Sunday, 23 December 2012

Dark chocolate fruit cake

I have created this recipe now with Christmas in mind, but the inspiration for this cake comes originally from my amazing wedding cake which I had made for the occasion 12 years ago this coming March! It was the perfect combination of mud cake and fruit cake, decorated in a white chocolate ganache and topped with a beautiful arrangement of white chocolate shards and roses . . . and I haven't had anything quite like it since :)  Mud cake has long been a favourite of mine, but I rarely bake it at home purely because it is just too indulgent! My chocolate brownie always hits the spot when I'm in the mood for a rich chocolate, fudgy fix.

This is my own healthy version of a chocolate mud fruit cake, and for me it's the right mix of dark chocolate and fruity fudginess, plus it's not too sweet.  Making it this close to Christmas,  I have added a little mixed spice & the zest of an orange for a more festive feel. It's not too late to add this to your 'To do' list, there's no need to soak the fruit for days ahead :)


Dark chocolate fruit cake



ingredients
80 raw almonds
100g good quality dark chocolate (or use your own TM made!)
150g organic dried prunes, pitted
150g organic dried dates, pitted
50g butter, chunks or coconut oil
100g goji berries
100g sultanas (or raisins)
100g currants
50g rapadura (or sucanat) or coconut sugar
2 tbsp raw honey
100g Baileys or Kahlua (coffee liquor)
juice of 1 organic orange (plus zest - optional)
3 tbsp raw cacao
3 large eggs
150g white spelt flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
pinch salt

method
1. If adding orange zest, peel to remove from your organic orange and add to the TM bowl with the almonds and dark chocolate and grind for 15 seconds on speed 7 into a coarse powder. Decant and set aside.
3. Mash prunes and dates at speed 6 for 10-15 seconds.
4. Add butter or coconut oil, goji berries, sultanas, currants, rapadura, raw honey, coffee liqueur (or Brandy), orange juice, raw cacao and salt to the TM bowl and heat the mixture for 8 minutes at 90°C on reverse, speed 1. Stop once to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
5. While the mixture is cooling, preheat oven to 160°C and grease and line a 20cm round or square cake pan (or 4 individual tins 10x10cm square pans).
6. Add eggs, spelt flour, baking powder, bicarb and return ground nuts and dark chocolate to the TM bowl. Also add ½ tsp mixed spice here for a Christmas cake. Mix with the aid of the spatula for approx 20 seconds on reverse, speed 3-4. You will collapse the structure of the dried fruit if you mix at a higher speed. If you prefer to blend the fruit, this is an option.
7. Carefully pour the mixture in the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 mins or until darkened on the edges and a skewer comes out clean. Allow to sit in the cake pan for a few minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

no Thermomix?
Zest the orange using a grater, chop the dried fruits by hand or use a food processor and cook the liquor with the fruits etc. (step 4) on the stovetop.

variations
  • for more of a festive flavour add 1/2 tsp mixed spice and the zest of a whole orange. You could also use brandy instead of coffee liquor
  • this recipe also works well as individual cakes to package for xmas gifts. Keep it simple and decorate with a wide Christmas ribbon :)
  • you could easily make this cake gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour in place of the spelt flour.
  • for a grain-free cake, try using coconut flour in place of the spelt flour. In theory, it should work well as a substitute in this type of recipe. I'll be giving it a try next time!

update Dec 24, 2015
Grain-free (gluten-free) success! . . .Simply make these alterations:
- increase baking powder and bicarb to 1 tsp of each
- add 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseeds + 3 tbsp water)
- in place of the spelt flour use 50g coconut flour + 50g tapioca or arrowroot flour
- I also reduced the sweetener this year and used 30g coconut sugar + a little stevia powder and only 1 tbsp of raw honey :)

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