Wholemeal cranberry and courgette loaf
Are you one of those people who have all your Christmas presents bought by the beginning of November? Do you wrap as you buy so you don’t have a last minute rush? I always intend to be that person and get off to a good start by buying stocking presents for my girls in Rossiters, a lovely, independent, department store in Bath, during August. I also tuck little presents away for KP as I find them throughout the year. Aren’t men SO difficult to buy for? I start thinking about my Christmas cooking at the beginning of September and at the very least start marinating some dried fruit in liqueur ready for cake and puddings. But wrapping? Despite my best resolutions, it always ends up being a concentrated few hours very near to Christmas day. In fact it’s become a ritual. As long as I have BBC Radio 4 as background listening I can wield tape, scissors and paper with military precision. Lots of tea, a glass of sherry and a slice of something moreish, also helps the time to pass bearably.
My Canadian friend Lee (who has all her shopping done and wrapped by early November) gave me this recipe near on two decades ago. It’s taken me that long to make it and now I’m wondering why. Moist, sharp, slightly sweet, the texture of the nuts and the gleaming cranberries combining in a crumbly loaf. I’ve converted it from volume to weighed measurements (i.e. cups to grams) and guessed at the amount of sugar as it was left out in the ingredients list. I’ve called it a loaf (rather than bread) as it’s cake-like in texture and not made with yeast. Believe me, it’s really good – you can eat it without any guilt whatsoever as it contains at least two of your five a day.
Wholemeal cranberry courgette loaf
- 45g softened, unsalted butter
- 200g dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- zest of an orange, grated
- 225g cranberry sauce
- 225g whole cranberries
- 160g wholemeal flour
- 150g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 240g courgette, peeled and grated coarsely
- 100g walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 160 C
- Grease and flour a loaf tin.
- Beat the butter, sugar and eggs together until well combined and slightly fluffy.
- Stir in the grated orange zest, cranberry sauce and cranberries.
- Fold the flours, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder in the the mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Lightly fold in the grated courgette and chopped walnuts.
- Spoon the mixture into the tin and gently level the surface.Bake for about 1 hour (or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean or with a crumb attached).
- Turn out of the tin and cool on a rack. Serve plain or spread with unsalted butter.