Recipe adapted from “Fruit Sweet and Sugar Free” - Janice Feuer pg 144
1½ cups of dates (A mixture of sultanas, and dates making up the same volume works just as well)
1 cup of mixed dried fruit (dried pears, apricots, papaya, prunes, banana, figs, apples etc are ideal)
2 Tablespoons of green apple syrup or concentrated fruit juice or marmalade or jam (optional) warm or hot water
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup oil
¾ cup walnuts (or sunflower seeds)
2 typical-size carrots (enough to make 1½ cups of grated carrot)
1 apple chopped into cubes (nice optional extra)
¾ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1½ cups flour
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 175°C.
- Brush vegetable oil onto the inside surface of a 220mm diameter silicone cake pan.
- Chop up the walnuts so that they are bits no larger than about 3-4mm on a side.
- Peel the carrots and grate them to equal 1½ cups.
- Chop the dates, and all dried fruit to about 5mm-10mm on a side there abouts and put into a bowl with warm or hot water to make a lumpy syrup of about 1.8 – 2cups. Vigorously stirring and mashing the mix will make a smoother fruit syrup if you so desire. Add the vanilla essence and the green apple syrup or concentrated fruit juice.
- With the egg beater whisk the fruity syrup and add the oil. Whisk it until it thickens a bit. This does not take very long.
- Combine the grated carrots, flour, walnuts, spices, baking soda, and coconut and set aside.
- The wet mix and dry mix, can be held for a long period if need be if they are not combined with each other.
- When you are ready to bake the cake, add the eggs one at a time to the wet mix, waiting until one is incorporated before adding the next.
- Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and stir vigorously until the mix is an even consistency that looks like a typical fruit cake mix.
- Pour the mix into the prepared pan.
- Bake the cakes in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. The cake is cooked if the centre bounces back if pressed lightly in the centre. Depending on how much fruit you use and how deep the dish is this may take up to an hour.
- Good results can be obtained from baking it for the 40 minutes and if it is still not done, put it in the microwave for 4-8minutes.
- Place the pans on a wire rack to cool before removing the cake. The cake must be completely cool before you cut it.
- Cut the cake to make two layers.
Just to spoil the wholesome goodness of the cake, here is the icing. Whip a 150mL of cream with 125g of cream cheese and a teaspoon of vanilla essence and maybe a teaspoon of green apple syrup or fruit concentrate. Spread half of this mix over the cut of the bottom half of the cake and lay the cake back together to sandwich the cream layer. Spread the remaining cream over the top. A variation of this icing is the same quantities of cream and cream cheese but flavoured and sweetened with marmalade and/or jam.