fruitcake

16th January 2010

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I have such fond childhood memories of the smell of fruitcake filling the house and especially eating it smothered in butter before it even has time to cool.  My favourite way of eating this cake is sitting in the garden in the afternoon with a cup of hot tea.  The original recipe came from my mother.  I have changed it quite a bit, taking out the eggs, sugar and experimented until it was just right.  Beautifully moist, abundant with fruit, but without the over-sweetness.

When I woke up this morning, I knew this was what I was going to bake today. This time I added cranberries, only because I didn’t have enough sultanas to make up the 500 grams.  Also, when I raced up to my friend, Anna’s house, cranberries was all she had in her cupboard.  They added an interesting tartness to it, but you can experiment with any dried fruit you like.  I have also added dried apple pieces in the past.  I particularly like the addition of the dried figs as they add a real decadent flavour to the cake.

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fruitcake

I have made this without the liquid sweetener and has been more than sweet enough, if leaving out, make sure to replace the same amount of liquid by adding more water when simmering the dried fruit. 

Makes one 9-inch cake/or one rectangular 13 x 6-inch cake

ingredients:

500g mixed fruit (300 grams sultanas or raisins, 100g cranberries, a 100g mix of figs, dates and apricots)

1¼ cup/312 ml water

¼ cup molasses/date syrup

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil /or oil of choice

zest of one orange

1 Tbsp vinegar

1 Tbsp vanilla essence

¾ cup/100g white flour

1 cup/120g whole-wheat flour

¼ tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

½ tsp mixed spice

1 Tblsp baking powder

¼ cup/35g chopped crystallized ginger (optional)

50 grams flaked almonds

preparation:

Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F. Lightly oil a piece of parchment paper about 13 x 13 inches and line cake pan and sides of the pan.  Set aside.

Roughly chop all the dry fruit and place into a medium saucepan with the water.  Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Set aside and allow to cool. Add to the saucepan the orange zest, molasses, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.  Puree ¾ cup of the fruit mixture, return to the pan and combine well. Set aside.

Meanwhile, place the flours, salt, baking powder, and spices in a medium bowl and stir to combine.  Add the wet cooked fruit mixture to the dry ingredients.  Mix well, and gently stir in the chopped crystallized ginger.  Spoon the cake batter into the prepared pan and garnish the top with the flaked or whole almonds. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or until cooked and a skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool completely before removing from the pan.  Slice and serve with your favourite tea.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

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