I’ve been trying out recipes from The Big Book Of Amazing Cakes recently. The book has a chapter brimming full of FreeFrom recipes, which has been really useful. So far I have made the Gluten Free Brownies and two vegan recipes. To fit in with dietary requirements, lifestyles and allergy needs, it’s fantastic to have a collection of recipes to fall back on.
One of the recipes was a Coconut Sugar Fruit Loaf Cake. Although the recipe contains natural sugars in the form of dried fruit, it does not contain refined sugar. Coconut sugar is palm sugar produced from the sap of the flower bud stem of the coconut palm. I have used coconut sugar once before in a cake and it is very expensive to use if you bake a lot like I do. It costs twice as much as brown sugar. I used the Groovy Food Company’s Coconut Sugar to bake this recipe.
To start making the cake, I soaked mixed dried fruit in some hot tea the night before. I left the bowl covered in cling film overnight so that the fruit soaked up the flavours from the tea.
I was working in school the following morning so I had to wait until I got in from work to make a start on the cake. I was also making cookies and brownies for an order so I kept the oven on after they were baked to slip the fruit loaf in.
Into a mixing bowl I put in self raising flour, the coconut sugar, some ground ginger and mixed spice and stirred it before adding in two beaten eggs. I then added all this to the dried fruit and tea mixture.
I spooned the mixture into my loaf tin. As I always say when baking loaf cakes, I swear by the loaf tin liners as they save so much time and faffing. I bought some in Tesco recently and they are great but I’ve seen them in other supermarkets as well.
The cake baked in the oven at 160oC (fan) for about 55 minutes. I tested it and it was still a bit sticky right in the middle, so it went back in for another 10 minutes. This did the trick. When it came out of the oven I left it to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes.
Usually when I have fruit loaf, I spread it with a bit of butter and serve it the Yorkshire way with a slice of Wensleydale cheese. I was so hungry, I ate a slice straightaway without either. The result was a moist and delicious cake but without feeling overly sweet.
Would I bake it again? Yes I would, although the coconut sugar does make it an expensive bake.