Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Cake of Virtue

Frequent flyers will know by now that I rarely concern myself with what is ‘healthy’. Cake is an indulgence, a luxury and its purpose should be gratification, not nutrition. If we are relatively chaste in our general food and lifestyle choices then sweet treats can be enjoyed with complete guilt-free satisfaction. With that in mind I do occasionally receive requests for more wholesome options, so if you are looking for a recipe that is slightly more respectable, then this is for you.

I’ve used spelt flour and a natural low calorie and low GI fruit based sweetener, which you find in most supermarkets. I’ve also thrown in some ground almonds, to further accentuate the mild nuttiness of the spelt as well as some sweet dried vine fruit and mixed spice. The sweetener has a mild honeyed flavour which marries beautifully with a little warm spicing. Although this is a variant of a standard fruit cake, I’ve made an apple cake and banana cake with the same base recipe.

Admittedly, despite its qualities the cake still isn’t strictly healthy, but when one’s business is sin, this is about as virtuous as it gets!

Prep time: 20 Mins
Baking time: 50 Mins
125g Spelt Flour
100g Ground Almonds
1tsp Baking Powder
1.5tsp Mixed Spice
250g Dried Vine Fruit
3 Large Eggs
200ml Vegetable Oil
175g Fruit Sweetener

Despite the unusual ingredients, the process for this cake is still straightforward. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4, grease a 20cm deep loose bottomed cake tin and line the base with baking paper. In a large bowl mix together the flour, almonds, baking powder, spice and fruit. In a separate bowl or large jug beat the eggs into the oil, then pour over the dry ingredients. Drizzle in the fruit sweetener then mix to an even batter.

Spoon the batter into your prepared tin, smooth to the edges, then bake in the centre of the oven for around 50 minutes, until a metal skewer can be cleanly removed when inserted into the middle of the cake. When you are satisfied the cake is cooked remove it from the oven and leave in the tin for 20 minutes.

When the tin is cool enough to handle, carefully remove the cake, peeling off the paper and leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Enjoy with a cup of tea and a (relatively) clear conscience!

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