Courgette, Lime & Pistachio Sponge with Dark Chocolate Ganache

This is a lovely summery cake – the combination of fresh pistachios (click here to buy our raw pistachio kernels) and zingy lime with a rich, dark chocolate ganache is perfect for afternoon tea on a sunny day (although it is also yummy simply by itself, without the dark chocolate icing). Don’t be put off by the mention of courgette – you can’t actually taste it. Instead, it simply makes the sponge beautifully light and yet moist, and replaces the butter to make this a healthy, totally guilt-free cake. You could even claim a slice was one of your five a day…

A note on ingredients: we’ve used rapeseed oil in the recipe, and we’d highly recommend the Granary Oil Company’s cold-pressed rapeseed oil – check out their website. If you can’t get hold of any, you can substitute ordinary vegetable oil.






1 large courgette (about 250g)

2 eggs

125ml rapeseed oil

150g granulated sugar

225g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

3 limes (zest only)

A big handful of Pistachio Provenance raw pistachios

For the ganache:

300ml double cream

225g dark chocolate, broken up


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Make the ganache first, as it needs time to cool and thicken. Warm the double cream on the hob until it starts to become frothy, and then pour over the chocolate and stir vigorously until it has completely melted. Set aside.
  1. Beat together the eggs, oil and sugar. Roughly chop the Pistachio Provenance raw pistachios, and set a few aside for decoration. Add the rest to the egg mixture with the flour and baking powder, and mix again. Finally, zest the three limes and add most of the zest to the mixture, again saving a little to decorate the top of the cake.
  1. Coarsely grate the courgette, peel and all, and stir through the cake mixture. Grease two sandwich tins and line the bottom with baking parchment, and then divide the cake mixture evenly between the two tins. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  1. When 30 minutes is up, the cakes should be well-risen, and a tester inserted into the middle should come out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for a few minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely.
  1. The ganache is ready when it has taken on a thick, firm texture like chocolate spread. Sandwich the two cakes together with a layer of ganache, then cover the outside with the rest. Finish off with a sprinkling of your reserved pistachios and lime zest.