250g margarine or butter
150g soft brown sugar
100g caster sugar
250g S.R. Flour
250g soft dried apricots
300g golden sultanas
200g drained crushed pineapple
100g ground almonds
100g mixed peel (optional)
100g walnut pieces
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 medium carrot
Prep to Cook: Oven 170C or Gas Mark 3
Line a 20cm square cake tin with double layer of parchment paper
Hand held mixer, teaspoon, spatula, chopping board, vegetable knife, sieve
Place margarine or butter with the caster and light brown sugar and cream together
Crack the eggs into a bowl and break them up to combine yolk and white
Gradually beat into the cake mixture
Stir in the sieved flour and ground cinnamon and add drained pineapple
Snip the dried apricots with scissors to make diced fruit portions and add to cake mix
Stir in sultanas, ground almonds and walnuts
Check the mixture is soft and creamy and add finely grated carrot.
Tip into prepared cake tin and level the top
Cook gently at 170C or Gas 3 for about one and a half hours
Check it is risen and golden and firm in the centre
Remove and cool in the cooking tin
Light and crumbly fruit cake is full of good things and is easy to make. It is perfect for packed lunches and home-time snacks. Make on Sunday eat all week. Using dried apricots. pineapple and grated carrot provides a healthy aspect to this cake making it perfect for growing children. The orange coloured fruit and vegetables in this recipe supply a type of Vitamin A called carotene.
Cooks Know How:
Once you master the ‘creaming method’ you can experiment all you like with different additions to vary flavours and textures. The creaming method is selected when the proportion of sugar and fat in a cake is equal. Usually the weight of eggs and the flour amount are also in similar in proportion. Once the eggs have been beaten in, to trap air and make the cake light, the remaining ingredients are simply mixed in using a big spoon and figure of eight action. This stirring simply integrates the additions that are chosen to add flavours and textures.
Using soft dried apricots gives a lovely orangey colour and fruity flavour. The carrot enhances the colour and moistens the cake giving it a longer shelf life as does the mixed peel and ground almonds. Golden sultanas and pineapple enrich the fruitiness. The walnuts add texture, flavour and bulk. This cake needs to be cooked gently until it forms a golden flat-topped cake that cuts into gorgeous squares.
Cake supplies dietary energy and calories from the fat and sugars used but it also supplies vitamins and minerals from the nuts and dried fruits.
Try making this cake again and substitute the mixed peel with desiccated coconut and the drained crushed pineapple with white chocolate chips.