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Delicious Bites: Zucchini Lime and Pecan Cake Recipe

Would you like to try a yummy Zucchini Lime and Pecan Cake Recipe? Hi everyone, it’s Jillian here with another Delicious Bites recipe for you this month. This time last year, I asked Holly’s readers for some recipe suggestions. A reader, Gillian, suggested a recipe for a courgette and lime sponge cake and I went to work in my kitchen.

Zucchini lime and pecan cake

I love cakes made with vegetables and nuts, so I made a zucchini, lime and pecan cake, photographed it and took it into work to be evaluated by my test audience. They loved the cake but when the time came to post the recipe, I’d mislaid it. I made my way back into the kitchen to create the recipe which I adapted from the carrot and almond cake recipe from ‘Marcella’s Kitchen’ by Marcella Hazan. I scribbled the recipe onto the back of an envelope and stuck it to my fridge for safekeeping.

The addition of the zucchini makes this a lovely moist and nutty cake. Please don’t skip drying out the grated zucchini on kitchen paper or a tea towel before adding it to the batter. I did that the first time I made the cake and the batter was very runny. There’s no fat in the actual cake recipe but I couldn’t help myself when it came to the icing.

I just love cream cheese icing/frosting and adding zingy lime to the mix only makes it better, in my opinion. In the first version of the cake I topped it with some lime glace icing, so if you’d like a lower fat version of the cake that also works really well. For decoration I added some toffee pecans which I found on this lovely Australian food blog, The Food Department. Here’s the recipe for you – Zucchini Lime and Pecan Cake – makes one 8 inch cake…

zucchini lime and pecan cake

Cake
275 g (9 oz) zucchini/courgette, grated and dried on kitchen paper
5 eggs, separated
250 g (8 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
2 limes, rind grated
250 g (8 oz) ground toasted pecans
100 g (3 1/2 oz) sponge finger crumbs or dried breadcrumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1 20 ml tbs lime juice

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Icing
45 g (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter
90 g (3 oz) cream cheese
1 tsp grated lime rind
1 1/2 cups sifted icing (confectioners) sugar
1- 2 tsp lime juice

zucchini lime and pecan cake

Toffee Pecans
1/2 cup sugar
30 mls (2 tbs) water
12-18 toasted pecans

cake

Cake
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F (conventional oven). Line the base and sides of an 8 inch round tin with baking paper. In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks, sugar and rind until light and fluffy and trebled in volume. Mix the ground pecans, the sponge finger crumbs and baking powder together in a bowl. Gently fold into the egg yolk mixture along with the lime juice and the grated zucchini. In a clean dry bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites through the zucchini mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 50 – 60 minutes in the centre of the oven or until the cake is well risen and tests cooked when tested with a skewer. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely before icing. The cake will sink a little as it cools.

Icing
Cream together the unsalted butter, cream cheese and grated rind until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and sufficient lime juice to form a soft icing. Beat for about 3 minutes.
This makes sufficient icing to ice the top of an 8 inch cake.

Toffee Pecans
In a small saucepan combine the sugar and water and bring the mixture to the boil. Boil steadily until the toffee turns a golden brown. Take the toffee off the heat and using a skewer coat each pecan with the toffee. Allow to cool on baking paper. Coarsely chop the pecans and use to decorate the cake with a little extra grated lime rind.

Zucchini lime and pecan cake

Zucchini lime and pecan cake

I hope you like the recipe. I’ll be back again next month with another Delicious Bites post. Bye for now, Jillian

(text/images: jillian leiboff)

Posted in Delicious Bites on May 06, 2014

Decorate With Flowers Launch Party In Vancouver – You’re Invited!

Hello friends! If you are living in or around Vancouver, Canada I have a very special surprise for you! Our friends at The Cross will throw a party in honor of our new book, Decorate With Flowers, in their gorgeous shop on May 9th. They were such a huge help when we shot some of our Vancouver locations, lending props and providing location help, so for them to go and throw a party for us is just too kind. We are really excited! Leslie will be there signing copies of the book and she will make custom bouquets, too!

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Decorate With Flowers Book Launch Party

Friday, May 9, 2014 from 3:00-5:00 pm

The Cross, 1198 Homer Street, Vancouver, Canada

To RSVP for this very special event and to make sure you reserve your bouquet, please CLICK HERE.

Leslie and I are working on a plan to do more events. We had originally agreed to do a North American tour with Chronicle Books sponsored by West Elm because they so nicely offered to put us on a book tour, but then I got pregnant and now, I have an infant to care for and since he is still so young, I simply cannot break away to do a tour in the states at this time. Leslie may do a few events in California and maybe a NYC stop but we’re still trying to figure things out. We will definitely do a big launch party together in London later this summer with Anthropologie on Kings Road and we hope to also throw a party in Germany and possibly others countries since the book will release in Italian, Dutch and French in September in addition to German and our two English language editions. (Here is where you can learn more about our publishers and publicists in case you would like a copy to review.)

