Ro and I are not into celebrating Valentines day as such. But that didn’t stop me from making elaborate cakes (picture sponge cakes iced with fresh cream and strawberries) in the past. This Valentines day and the next few days are going to be different. We are looking forward to spending some quality time together. Our first born will join us in a few weeks from now. Life is going to change forever. There is going to be added responsibility and gone will be those carefree days and years when we did whatever we wished and willed. There is much uncertainty, but we are looking forward to it with excitement and joy.
Coming back to Valentines day, this time I thought of baking something healthier, nice and less time consuming than the elaborate and lavishly iced cakes. My mind wandered to a recipe given by someone, scribbled carelessly in my notebook. I was craving a cake with deep rich flavours and decided to give this recipe a go.
Eggless Fruit and Nut Cake
I have used dates, raisins, almonds and cashewnuts. You can use any dried fruits like apricots, prunes and other nuts
300 gm plain Flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
150 ml oil
200 ml water
100 gm dates (pitted and chopped)
150 gm raisins or sultanas
100 gm nuts (cashewnuts, almonds, walnuts)
150 gm jaggery (or substitute with dark muscovado sugar)
150 gm sugar
3 tbsp fruit jam (preferably without added sugar)
2 tsp mixed spice powder
Grated rind of 1 lime
Grease and line the bottom of an 8” square or 9” round cake tin with greaseproof paper/baking parchment/butter paper. In a mixing bowl, assemble the flour, baking powder and baking soda, mix with a spoon and sieve once to make the mixture uniform. Heat the oil in a pan and add the fruits and nuts. Stir in the jaggery, sugar, jam and 100 ml water. Heat on a low flame until the sugar and jaggery melt, stirring all the while. Don’t overcook the mixture. Allow to cool and add the reamaining 100 ml water, rind and spice powder. Mix in the sifted flour mixture and beat with a spoon or a wire whisk until there are no lumps. Transfer the contents to the greased and lined tin and bake in a preheated oven at 150 degree centigrade for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean.