Zucchini, Fig & Almond Loaf

One of our guests' favourite Summer canapes - and just perfect for using up the lodge-grown zucchini crop!
 
3-4 medium zucchini (21/4 cups grated after squeezing out water*) 2 tsp cumin seeds (or 1 tsp each cumin/aniseeds), toasted
21/4 cups plain flour                                                                           finely grated zest 1 lemon
1 tsp sea salt                                                                                        1 cup thinly sliced dried figs
1 tsp baking powder                                                                            70gms slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 tsp baking soda                                                                              3 eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar (or sweetener of choice)                                     3/4 cup rice bran or canola oil
To serve: soft ripe cheese (Brie/Camembert), local honey & toasted nuts
 
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F. Grease & line with baking paper two small loaf pans (approx 1 litre capacity each).
Grate the zucchini (courgette) and place in a clean tea towel. Roll up tightly and squeeze out all the excess moisture.*
Place flour, salt, baking powder & baking soda, sugar, toasted seeds, lemon zest, figs, almonds and the zucchini in a large bowl and toss so the figs and zucchini are well coated in flour and not clumped together.
Whisk the eggs and oil together and stir into the zucchini mixture to make a very thick batter. Make sure there are no pockets of flour left in the batter.
Spoon into the tins and press it into an even layer with a fork or spoon. Bake for 45-50mins or until a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean. Cool in the tins.
To serve: slice the loaf thickly and spread with soft cheese & a drizzle of honey. (We use Whitestone Cheese Mt Domet Double Cream Brie.)
Wrap the loaf in greaseproof paper & store in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze.