This recipe is a great, not totally naughty but lovely and indulgent, afternoon treat! The healthy combination of ingredients are transformed, with a little love and effort, into a very tasty loaf that will make the whole family happy. Not to mention the fact that many ingredients in this recipe can be replaced with any of the fruits, seeds and nuts that have been cluttering your kitchen cupboards for months!
60 g/1⁄2 cup dried plums
60 g/1⁄2 cup dates
40 g/1⁄3 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons dried goji berries
60 g/1⁄2 cup raisins
330 ml/11⁄2 cups strong, hot tea (eg. rosehip and aniseed)
3 tablespoons brown rice or pure maple syrup
freshly squeezed juice and grated zest of 1 orange
65 g/1⁄3 cup sunflower oil
200 g/1 1⁄2 cups flour (eg. unbleached spelt flour plus unbleached plain/ all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of/ baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
110 g/2⁄3 cup chopped cashews
110 g/2⁄3 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts or pine nuts
1-kg/2-lb. loaf pan, oiled
Makes 8–10 slices
Chop all the dried fruit into pieces roughly the same size as the raisins. Take the strong, hot tea and pour over the chopped fruit in a mixing bowl. Allow it to steep for at least 30 minutes or longer.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.
Add the syrup, orange juice and zest and the oil to the bowl of soaked fruit and mix well.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of/baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cashews, walnuts and hazelnuts or pine nuts. Add them to the fruit mixture and mix again with a wooden spoon until incorporated.
Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared loaf pan and spread level with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 45–55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Serve a slice of the cake with a cup of hot tea, of the same type used in the cake!
For more sweet and savoury vegan recipes, check out The Vegan Baker by Dunja Gulin.