I have been baking. Not a frequent pastime these days as the end products are too tempting for one determined to lose weight. But the man about the house takes a packed lunch to work every day and needs plenty of calories to sustain him during a long physically demanding day (or so he tells me). Often he takes a few breakfast biscuits for snacking but I've decided that they contain too many chemicals (and can be rather expensive). Which is why this light spiced fruit loaf is now resting on my worktop.
I'm doing my best to resist sampling it as it's quite high in fats and carbs on account of the butter, sugar, flour, and dried fruits. Here's the recipe -
250 g mixed dried fruits (I always wash and dry these to remove the sulphur dioxide preservative)
115 g caster sugar
115 g butter
2 medium eggs
100 g brown self-raising flour
100 g plain white flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp mixed spice
125 ml skimmed milk
Note - you can use whatever suitable spices are in your cupboard
- Heat the oven to 120 degrees fan or equivalent
- Sift the flours with the baking powder and the spices
- Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy
- Beat the eggs and then gradually beat them into the sugar and butter (add a teaspoon of the flour if the eggs start to curdle)
- Fold in the flour, baking powder and spice mixture
- Stir in the milk
- Mix gently until smooth (ish)
- Fold in the dried fruit
- Put the mixture in the prepared loaf tin and smooth the top flat
- Bake for around one and a quarter hours
- The cake should be cooked when it starts to come away from the sides of the tin
- Test the cake by inserting a skewer. If it comes out clean the cake is ready
- If the skewer does not come out clean bake for a few minutes longer.
- Remove from the oven and leave to stand in the tin for around half an hour
- Tip out on to a wire rack and allow to cool before cutting
OK, I admit it. I crumbled, along with the cake, and sampled a slice. Very tasty. As it's Sunday it deserved some nice china and a cup of tea.
The cake is quite moist and crumbly when fresh. In theory, it will probably keep for up to a week in a cake tin.