I made this on Sunday and its delicious (I did a taste test). It also happens to be gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and refined sugar free. Do buy organic ingredients where possible especially for *raisins and sultanas.
I didn’t have the specified 10” tin so I used a 9” (23cm) one. The cake was a bit taller and needed a little extra baking time.
350g ground almonds or almond flour
1 rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
80ml date syrup (I left this out as I felt the cake mix was plenty sweet without it)
4 large eggs
5 tbs (75-80ml) runny or slightly warmed honey (so its liquid but not hot)
137g (150ml) coconut oil
5cm fresh ginger, peeled
Zest of 1 orange, organic if possible
1 medium cooking apple
6 tbs (95ml) whiskey (+ optional 100ml to “feed” the cake).
200g dried unsulphured apricots (these are brown, not bright orange)
100g flaked almonds
1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract (not essence, which contains gluten)
2/3 level pink salt
1 rounded tsp ground cinnamon
1 rounded tsp ground ginger
1 level tsp ground allspice
½ level ground cardamom
½ level tsp ground cloves
75g blanched almonds
25cm/10” diameter cake tin with removable base
Brown paper + greaseproof paper + extra coconut oil to grease
- Prepare your tin. Line the base and sides of tin with brown paper and greaseproof paper (oil the greaseproof with soft/melted coconut oil) allowing the brown paper to come at least 2” above top of tin. Wrap an outer collar of brown paper around the tin to come up as high above the tin as the tin itself. Secure with pins or paperclips. This outer collar and all the layers inside stops your cake burning at the edges before it’s cooked at the centre.
- Roughly chop the dried apricots and dates. Mix the chopped fruit with the raisins and sultanas and cover with the whiskey. Leave to soak while you prepare the rest of the cake.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda, salt and ground spices.
- Add the honey, eggs, vanilla extract, date syrup and the zest of the orange to a food processor. Blend until combined.
- Making sure the coconut oil is liquid (melt to lukewarm if it isn’t) add this to the food processor and blend again thoroughly.
- Add the dry ingredients, mix till combined then empty the mix into a large mixing bowl.
- Peel the apple and ginger and grate into the bowl (use the fine grater for the ginger).
- Add the flaked almonds, the whiskey soaked fruits and stir until everything is evenly combined.
- Spoon into the tin and flatten the top. Tip: wet the side of your hand and use this to smooth the top to perfection.
- Decorate the top with blanched almonds embedded into the cake in a pretty pattern
- Bake in the oven for around 1 hour until a skewer comes out clean after being inserted.
- Allow to cool in the tin after removing the outer collar of brown paper.
- Once cool, remove from the tin leaving on the greaseproof paper.
- Place in an airtight container and optionally “feed” with whiskey every few days – about 5 times in all (I personally prefer my cakes without this additional feeding but it’s up to you).
Why this is better for you
This cake is free from refined sugars, toxic refined oils and other undesirables. Did you know that when gluten (in “normal” cakes) hits your intestine it causes leaking of intestinal contents into your blood. This happens to everyone, even people with no gluten sensitivity. Toxins, bacterial cell fragments and undigested food spills into your circulation. This causes increased inflammation (always present in anxiety, stress, mood issues, brain fog, skin issues, heart disease). It also has negative impacts on your immune system. Sugar in “normal” baking also increases inflammation and suppresses immunity. Your body will thank you for ditching it.
While this cake is “healthier” its still high in (natural) sugars. Unlike normal cake it does contain some protein (ground almonds) which helps slow down your body’s absorption of the sugars. Amazingly, the sugars in dried fruit affect your blood sugar less than eating wheaten bread. Whoever thought a piece of cake could be healthier than a piece of toast! Take it handy though because too many sweet foods, even “healthy” ones, cause metabolic issues.
For more info on the toxic residues in “conventional” raisins, see https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/raisins.php