Sugar free Tea soaked Fruit Cake
Makes one large cake or two small loaf size -16-18 portions.
This super cake is so easy to make and uses very little ingredients making it totally free from, no gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, sugar. Quite a virtuous cake. You can either make a large round cake but sometimes I like to make it in loaf tins so it can be sliced almost like a malt loaf. Great for a picnic and keeps for a week.
950g mixed dried fruit. – you can use any mix of dried fruit you would like I normally use apricots, sultanas, goji berries, raisins. When I make this cake at Christmas, I swap out some of the sultanas and raisins and replace with cranberries for a more festive luxurious cake.
2tsp ground ginger
1tsp mixed spice
500ml black tea – I like to use a spiced tea like chai but green tea also works well
350g brown rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda.
Almonds to decorate (optional)
Place all the dried mixed fruit into a large bowl. Pour over the tea and orange juice. Mix with a spoon and cover and leave overnight (or for at least 3 hours) for the fruit to soak up all the liquid, rehydrate and plump up.
Prepare your tin by lining with 2-3 layers of parchment. Then on the outside wrap with newspaper. To do this take a few sheet and fold lengthways three times then wrap around the outside of the tin and secure with string. We do this because the cake is baked for a long time and the collar of paper stops the outside of the cake from burning before the inside is cooked. Cut a couple of rounds of parchment to place on top of cake half way through cooking but set these to one side for now.
Preheat the oven to 140oc / Gas mark 1.
Take the fruit and give a good stir, the fruit should be all plump and there should be very little if any liquid left. To this mix add the spices and stir again then add the flour bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and give a good stir to combine the flour and fruit. This may take a bit of time as the mixture is quite dry, do not worry or add any extra liquid this is normal and how it is meant to be. Once totally combined transfer this mix to your prepared tin and with a spatula or back of a spoon smooth over and press down making sure it goes all the way to the sides and is level on top. If you are using almonds or nuts to decorate the top add these now by placing and gently pushing down into the mix.
Bake the cake in the bottom of the oven for 2 ¼ – 2 ½ hours. After 1 hour place the discs of parchment on the top on the cake to prevent the top from catching, then five minutes before you remove the cake remove the parchment from the top of the cake. Remove the cake when the top feels firm and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.