. Leave in their pans on a rack for 5 – 10 minutes, then turn out and let cool on the rack until your filling and icing are ready.

If you don't want to make the lime curd for the filling, then just buy a good lemon or lime curd and sharpen with some freshly squeezed lime juice. To make the cream-cheese icing for the top, beat the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth, add the confectioners' sugar, beating well to combine, and then stir in the lime juice to taste. Now get your cakes ready for assembling. Put one cake on the plate and spread with completely cooled lime curd. Put on the top cake and smear it thickly with the cream-cheese icing. If you feel the icings need firming up a little, put the cake in the refrigerator for a while. Just before serving, scatter chopped pistachios over the top.

Serves 8.


As and alternative, cook the same mixture in those large (sometimes called "Texas") muffin pans. When they're cooked and cooled, cut them in half and put the cream-cheese icing in the middle. Pour hot curd over the top, covering each little cake. Refrigerate the cakes until cold and sift confectioners' sugar on top just before serving.

Makes 12.

Lime Curd

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 large eggs

½ cup sugar

½ cup lime juice (of approximately 4 limes)

zest of 1 lime

2 ½-pint jars

Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, add all the other ingredients and whisk to a custard over a gentle heat. Let cool before filling a jar – or a cake – with it. Keep in the refrigerator.

Makes about 1 ¾ cups.

From 'How To Be a Domestic Goddess' by Nigella Lawson. Photographs by Petrina Tinslay. Copyright (c) 2001 Nigella Lawson. Photographs Copyright (c) Petrina Tinslay. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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