I have really missed fruitcake for years. I have been gluten free for 10 years and have not had a GOOD gluten-free fruitcake throughout that period. I really missed it as I used to LOVE the fruitcake made by my Aunty Tokkie and my grandmother, Ouma (the Afrikaans word for granny) George. So one afternoon I got the urge to try to bake a traditional fruitcake – not a dry, “cakey” fruitcake with a bit of fruit here and there…I wanted a moist, rich, brandy-drenched fruitcake with loads of fruit held together by moist cake.
Since the other recipes I had tried were a little disappointing, I decided to make up my own version. I literally stood there – adding a bit of this and that until the batter looked good, baked it and Oh My Freak! It is fantastic! The texture is perfect….So rich and decadently delicious…
Just do not be tempted to slice it and eat immediately – that doesn’t work. The texture is dense, too moist and gooey as it comes out of the oven. Remember that fruitcake should be allowed to mature. Read my instructions below as to how to mature your fruitcake and you can enjoy your first slice within 3 days. I do find that the cake tends to dry out if matured for longer than 1 week. For best results, I would advise a 3 day maturation period before enjoying.
- 9 teaspoons orgran egg replacer and 3/4 cup water (You can also use flax or chia eggs here, but commercial egg replacer gives a very smooth texture)
- 600g fruitcake mix
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup date paste (see how to make this below)
- 3/4 cup brandy
- 1 scant teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 3/4 cup oat flour (Grind rolled oats in your food processor to form a flour. THEN measure 3/4 cup of that flour.)
- 6 tablespoons teff flour
- 6 tablespoons buckwheat flour
- 3 pinches salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 3/4 cup date paste
Preheat oven to 150ºC.
To make the date pulp, take a 250g brick of pitted dates and break it up. Pour enough boiling water over to JUST cover it and set aside for 15 minutes. Blend this into a smooth paste either in your blender or with an immersion blender stick. Set aside. Left over date pulp can be stored in a sealed jar in the fridge for about 2 weeks and used as a sweetener in just about anything.
Whisk the 9 teaspoons of egg replacer into a 3/4 cup of water and set aside to thicken.
In a pan, add fruit, water, 3/4 cup date paste and brandy and bring to simmer. Allow to simmer for 2 – 3 minutes before removing from the heat and stirring in the bicarb. It will fizz beautifully – stir it through.
In a large bowl, mix oats, buckwheat, teff, salt and baking powder until well combined. In a separate bowl, mix coconut oil, 3/4 cup date paste, egg replacer goop and fruit mixture together until well-combined. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix together until just combined. Spoon into a greased 26 cm cake pan and bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes or until small cracks start to show on the surface and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Invert onto a plate and prick all over with a toothpick. Drizzle about 1/4 cup brandy or brandy and port mixed over the cake. The holes will ensure that the brandy seeps through everywhere. Turn the cake upside down and pour another 1/4 cup of brandy on this side too. Allow cake to cool completely, then wrap tightly in 2 layers of heavy foil, followed by 2 layers of plastic wrap. It must be airtight. Leave to rest in a dark cupboard for 2 days. Open it up and start enjoying it anything from day 3-5. I don’t suggest leaving it longer than that though as it does start to dry out after 1 week.
Decorate (or don’t) as desired and serve! I decorated with glazed fruit and almonds and painted it all with melted apricot jam for some shine.
Hope you love it as much as I do!