Despite having a shelf full of beautiful cookbooks at home, I’m always looking for recipes online and tend to use these 99% of the time. I can never plan in advance the dishes that I will bake, so having a place to look for recipes whenever and wherever I am, like on Baking Mad, is a great resource for me. I was invited to try one of the many recipes available online at Baking Mad and I also received a package of baking goodies to play with, which contained different types of flour, sugar and a bottle of vanilla essence.
I love dark muscovado sugar and good quality vanilla essence, so I used these two ingredients to make a Fruit Loaf Cake. I used this Baking Mad recipe but played around with the ingredients and measurements based on what I had in the pantry.
The result was a rich and moist cake that is fantastic to eat for breakfast or an afternoon snack and it goes well with a cup of tea.
The Baking Mad website has many baking recipes, from basic ones to more advanced and it’s easy to look for recipes via the search function or searching by ingredients. The step-by-step function is also very useful: open up the “recipe preparation” page and simply tick to the arrow on the right to move onto the next step. Every step will tell you which ingredients you need at that stage. This is very useful so you don’t need to scroll up and down the page looking from the ingredients’ list to the preparation again and again.
For one 23cm round cake or two 2lb loaf cakes.
- 450g dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, sultanas, chopped candied peel)
- 300ml cold black tea
- 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 150g dark muscovado sugar (I used Billington’s)
- zest of 1 orange
- 4 eggs
- 225g plain white flour (I used Allinson)
- 100g ground almonds
- 3 tbsp sweet dessert liquor
- 3 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 100g walnuts roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a cake or loaf tin with baking parchment.
Brew a cup of strong tea and, once it’s cold, soak the dried fruit for one hour or until the fruit has absorbed all the liquid.
Cream the butter and sugar with the orange zest until light and fluffy. Beat one egg into the cake mix, then add a quarter of the flour. Repeat until you have used all the eggs and the flour. Add the baking powder and ground almonds.
Add the liquor, orange juice, vanilla essence and nutmeg and mix until all the ingredients are well combined.
Drain the dried fruit and add them to the mix together with the chopped walnuts. Fold the cake batter with a spatula. Spoon into the prepared tin and make a slight hollow in the centre.
Bake just below the centre of the oven for 1 hour or 1½ hour (after one hour check the cake every 10 minutes using a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake).
Cool the cake in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out and leave on a wire rack to cool down completely.
Wrap in greaseproof paper and foil and store in a cool but not cold place for up to three weeks.
Disclaimer: I was invited by Baking Mad to try a recipe of my choice from their website. All opinions are my own.