SQUIDGY FRUIT CAKE
When I first became vegan, and long before I became a runner, I was worried that being vegan would stop me being able to eat cake. I’m not a big cake eater but I love Christmas & Simmel cake. In fact any kind of fruit cake really! So I was really happy to discover Lisa Fabry’s book, Divine Vegan Deserts a few years ago. It is full of fantastic cakes and puddings but the Squidgy fruit cake really took my fancy, especially as it was coming up to Easter. This cake was easy to make and totally delicious. It’s packed full of delicious fruits and, most importantly for me, contains lots of lovely marzipan which help keep this cake sticky and moist all the way through.
I have tampered with the recipe a few times. I have not frozen the marzipan & it worked out fine & I’ve also used dried apples instead of pears when I couldn’t get pears & it was still good although I do prefer the pear version.
It is a very quick & easy cake to make but it does take 2 hours to bake. So I recommend putting this cake in the oven & then going out for a run while it’s cooking. After all you’ll be able to enjoy your cake so much more after a good run!
According to Lisa the cake gets better after a few days but I can’t comment on this as it’s never lasted that long!
- 1 pack (250 g) marzipan
- 1 ¼ cups (200 g) dried pears, chopped
- 1 ¼ cups (200 g) dried apricots, chopped
- 1 ¼ cups (200 g) sultanas
- 1 cup (250 ml) orange or apple juice
- 2 ½ cups (350 g) wholemeal or spelt flour
- 3/4 cup (100 g) ground almonds
- zest of 2 lemons
- 1 cup (200 g) brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons flax meal, whisked with 2/3 cup (160 ml) water
- 2/3 cup (160 ml) oil
The night before you make the cake, chop the marzipan into 1cm (1/2”) cubes and lay on a baking tray or freezer box in a single layer. Freeze overnight. Chop the apricots and pears and put in a large bowl with the sultanas and juice. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
The day that you bake the cake, preheat the oven to 140°C/275°F/Gas 1.
Line the base and sides of a 23cm (9”) deep, loose-based cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, extending it about 5cm (2”) above the level of the pan. This will prevent the cake from burning during the long cooking time.
Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the ground almonds, lemon zest and sugar. Whisk the egg replacer and water until fluffy. Add egg replacer, oil, frozen marzipan and soaked fruit to the flour and mix thoroughly. It should be a heavy mixture, hard to stir. You’ll know it’s right if, when you hold up a spoonful of mixture, it slowly drops off the spoon. If it seems too dry, add a little more juice, or some non-dairy milk to loosen it a bit. Spoon into the baking tin and flatten down.
Bake for around two hours, maybe a little more or a little less, until cooked but not too dry. To test if the cake is ready, insert a metal or wooden skewer into the centre – if it comes out clean, it’s cooked. If the cake starts to get too brown before it is cooked, cover with foil. When it’s done, remove from oven and stand the tin on a wire cooling rack to cool. Then remove the cake from the tin and wrap in parchment and foil to keep it moist. Be careful not to overcook this cake or you’ll end up with ‘Dry Fruit Cake’ which isn’t nearly as nice.
Thanks to Lisa Fabry for permission to use the recipe & photo. http://divinevegan.com/