Posted by: aboutalbion | June 24, 2012

Low fat fruit cake

This is a nourishing low fat fruit cake that is quite simple to make.  The picture shows the one I baked yesterday in a lined 8in (20cm) cake tin (with detachable bottom).

100g currents
125g raisins
125g sultanas
175g dark brown soft sugar
100g glace cherries (I cut up about eighteen cherries into quarters)
300mL hot strong tea

I put the vine fruits, sugar, and cherries in a large bowl, and then pour in (and mix) the hot tea.  Cover and leave to soak for two hours (or overnight).

300g wholemeal self-raising flour
1T ground mixed spice
1 egg (lightly beaten)
(optional) any lemon or orange zest that may be to hand

Into the large bowl with the soaked fruit, I sift the flour and spice, and add the egg (and any zest).  Stir until well mixed.  Then pour the mixture into the lined cake tin (and level the top).

 I put the cake (with a cover) into the middle of a pre-heated oven at GM4 (180C, 350F), and bake for 90 minutes (turning after 45 minutes) – until firm to touch on top.

I let the cake stand for five minutes, and then remove the cake from the tin.

[After another five minutes, I have been known to invert the (still hot) cake, trim the lining to just cover the circular base, remove the base lining, and drizzle 2T of whisky into the base.  After a few more minutes, I return the lining to the base, turn the cake the right way up, and cool on a wire rack.]

If I can wait that long, I find that this cake is best a few days after baking …

[Note: in my recipes, 1T = one tablespoon, 1D = one dessertspoon, 1t = one teaspoon.]

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Responses

  1. Hi there –

    Thanks for this recipe – is the cake moist and palatable since it does not have any fat (either oil or butter) in it –

    also – can I add some Brandy to it before I bake it

    Best

    Lara

    • I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do, Lara. Yes, it is deliciously soft and moist and palatable and fruity. It is a low fat cake because it has no oil or butter, just the fat in one egg (distributed across, say, twelve slices). And yes, of course, you can add some brandy before you bake it. When I add the extra special liquid after baking, I say to myself that it is ‘a preservative’!. BW Howard

  2. Hi Howard –

    Thanks for your quick reply – I was actually surprised to receive one as most people do not reply back for whatever reason –

    I am in the US (Boston, Mass) and we are not known for our fruitcake – Americans have not tasted good fruitcake so we can forgive them for making fruitcake jokes – I was lucky enough to live in London for a year and I grew very fond of fruitcake – especially the ones with Marzipan icing – I used to buy them at Marks and Sparks and my Uncle and I used to eat them at tea time – I also loved the other pastries at M&S – like eclairs and cream puffs but the fruitcake was my favorite –

    Regarding the measurements – we do not go by grams here – so I googled and found out that 100 gms of raisens is about 1 cup – so I will have to google the other ingredients and go from there –

    I am also thinking of using oat flour as opposed to whole wheat flour as this will make the cake healthier – lets hope it does not change the taste of the cake – do you think it would??

    Thanks again –

    Best

    Lara

    • Hello again Lara

      I’m glad that you have spotted a gap in the market for fruit cakes in New England! Although my cake looks like a fruit cake, and tastes like a fruit cake, technically, it is not a fruit cake because of the absence of butter etc. The story that has come down to me is that this recipe is what the allied troops in the First Word War made in their mess tins in the trenches on the front line – because butter was in very short supply. The hook for me was the low fat aspect of the cake … So here I go with a rewrite of the recipe for readers in New England … [If you still go ahead with this cake, I would be glad to know if the translation of the quantities leads to anything like a satisfactory result. I think the switch from whole wheat flour to oat flour may be quite tricky, but not impossible …]

      “Prepare a lined 8in cake tin (with detachable bottom).

      2 and 1/3 cups of dried fruit (roughly equal quantities of currents, raisins, sultanas)
      7/8 cup of dark brown soft sugar
      about eighteen glace cherries (cut up into quarters)
      1 and ¼ cups of hot strong tea

      I put the vine fruits, sugar, and cherries in a large bowl, and then pour in (and mix) the hot tea. Cover and leave to soak for two hours (or overnight).

      2 cups of wholemeal self-raising flour OR 3+ cups of oat flour (possibly with 2t of baking powder per cup of oat flour to make up for the absence of gluten)
      1T ground mixed spice
      1 egg (lightly beaten)
      (optional) any lemon or orange zest that may be to hand

      Into the large bowl with the soaked fruit, I sift the flour and spice, and add the egg (and any zest). Stir until well mixed. (The consistency at this stage should be very sticky and only just able to be poured – consider adding a little extra water or flour to achieve this.)

      Then pour the mixture into the lined cake tin (and level the top).

      I put the cake (with a cover) into the middle of a pre-heated oven at GM4 (180C, 350F), and bake for 90 minutes (turning after 45 minutes) – until firm to touch on top.

      I let the cake stand for five minutes, and then remove the cake from the tin.

      [After another five minutes, I have been known to invert the (still hot) cake, trim the lining to just cover the circular base, remove the base lining, and drizzle 2T of whisky into the base. After a few more minutes, I return the lining to the base, turn the cake the right way up, and cool on a wire rack.]

      If I can wait that long, I find that this cake is best a few days after baking …

      [Note: 1T = one tablespoon, 1t = one teaspoon.]”

      • Hi Howard –

        Thanks for the rewrite of the recipe – I will most definitely let you know how it turns out –

        A couple of questions –

        When you say “I put the cake – with a cover” – what is the “cover” – is it a makeshift cover of aluminium foil? I haven’t seen cake pans with a cover –

        I am going to “tweak” the recipe a bit –

        I am going to add another egg – since I don’t worry about low fat that much – and 2 eggs will “hold” the cake better –

        Can I use “decaf tea” instead of caffeinated tea – I drink “decaf PG tips” – which tastes like the real thing anyway –

        I still have to make and taste this cake but you say it is moist and that surprises me as it has no oil – perhaps it is the tea that does it –

        To get the “darkness” of the cake I was thinking of adding some “browning” syrup which I found in a Carribean store – it says “burnt sugar” on the label – but maybe I should leave well enough alone and just try your recipe as it is –

        Have you ever had “Black cake” – its a cake made in Jamaica and the islands – it has a LOT of liquor in it and you marinate it for at least 6 months – I usually make it every year but this year I decided to try some English fruit cakes –

        I am hoping to make this cake for Thanksgiving – and if it turns out well I will make another one for Xmas – you can never have too much fruit cake –

        Thanks again for the re-write –

        Take care

        Lara

      • I have just taken out of the oven my revised (US) version of this recipe, Lara, and I shall be posting this and a photograph in a few minutes time. It looks and feels good. Please note that I have modified the amounts slightly (in one or two places) from my first draft above. I have incorporated your suggestion of an extra egg to help with the ‘rising process’ when using oat flour. I’ve also switched to orange juice just to show myself that I might be able to use virtually any liquid. (I came across one recipe that used just and only brandy. But I think a six month soak in Carribean rum would test my patience!) In answer to your questions: yes, the cover is aluminium foil, and yes, any variety of hot tea would be suitable. BW Howard


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