Wednesday, April 1, 2015

“Mecki’s Courgette Cake”

Book club for March was at my place.

We are a group of five women who meet once a month and talk about books….
Well sometimes we talk about books the rest of the time we catch up on the things that have happened in our lives, the goss of what shops/cafes are opening/closing in Tirau and whether the price of cheese will affect whether we make our own or not – well for Sheryn it is.

So to go with all this we eat and drink good food and wine or something else to our liking. Each month we go to a different members home and the host produces the food and so I decided to make a pizza for after the nibbles and finish up with a nice cake for dessert.

Late summer means there is often a plentiful supply of zucchinis and one can get desperate as to what to do with them. If you haven’t been successful in growing your own you can be rest assured some close friend or neighbour is happily handing you a supply whether you want them or not. Well as you will have seen from an earlier post, my garden had not been successful - but I had obtained zucchinis and for me that meant I could try out some of my recipes I have collected over the years.
(See my other blog "My Julie/Julia Attempt")

So I found a nice recipe for zucchini cake called “Mecki’s Courgette Cake”. Now courgettes and zucchinis are the same thing it just depends on what part of the world you live in. This recipe was from The Waikato Times way back in 2001. I read the interesting article written by Annette Taylor and the recipe checking I had all the ingredients. On the afternoon of book club I made the cake. 

Following the directions I proceeded to step three.
   “In another bowl sift the flour and other ingredients except the almonds….”

The flour - how much flour?
Nope it’s not listed.
Read the directions again; no amount given.
Read the article again.
Annette does say
   “Mecki says this recipe makes great muffins as well and instead of almonds, raisins or other nuts can be used. They can be also be made with wholemeal flour. Having tried the cake, I believe almonds and white flour are the way to go…” 
but no amount.

Oh well ‘google’ will solve the problem. Well that was a task. No actual link to “Mecki’s Courgette Cake”, “Takes the Cake”, “Veging Out,” or any other keywords to do with this recipe and article. So checking out other recipes for zucchini cake I guessed about 2 cups of flour, besides the ingredients were all sitting there waiting to be baked!
I made the cake and, apart from being slightly undercooked in the very middle, it was rather delicious and yes I would definitely stick with the white flour and almonds.

I decided I am definitely going to try and get to the bottom of the correct amount

The following day I sent off an email to the Waikato times….

Hi Jonathan, 

 Back in 2001 (27th February precisely) you (or the person before you) printed in the Waikato times a recipe called “Mecki’s Courgette Cake” in an article titled “Takes the Cake” 
 It was in the section titled FOOD and contributed by Annette Taylor under the heading of Veging Out. I have saved this section of the paper and attempted to make the cake with the abundance of zucchinis I had acquired. 
 Unfortunately in the printing or the submitting by Annette, of this recipe, the ingredient “flour” was missed out. It is not in the list of ingredients but is mentioned in the instructions … “In another bowl sift in the flour…” 
 Now I am supposing that a correction was published at a later date but I failed to see/collect this information. 
 I have searched the web for a similar recipe and even to find the article I have mentioned but to no avail. I am wondering if you (or someone who could be allocated the job) can locate the recipe/article from archives and let me know the quantity of flour. 


 Yours Sincerely 
 Fiona Van Lent

The next day I received a reply…

Annette Taylor is no longer working for the Waikato Times. However, she remains a practising freelance journalist and I'm guessing she can help you with the missing flour measurement. This is her website: 
And her contact details: 
Phone us on 07 8XX XXXX (but not during Dr Who please!) 
You can also call or text 022 XXX XXX 
Or write a letter and send it to this address: …. 

Good luck with the cake. 

Deborah Sloan 
Features editor 

OK I checked out the number8Network link (I had been there before) and there was still no cake.
Right time for action… I emailed Annette from a link on No 8

Hi Annette, 
As per the email below (I sent the email I had originally sent to Jonathan - above) I am looking for the amount of flour in your recipe “Mecki’s Courgette Cake”. 
Deborah Sloan (Features editor) replied with your contact details but no details as to the missing amount of flour! 
I’ve checked out your website but still can't find it. Could you please let me know how much flour this wonderful cake needs!!!!!!! 
Thanking you. 

Annette replied within the day

Hello Fiona - no flour? Eeeeeeek! It was either submitted that way or subbed out - hard to be certain all these years later. However - you are in luck. I am in close contact with the maker of the cake, my friend Mecki who lives in Germany. 

I shall email her straight away and will get back to you immediately. Well done for your determination - it is a lovely cake! (I will also feature the revised recipe on my community website Number 8 Network, with the flour added in this time!) 

Thanks for getting in touch. 


So I waited, the feeling of being able to post a correct recipe was warming inside me, someone who likes to be correct with the details…Finally nearly a fortnight later Annette replied with a copy of the email from her friend Mecki…

Dear Annette, 

How nice that somebody remembers our zucchini cake...we remembered right away that the amount of flour wasn´t printed in the newspaper...I think it was 250 g.....But I cannot find the newspaper, I know, it´s somewhere, but we found our diary and there I noted: 

3 eggs + 2 cups sugar+ 1 cup oil + 3 tsp vanilla mix and set away. 

1 tsp soda + 3 cups flour + 2 tsp cinnamon + 1 tsp salt (sounds too much to me...) + 1/4 tsp baking powder + 1/2 cup nuts + 2 Cups grated zucchini. 

Add Zucchini and flour mix slowly to egg mix and bake for 45 min. 

I hope that´s right, haven´t baked it for some years.... 

OK you say there it is

Um NO!

That is not the same recipe!

The basic ingredients are about the same but the amounts differ and even the flour is still a little suspect as to whether it would be the right amount for the recipe printed!

Annette has said she will try it out and post it to her website in due course.

In the mean time I too will have to experiment…
But it will have to wait until next year as there seem to be no more zucchinis around….

And I hear the Feijoas dropping…….

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