This is a beautiful autumn cake. The marzipan and fruits keep this cake sticky and moist all the way through. Be careful not to overcook this cake or you’ll end up with ‘Dry fruit cake’ which isn’t nearly as nice.
1 pack (250 g) marzipan
1 ¼ cups (200 g) dried pears, chopped
1 ¼ cups (200 g) dried apricots, chopped
1 ¼ cups (200 g) sultanas
1 cup (250 ml) orange or apple juice
2 ½ cups (350 g) wholemeal or spelt flour
3/4 cup (100 g) ground almonds
zest of 2 lemons
1 cup (200 g) brown sugar
3 tablespoons flax meal, whisked with 2/3 cup (160 ml) water
2/3 cup (160 ml) oil
The night before you make the cake, chop the marzipan into 1cm (1/2”) cubes and lay on a baking tray or freezer box in a single layer. Freeze overnight. Chop the apricots and pears and put in a large bowl with the sultanas and juice. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
The day that you bake the cake, preheat the oven to 140°C/275°F/Gas 1.
Line the base and sides of a 23cm (9”) deep, loose-based cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, extending it about 5cm (2”) above the level of the pan. This will prevent the cake from burning during the long cooking time.
Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the ground almonds, lemon zest and sugar. Whisk the egg replacer and water until fluffy. Add egg replacer, oil, frozen marzipan and soaked fruit to the flour and mix thoroughly. It should be a heavy mixture, hard to stir. You’ll know it’s right if, when you hold up a spoonful of mixture, it slowly drops off the spoon. If it seems too dry, add a little more juice, or some non-dairy milk to loosen it a bit. Spoon into the baking tin and flatten down.
Bake for around two hours, maybe a little more or a little less, until cooked but not too dry. To test if the cake is ready, insert a metal or wooden skewer into the centre – if it comes out clean, it’s cooked. If the cake starts to get too brown before it is cooked, cover with foil. When it’s done, remove from oven and stand the tin on a wire cooling rack to cool. Then remove the cake from the tin and wrap in parchment and foil to keep it moist. It gets better the longer it is kept, so if you can, wait a few days before eating.