Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Fruity Fruit Cakes

I would like to say this recipe was born from a place of great and profound inspiration, but in reality I was just trying to use up an ageing packet of dried fruit found in the back of the cupboard. You know the sort I mean, with sultanas like bullets and peel like rubber. To breathe life into such sorry ingredients I’ve steeped the fruit in a strong and sweet black tea, then added notes of lemon and vanilla to perk the whole thing up. Finally I’ve used a lovely light olive oil in place of the more conventional lubrication to inject even more fruitiness into the whole concoction. I think the finished cakes are rather splendid indeed and the perfect antidote to the dull days we must all get used to over the coming months. So have at it!

Prep time: 15 Mins (Plus steeping time)
Baking time: 30-35 Mins
275g Mixed Dried Fruit
A pot of strong, hot Black Tea
25g Golden or Maple Syrup
175g Light Brown Sugar
200g Plain Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
2 Large Eggs and 1 Yolk
175ml Olive Oil
1tsp Vanilla Extract
1tsp Lemon Extract
A drizzle of gold or maple syrup to finish

The first task is to steep the fruit. Place the fruit in a large heatproof container and cover with tea. Add the 25g of syrup, stir together and leave to steep for an hour until the tea has cooled to room temperature. Once steeped drain the fruit, retaining a little of the liquor then it’s onto the cake mixture.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases. Add the sugar, flour and baking powder to a large mixing bowl, then mix together and make a well in the middle. Add the eggs, oil and extracts, mix until evenly combined, the add the fruit, along with 1tbsp of the steeping liquor and do the same. Spoon the mixture equally into each paper case and bake in the centre of the oven for around 30-35 minutes, until the cakes have risen, are golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of one of the cakes. When you are happy they are baked remove the cakes from the oven, carefully remove from the tray and place on a wire rack. Drizzle with a little syrup to and leave to cool. Fin.

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