fruit cake (vegan)

16th January 2010

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I have fond childhood memories of the smell of fruit cake filling the house and eating it smothered in half-melted butter before it even had time to cool.  My favourite way of eating this cake is sitting in the garden in the afternoon with a cup of hot tea.  It is Mum’s recipe; however, I have changed it quite a bit, omitting the eggs and sugar. Beautifully moist, abundant with fruit and not overly sweet.

When I woke up this morning, I knew this was what I would bake today. I added cranberries this time 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 were all she had in her cupboard.  They added an interesting tartness, but you can experiment with any dried fruit.  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 molasses, and it has been more than sweet enough; if leaving out, replace the same amount of liquid by adding more water when simmering the dried fruit. 

Preparation 50 minutes

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

ingredients

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

1¼ cup/312ml 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 allspice

1 Tbsp baking powder

¼ cup/35g chopped crystallized ginger (optional)

50 grams flaked almonds

preparation

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

2.  Roughly chop all the dried fruit and place into a medium saucepan with the water; bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Set aside and allow to cool.

3.  Add to the saucepan orange zest, molasses, oil, vinegar, and vanilla, then puree ¾ cup of the fruit mixture, return to the pan and combine well. Set aside.

4. Place the flour, salt, baking powder, and spices in a medium bowl and stir to combine.

5. Mix the fruit mixture with the dry ingredients and gently stir the chopped crystallized ginger.

6.  Spoon the cake batter into the prepared pan and garnish the top with the flaked or whole almonds.

7.  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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