February 28, 2013

Fruit Loaf

Walking is probably one of my favourite outdoors activities in the winter. It takes a whole new dimension when having to wrap up in multiple woolly layers and go out in the breath-taking cold air. Despite of fields of mud to cross in places, I really enjoy the walks, as nature seems to be at a standstill for a few months and it is easy to find some solitude and quietness. We went for a walk in beautiful South Devon two weeks ago and were lucky to have stunning weather. I could feel the changing energies in the air, promises of a soon to come spring. But what a difference it was, when one week later, snow flakes were falling as we took a walk in the brisk air in the Hampshire countryside.

Back to the sunny walk, my friend Katie said she enjoyed walking with us because we go at a tranquil pace and get the opportunity to have cake breaks! We found a perfect spot for this: a natural bench in the form of a long rock, facing the sea, with our backs warmed up by the sun. Fruit cake is such a lovely English treat to have: of course I chose to give it a healthier twist and included avocado (no kidding)! To me, what makes a great fruit loaf is the quality of the ingredients you use; choosing the nicest dry fruits will certainly help. My friend had been asking for the recipe, so finally, here it is: to winter walks and cake breaks!

Fruit Loaf

Inspired by http://www.anjasfood4thought.com/2010/08/avocado-cherry-loaf-cake.html  

• Juice of 2 oranges
• 450g dry fruits (I used a mix of apricots, raisins, goji berries, dates and glaçée cherries), chopped
• 250g spelt or wholewheat flour
• ½ tsp allspice
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• 1tsp baking powder
• Pinch of salt
• 80g pecans, chopped
• 1 avocado, mashed
• 70ml olive oil
• 80ml honey, agave syrup or maple syrup
• 1 egg, beaten

1. Place the dry fruits in a bowl with the orange juice and leave to soak for about 20min.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
3. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the spices, baking powder, salt and pecans.
4. In another bowl, mix the avocado with the oil, honey and egg. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well. Incorporate the dry fruits and mix well.
5. Pour the batter in a greased loaf tin (I brush it with oil). Place in the oven for 50-55min. Check if the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer in the middle; if it comes out clean, then it is cooked (although it might still get a bit sticky if you go through dry fruits).

Cake aux Fruits

Inspirée par http://www.anjasfood4thought.com/2010/08/avocado-cherry-loaf-cake.html

• Jus de 2 oranges
• 450g de fruits secs (j’ai utilisé un mélange d’abricots, raisins, baies de goji, dates et cerises), émincés
• 250g de farine d’épeautre ou farine de blé complète
• ½ cc de 4-épices
• ½ cc de cannelle en poudre
• 1cc de levure chimique
• 1 pincée de sel
• 80g de noix de pécan, émincées
• 1 avocat, écrasé à la fourchette
• 70ml d’huile d’olive
• 80g de miel liquide ou sirop d’agave ou sirop d’érable
• 1 œuf, battu

1. Mettre les fruits secs dans un bol avec le jus d’orange et laisser tremper pendant environ 20min.
2. Préchauffer le four à 180°C.
3. Dans un saladier, mélanger la farine avec les épices, la levure, le sel et les noix de pécan.
4. Dans un autre bol, mélanger l’avocat avec le miel, l’huile et l’œuf. Ajouter aux ingrédients secs et bien mélanger. Incorporer les fruits secs et bien mélanger.
5. Verser dans un moule à cake graissé. Mettre au four pour 50-55min. Pour vérifier si le cake est cuit, enfoncer une pique en bois au milieu du gâteau ; si elle ressort sèche, le gâteau est cuit (il se peut cependant qu’elle soit un peu collante si vous piquez au milieu de fruits).

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