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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fruit and nut butter cake

Crumbly cakes are best eaten with a spoon !

It has been a while since I made either a butter or fruit  cake. Both recipes call for copious amount of butter. However, the amount of butter in  any butter cake is disturbing, but a necessary evil.

In the end, I had the best of 3 worlds by baking myself a fruit and butter cake with reduced butter and sugar.

This  I did by fluffing up the butter,  literally, by whisking the daylight out of it, so as to provide lift for the fruits, nuts and flour. The end result is a light, less oily kind of tea snack.

I omitted dark molasses , instead opting for white sugar powder ( which incorporates well in the batter ) , so that the coloured fruits can be visible. Since the use of sugar in the batter was minimal , it made the cake hard to caramelize.   This was overcome by a longer bake time.

For a darker, plumped up cake, use at least 50g of caster sugar instead.

What I like most about the cake was its crumb,  the pockets of mealy almond and crunchy walnuts and  jolts of sweet fruits amidst mild tasting butter cake.

As a sign of its popularity ( never mind the butter and all ), it was 'demolished' in 2 days.

This  cake is adapted from

72g all-purpose flour
25g  almond meal
1/2 tsp + 1/4  tsp baking powder
pinch fine salt
70g butter, cubed and softened
30g powdered sugar
1 small egg
1/2 T vanilla extract
 6 tbsp low fat milk

Fruits :
1/4 cup sultanas
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 T plain flour
3 T orange juice
2 handful walnut, crushed coarsely

Method :

Preheat oven to 190 C. Butter  and flour a cake pan , 10 x 3 inches long

Soak sultanas and raisin in the orange juice, 1 hour. If you are in a hurry, warm up the juice before soaking it for 30 minutes.

Drain juice and coat fruits  with flour.

In a big bowl, whisk  flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt.

On medium speed, whisk cream butter and sugar until fluffy , 3 minutes.

Beat in eggs, vanilla until well-combined, 2 minutes.

Add flour mixture and milk, in 3 parts. Mix until batter is homogenous.

Add floured raisins, sultanas, cranberries, walnuts and lightly stir into the batter.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Smooth top with spatula.

Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until cake turns golden brown and an inserted cake tester comes out clean.

Let cake rest in pan for 5 minutes . Remove cake from the pan and transfer cake to cool on a rack.

Due to the low sugar content, it would be prudent to fridge the cake after the first day.

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