170gramsgluten free plain flourI use the Doves Farm brand
¼teaspoonxanthan gumFind this on Amazon or in your local health shop, it helps to prevent the cake from being too crumbly when its sliced.
3teaspoonsgluten-free baking powder, sieved if lumpy
200gramsdates, chopped and stones removed if anyI just use the regular dried dates that you can find on the baking/dried fruit aisle in the supermarket. (If your in the UK Home Bargains has inexpensive dried dates)
300mlwater, or 20 and a 1/4 tablespoons!
50gramsground sunflower or pumpkin seedsOr any other seed. If you can't have seeds you could try some gluten-free coconut or oat flour. I grind my seeds with my little coffee/nut grinder attachment that I have for my blender. Although you may be able to purchase already ground seeds.
500gramsdried mixed fruituse a dried fruit mix, or a combination of any you happen to have. Dried cranberries would be ideal for the festive season.
1wholeorange or lemon rind, gratedalternatively use 2 tsp of mixed fruit peel
Preheat your oven to 140 Fan/160 Celsius/325 Fahrenheit/Gas 3.
Prepare your loaf pan by greasing with either oil or margarine, and lining the greased pan with baking parchment.
Place the dates with the 300mls of water into a saucepan. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until the dates are soft.Take the dates off the heat and using a potato masher or fork mush up the dates. Add the orange juice and mix.
To a mixing bowl add the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, ground sunflower seeds, mixed spice, and cinnamon.Mix well.
Scrape the date mush into the mixing bowl with the flour mix. Add the dried fruit, ground almonds and grated rind.Add 2 tablespoons of water.
Mix well.Spoon into the loaf pan.Using a spoon level the loaf surface.
Optional: Sprinkle over some whole sunflower, pumpkin or mixed seeds.
Place onto the middle rack of the oven.
This loaf cake can take anywhere between 55-90 minutes to bake depending on your oven. It takes about 55-60 minutes to bake in my fan oven.Check after 50 minutes and see if your cake looks golden, and a skewer/knife/fork inserted comes out clean. If not bake for a further 5-10 minutes, and then check again.
Once baked, leave the loaf in the tin for about 20 minutes before carefully tipping out and placing on a wire rack to cool. If you don't have a wire rack then just leave the loaf on a chopping board sitting in the baking parchment until cool.
Store your fruit loaf wrapped in clean baking parchment and kitchen foil in a covered container. It should be fine for up to a week, and will taste better each day!If your family can't eat the entire loaf in a week, the leftovers can be wrapped up well and frozen for up to 3 months. Just defrost at room temperature. You could always heat the loaf cake up in the oven after it has defrosted, and serve with some custard for a yummy dessert.
Fruit cake will keep fresh for up to 5 days, wrapped in parchment paper and kitchen foil, and placed in an airtight container. Store in a cool, dry place.
Fruit cake can be frozen, for 4-6 months, if well wrapped to avoid freezer burn. Place a piece of parchment paper between each slice for ease of removing single slices. Defrost before eating.