When I want to bake something new and come up with ideas, it’s easier if I get my husband to assign me a specific task. Fruit tart. Something with chocolate. Something soft. These indications will do. When my husband uttered the sentence “fruit cake, or like a cake with sultanas or other dried fruit, but soft, not dense” I was a bit confused. Fruit cakes are typically very dense and very winterly and at the moment it’s 22 degrees which for me still feels like summer. However, I knew what he meant, so whatever the recipe I came up with, it’s a fruit cake as you would traditionally think of it. Like, at all. But it was delicious.
300g sugar (I used a mixture of caster sugar 100g and light brown sugar 200g)
2 tsp baking powder
350 milk (I used the Alpro soya unsweetened but pick your fave)
115 yoghurt (same as above, Alpro plain unsweetened works great)
160 ml vegetable oil
15 ml cider or regular vinegar
30 ml rum (to revive the currants)
70 ml water (to revive the currants)
55g glace cherries, chopped
2,5g dried raspberries in pieces
1 lemon zest
50g vegan white chocolate, finely chopped
Sift flour and baking powder in a bowl and add the sugar(s) and mix until the powders are well combined. Pour in the soy milk, the yoghurt, the oil and the vinegar and mix until the mixture is homogenous. Add the vanilla.
Revive the currants and cranberries: pour them in a heavy bottom saucepan with 30ml rum (I used a spiced rum because this is what we have around here and I think it works well, but any rum should work well) and 70ml water. Bring to a boil and then drain. Lt sit for 5 minutes and then pour in the cake mixture.
Add the chopped glace cherries and the raspberries, together with the lemon zest. Finally, add the chopped chocolate. I am not a huge fan of white chocolate as it is, but it works great in desserts and especially with berries. 50 g is a good amount to taste the drops in the cake and it marries well with the acidity of the berries – I just thought I need to do the same with rhubarb before it’s too late!
350g fresh or frozen mixed berries (ideally blackberries, cranberries, raspberries)
90g caster sugar
6g NH pectin
Put the fruit in a heavy bottom saucepan and bring to ~ 50 degrees (if you don’t have a thermometer, check that the fruit is warm but far from bubbling). Add the pectin mixed with the sugar and whisk to combine. When the mixture starts to boil mix well and when everything starts to thicken (it won’t take long) remove from heat and let cool down before pouring in a bowl and covering with cling film until ready to use.
100g vegan butter
130g powdered sugar
1 lemon (zest and a teaspoon of the juice)
2 teaspoons chopped dried raspberries
Beat butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is shiny and well blended. Add the lemon peel, lemon juice and raspberries and mix well by hand.
Put the buttercream in a piping bag and draw a circle over one of the halves of the cake (I made some buttercream drops as I found it more decorative, but there is no right way): in this way when you spread the jam on the cake, it will not ooze out it will not drip too much (a bit might happen if, as me, you want desserts to have a lot of filling) when you cover the cake with the other sponge. Once you have created the edge of buttercream, spread the jam, saving some of it. Put the other sponge on top, closing the cake as if it were a sandwich. If you want, you can cut the central part of the upper sponge to obtain a “donut” effect: I filled the hole after placing the sponge with more jam.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and decorate as you like – I used dried rosebud tea, so that when you eat your slice of cake you can also make a nice infusion. Doesn’t this cake make a perfect afternoon tea dessert?