When I bake something wether its a cake or cookies, what I have in my mind is this common sense of ”this is going to last for a while, about a week.”. However, I have come to a conclusion today that it doesn’t happen or has never really happened in the past. Once the outcome comes out of the oven, the common sense in my mind switches to “The sooner it’s eaten the fresher, so better eat it quick!”. I must say I was really happy about this cake (so delicious!) and I couldn’t resist munching a piece as I was taking the pictures…
I am not calling this Christmas cake or fruit cake. This cake is different. I had an urge to bake today (and to eat something baked). I had some self-raising white flour sleeping in my cupboard so decided to use it.
I am conscious about all the gluten free movement and am aware that consuming more ancient type of flours (rye, spelt etc.) is probably healthier. I have started to use less and less wheat flour over the last year. Most of the time I have used wholemeal and rarely used white flour. However, occasionally I think, ”Forget about all the gluten story and let’s make a treat!” I like making what I want to eat with what I have now and enjoy it, rather than thinking “Ahh it’s not so good for me”. Actually I have never really had a serious problem eating wheat flour (occasionally I feel discomfort in my tummy but haven’t figured out if it’s because of gluten or something else.) although I have never consumed wheat flour as regularly as I used to consume rice in Japan. My body knows it feels better eating more cooked wholegrain.
Anyway…every time I bake, it reminds me of something so lovely and comforting about baking and I go “Ah I love baking…”. The anticipation while the cake is in the oven, its smell and the golden colour…
I wanted this cake to be wholesome, to complement the white flour, so I decided to use a fair amount of nuts. I rarely use sugar (even if I use it, I use unrefined sugar in minimum quantity) in my cakes as I prefer to use the sweetness from dried fruits or fresh fruits which is just enough. So I hope how I made this cake can be an example if you are trying to make sugar free cake. Also, if you prefer to use wholewheat flour instead of white, or half half, please do so. You will get a heavier texture and it will certainly be better for your body.
1 cup raisins (I used Thomson and golden raisins)
1/2 cup dates, chopped
1 cup hot water3/4 cup mixed nuts (I used walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts and Brazils)
1+1/2 cup white self-raising flour (or wholemeal)
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
A pinch salt
1/4 cup oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
1. Preheat the oven to 170C.
2. In a bowl put raisins, dates and pour a cup of hot water. Leave it for at least 20 minutes to soften the fruits.
3. Chop the nuts roughly.
4. In another bowl, shift together the flour, cinnamon and salt.
5. When the water that is used for the dried fruits is cooled down, add in oil and mix well.
6. Pour the fruit and oil mixture into the flour mixture. Adding some more water little by little (About 1/4 cup. You might need a little more or less.), mix well until you get a sticky (not too hard to mix or too runny) consistency, using a spatula or a wooden spoon.
7. Transfer the mixture into an oiled tin, then bake until golden for about 30 minutes.