Lazy leftovers cake…a cake for all times
A gloriously laissez faire affaire full of bonhomie and warmth. It has its roots in the frugality of Nana’s war time fruit cake when eggs, butter and sugar were scarce. This was simply what you did for the generation that believed throwing away food was “the work of the devil”. Fast forward to these food sensitive times and we have a right on “recycled vegan low GI GF gateau” oh trendy dears. Whatever its name..it is a cake for all times in every sense – judging by the number of second helpings this Easter and enthusiasm from the marauding feline contingent too.
Ingredients – for a 20cmx20cm square tin, or two smaller loaf tins
- 500g of dried fruit (In this cake we used some dates but we got bored as they had stones in, we had cranberries,sultanas and walnuts. All dried fruits work well…I have used apricots, cherries, raisins, prunes…whatever needs using up in the cupboard). Macerate the fruit in the tea.
- 3 very ripe pretty black bananas mashed – the type you throw away
- 50g crystallised ginger – dont panic if you do not have just use a little more ginger powder
- 300g ginger tea or fruit tea or Earl Grey tea – I use dodgy tea bags that have lost their tags or I really cant be bothered to drink without milk. Booze added here (to the mixture) of course is always a bonus..except by this stage I think we had swigged the PIMMS.
- 250g oil – here is a chance to add a bit of OMG ooomph…I use sunflower oil and then put in a teaspoon of linseed…a teaspoon of hemp to turbo charge things
sweetness: classic cake requires 200g sugar. For diabetics and those sensitive to sugar I use
- 75ml agave syrup + 75 fructose (remember you have the bananas and fructose is sweeter than sugar) or 150g fructose
- not so sensitive and in the spirit of recycling food, I have often made this cake with leftover jam. 200g of leftover jam. I do not use honey as it has a fairly high GI and cooking it gets rid of its beneficial properties.
Flour: 500g of white or wholemeal flour or your mix of GF flour. What I use is:
- 100g Amidon ie Cornflour+300g Rice Flour + 100g Oat Flour
The heavy lifters:
As there are no eggs you need the baking powder and bicarbonate to work as hard as possible:
- 15g baking powder (3tsp)
- 5g Bicarbonate of Soda (5g)
- 1tablespoon vinegar (I used raspberry vinegar in this version ..it just seemed right. beware of commercial so called balsamic vinegar for diabetics or the revolting “glaze” concoctions …it is caramel syrup blended with industrial vinegar).
Spice and all things nice:
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 1tsp dried ginger
- 1tsp ground cardamon
- 1/4tsp ground cloves
Line your cake tin first with baking paper and feel free to have that origami moment – its quite fine. Use a little bit of cooking oil to make sure the paper doesn’t go flying about all over the place. I use scissors, sometimes a ruler and make sure the paper fits. We don’t really need untidy scrunched up baking paper in our tins. I think I’ve made my point.
In a large mixing bowl place all the ingredients. After the dried fruits have absorbed most of the liquid stir gently until all the ingredients come together. Do not over mix otherwise you develop the gluten and create a “leathery” cake.
Add the rising agents, spices and the vinegar and give it one last stir.
Gently pour (it is a fairly liquid mix, not like a traditional creamed fruit cake mix) into the tin. Clean the bowl “ecologically” as illustrated in one of our photos above.
Bake gently at 160C until a skewer placed in the centre comes out clean. You may need to put a foil cover over the top of the cake to stop the top burning – it depends how fierce your oven is. Probably 40mins – 1hour depending on your oven but keep testing the cake. Allow to cool. The cake is much much better after 1 day and cuts much better too. Some ate it plain, some with butter…I had a penchant for a slice with a piece of strong cheddar.