Oh, and we just found out that Decorate With Flowers will be available in Japanese at the end of the year, so I’m thinking to perhaps go to Tokyo next March to launch the book there and meet some lovely fans and friends – and bring my baby and husband, too! So that’s the update on the book tour for our lovely book.

(image: chronicle books/the cross)

Posted in events + markets on April 29, 2014

Simple Times: Wild Garlic Bread Recipe

Hello lovely decor8 readers! It’s Rincy again with another Simple Times post. How have you all been doing? While the year started off slowly for some of us, life is well and truly catching up this month. Cherry blossoms, florals and herbs are bursting on the scene with such humbling beauty it’s impossible not to be infected with that spring spirit. A few weeks ago, one of our friends broke the mould of a seasonal gathering and led us out for an afternoon of foraging wild garlic. What followed thereafter was six hours of real conversation, a shared meal over bread and dips and that feeling of ‘why didn’t we do this sooner’? There really is something about breaking bread together that draws friendships closer.

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Here’s hoping that this encourages you to do the same this month. This bread recipe is one of the simplest to put together and a complete treat to accompany any meal.

Wild Garlic Bread - 
Recipe courtesy of Jette Virdi (adapted from Ballymaloe)

450g plain flour
12-14fl oz butter milk [if you don't have butter milk: try regular milk with juice of 1 lemon squeezed in, stirred and left for a little. should go a little thicker/lumpier]
pinch of salt
big handful of wild garlic

Preheat oven to 230C, Mix flour, salt and wild garlic. Add half milk and mix in circular motion. Then add remaining milk in stages. Once it comes together turn out dough onto lightly floured surface then make it round. Try not to play around with it too much as it will lose it’s ‘rise’. Cook for 15mins at 230C then turn oven down to 200C and cook for roughly 30-40mins. To check if cooked, turn upside down and tap the bottom, should sound hollow if cooked.

Words/Images: Rincy, Food + Recipe: Jette VirdiBallymaloe)

Posted in Simple Times on April 29, 2014

WIN: Livingetc Home Tour Tix + Magazine Subscriptions!

Hello everyone! I’m so happy to announce that Livingetc and I have teamed up to offer decor8 readers a special chance to not only receive free tickets to their prestigious home tour event on May 9th in Notting Hill BUT also five 6-month subscriptions to the Livingetc iPad edition. It will work like this: those who win the tickets should be living somewhere nearby to the event since the magazine isn’t paying for travel. However, each ticket is valued at £75 and since their are only a limited number of them, whoever wins is sure to have a lovely time at a very special event. Livingetc and decor8 will give away 2 tickets to 2 winners and 5 subscriptions to 5 additional winners so we’ll have 7 winners total for this contest.

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More information about the event: On May 9 from 10am-4pm, join us for an exclusive and inspirational visit to four homes you’ve seen in Livingetc, plus explore our pop-up Livingetc House – a first for us – full of the latest ideas and new directions in interiors, styled by our very own creative team. Listen to a talk on how to shape and style ideas for your own space, given by the team at Livingetc at the nearby iconic Electric Cinema, then wander around the Notting Hill area, making the most of our special shopping offers at local stores.

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If you win, your exclusive Livingetc House Tours Plus ticket includes:
* Access to four stylish houses in Notting Hill, previously featured in Livingetc
* NEW! Tour of the specially curated Livingetc House
* PLUS! An inspiring design talk at the Electric Cinema
* Exclusive offers at local stores
* FREE! A three-month print subscription to Livingetc (this can added to the end of any existing subscription)

Five Runner’s Up:
* 6-month iPad subscription to Livingetc

TO ENTER, please comment below and let us know if you want to attend the event OR if you want the iPad subscription. Giveaway closes at midnight Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, May 1st. We will hold the drawing this Friday, May 2nd and winners will be posted on decor8 at that time. Good luck you guys!!!!

May 6, 2014: The winners have been chosen and contacted by Livingetc directly. They are:

The winners for the tour:
Nitasha
Marita Calero

The winners for the iPad Subscription:
Mari
Hannah
Kerry
Monika
Jill

(images: livingetc.)

Posted in contests on April 29, 2014

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

eCourses:

Next dates

Blogging Your Way: Blog Boss
e-course, October 10 - November 10, 2014
Find out more about this exciting class by bloggers, for bloggers, teaching you how to blog like a boss!