I was asked recently to bake a surprise gluten free fruit cake, for a guest at a wedding. The guest hadn’t no idea, but as is so often the case, those with Coeliac Disease or have a gluten intolerance, miss out. I was more than happy to help out and the surprise went down very well. I was even more surprised to hear that my cake sat next to the actual wedding cake!
So with the date booked in, I worked back 4 weeks and baked the cake. Now it’s not very big, as initially it was just for one. Although of course more dived in! But finding a recipe for a small celebration fruit cake was practically non-existent. So I set about creating my own 😊
Luckily I had a suitable heart-shaped tin. At its widest its 11cm x 11cm and is roughly 4cm deep.
But first comes the soaking of the fruit!
Overnight I soaked 240g dried fruit – 100g sultanas, 100g raisins and 40g halved glacé cherries in 4 tablespoons of calvados.
The following morning it was baking time! I lined the tin – base and sides with greaseproof paper and pre-heated the oven to gas 1, roughly 140c. I had to use a little paper clip to keep the sides together before I put the mix in. And removed it prior to cooking.
Firstly sift together 60g gluten free plain flour (I used Dove Farm) 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or cinnamon. Cream then 60g soft butter with 60g soft brown sugar. Beat in 1 egg then stir in the flour mix. Add then the soaked dried fruit with 30g chopped nuts (I used pecans) and 1 tablespoon of black treacle. Pour into the lined cake tin. As this cake takes a while to cook and because you don’t want to burn it, wrap the outside of the tin with more greaseproof paper and cover the top also. With the top piece of greaseproof, cut a hole in to allow some steam to escape.
Bake then for approx 90 minutes, in the pre-heated oven in the middle of the oven. Remove when an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin, before removing from the tin and cooling completely.
To store, I then wrapped in greaseproof paper and cling film and put in on top of the fridge. Then once a week, I unwrapped the cake and ‘fed’ with even more calvados, using about 3 tablespoons each time. Re-wrapped and left until the next time.
As close to collection as I dared the cake was covered and simply decorated. Using roughly 200g white fondant and 200g marzipan and 50g warmed apricot jam.