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Fruit & nut loaf cake

Fruit & nut loaf cake

A can of prunes multitasks here – the fruit replaces muscovado sugar for colour and depth of flavour, while reducing the amount of butter and sugar you need. The apple juice from the prune can is perfect for soaking the dried fruit.

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Vegetarian
  • Serves10
  • CourseCake
  • Prepare25 mins
  • Cook1 hr 15 mins
  • Total time1 hr 30 mins
  • Plussoaking and cooling

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Ingredients

  • 200g essential mixed fruit
  • 80g Essential Glacé Cherries, 50g quartered, 30g halved
  • 410g Essential Californian Prunes In Apple Juice
  • 150g Essential Unsalted Butter, softened, plus a little for the tin
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 2 Essential Free Range White Eggs
  • 175g Essential Self-raising White Flour
  • 80g Essential Salted Mixed Nuts, 50g roughly chopped, plus 30g whole (see tip)

Method

  1. A couple of hours before baking (or the night before), combine the mixed fruit and quartered cherries in a bowl. Drain the can of prunes over the top and leave the fruit to soak. Remove the stones from the prunes, then blend the fruit in a jug with a handheld blender (or pass them through a sieve), to make a smooth purée.

  2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Butter a 900g loaf tin and line it with baking parchment, leaving 2cm trim above the edge of the tin. Drain the soaked fruit in a sieve over a small pan to catch the juices for later.

  3. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until creamy and pale. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, then add the prune purée, flour and a pinch of fine salt. Fold with a spatula until almost completely combined. Fold in the drained fruit and chopped nuts.

  4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the top, leaving it slightly mounded along the middle. Scatter with the halved cherries and 30g whole nuts, pressing them in a little. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes-1 hour 25 minutes, until deep golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. After 45 minutes, cover the cake loosely with foil to prevent it over-browning.

  5. Leave the cake to cool in the tin on a rack, then move it to a serving plate or board. Boil the fruity soaking juices for 2-3 minutes until syrupy, then brush over the top of the cake.

Cook’s tip

This recipe uses a mix of nuts that could be a little heavy on the peanuts for some. If you prefer, pick through the pack and retrieve the right amount of almonds, cashews and hazelnuts from the mix, especially for the whole nuts on the top.

You might not need all the glaze, so keep what’s left and use it in a salad dressing. It has a pomegranate molasses quality to it.

Keep the cake in a tin for up to a week, or wrap well and freeze for up to 1 month. 

Nutritional

Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe

Energy

380kJ/ 330kcals

Fat

17g

Saturated Fat

9.1g

Carbohydrates

38g

Sugars

21g

Fibre

2.3g

Protein

5.8g

Salt

0.2g

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