Fruit Cake – Grain, Dairy and Sugar Free

Recipe development for grain, dairy and sugar free fruit cake was a natural progression after several successful bakes of my cake  with raisins and walnuts, free from any sugars and natural sweeteners. Though peach season is over now, and I can’t use puree made from fresh peaches, I still had some frozen portions of peach puree, just in case I want to continue to bake cakes free of all sugars and all natural sweeteners, including honey.

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I had this cake in mind as grain, dairy and sugar free version of Christmas, or any festive cake. It can be baked in advance and this recipe can be used as a base with plenty of options to add your favourite spices and adjust dried fruit and nut mix. Without any syrups and honey, baking process is free of the danger to burn the cake.

Ingredients: for a regular size ring cake

  • 100g pitted organic prunes
  • 100g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 200g organic sultanas/raisins
  • 100g orange peel made with honey (I used my own homemade)
  • 200g peeled and cored fresh apple pieces
  • 300g concentrated peach puree
  • 4 large eggs ( 210-220g without shells)
  • 150g organic pumpkin seeds, ground and sifted
  • 230g almond meal, sifted (larger pieces which did not go through the sifter have to be ground and put through the sifter again)
  • 20g cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tea spoon pure vanilla powder (use any source of vanilla you can tolerate)
  • 7g baking soda
  • 1-2 table spoons orange juice to plump sultanas and prunes (if dry)

I had very juicy prunes which I used without any preliminary preparation.

Preparation:

  • heat orange juice and add it to the bowl with sultanas, cover the bowl and let it absorb orange juice 24-48 hours on a benchtop or 3-4 days in the fridge
  • chop walnuts, prunes and orange peel
  • dry excess moisture from sultanas, add them to nut and dried fruit mix
  • add 1 table spoon of almond meal to the mixture, cover the bowl and shake it to dust the surface of the dried fruit and nut mixture

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  • carefully separate clusters of dried fruits to have each piece separate, it will help with the even distribution of fruits and nuts in the cake
  • mix all dry ingredients (sifted) together – almond meal,  ground pumpkin seeds, cinnamon and vanilla powder, and baking soda

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  • mix them together with a whisk for 1 min to fully combine
  • blend peeled and cored apple pieces in food processor for 1min, when they become the size of a grain of rice or a touch larger, add eggs and peach puree
  • blend on a medium to high-speed for 7-8min, until pale and nearly triple in volume
  • transfer the mix into a wide bowl

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  • add and mix in dry ingredients
  • add dried fruit and nut mix
  • thoroughly incorporate the mix into the batter
  • grease ring baking pan with oil of your choice (I used avocado oil))
  • spoon the batter into the pan, it will be a thick batter
  • using small silicone spatula level the surface of the batter, I prefer when dried fruit pieces are not left on the surface, they usually burn

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  • bake in preheated to 160C (no fan) oven for 70min, if necessary cover the cake pan with foil at the later stage of baking (it was not necessary in my case)
  • leave the cake in the baking pan for 15-20min

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  • when you can feel that the cake can be separated from the pan (it has to be able to move inside the pan), turn it on a wire rack and place it in still warm, but turned off oven, this will crisp up the crust, which is usually becoming slightly soggy during resting period
  • let the cake rest overnight before serving

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The cake only gets better with time. All flavours settle and the cake develops its unique taste.

The cake can be served with soft frosting, which can be applied on the cake. To make the frosting I usually combine my own cranberry jam, thick peach puree with solid portion of coconut cream from the tin, which was left in the fridge overnight.

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Any thick puree made from fresh fruits can be used. On some occasions I used persimmon puree with cranberry jam or thick sauce made with honey.

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The ratio of coconut cream to fruit mix is 1 : 1, 100g of coconut cream, 50g of cranberry sauce and 50g of peach/persimmon puree.

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Cashews can be used to thicken the frosting and make it more dense, with the consistency similar to that of regular sugar icing.

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Different lighting (sunny and overcast) changes the colour of the cake in a photograph. I decided to publish 2 photos to make a better judgement about cake appearance. Cake is served with cranberry cashew frosting and raspberry chia jam.

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