There’s nothing quite like a thick slab of fruit loaf with a steaming mug of tea. Especially when you’re chained to your desk writing a thesis. I really adore this loaf because it is so moist, so filling and so downright rich you don’t even notice that it’s vegan.
I also love this loaf because it’s flexible. If you hadn’t noticed by now, my favourite recipes have a little wriggle room and can be readily adapted for what’s in the pantry. Everything is fairly standard pantry stock, except perhaps for treacle.
This loaf is almost Christmassy… You soak the fruit (whatever combination of dried fruit tickles your fancy!) in tea with a splash of brandy (why not?! Life’s too short!) You also have the option of adding in some fruit juice if you like. For my second version I had a bunch of less than amazing mandarins lurking in my fruit bowl, so I juiced them and added that in and it was pretty yum. Optional though, because… flexibility!
Then… Toast your nuts. Heat the wet ingredients (including some of the brandy/tea/juice) and combine with the dry ingredients, fruit and nuts. Pour into a greased tin and bake until it’s done! Mine took quite a while to cook through (almost 2 hours!) so I put some tinfoil over the top to prevent it from burning. Don’t be alarmed if it’s a bit crusty on the outside, it’ll soften and the inside will be lovely and moist!
Enjoy! And pretend it’s Christmas… Because it’s (alarmingly) not that far away!!! 😊
Rich Vegan Fruit Loaf
Adapted from Honey & Co: The Baking Book.
- 250g dried fruit, chopped (whatever combination you like, e.g. apricots, figs, dates, raisins, sultanas, currants, mixed peel, etc)
- 2 cups of strong tea
- splash of brandy (optional)
- 70g nuts, chopped (pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, etc)
- 175g caster sugar
- 250g flour
- pinch salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 100g treacle
- 100g neutral oil (e.g. canola)
- Preheat oven to 170ºC, conventional bake. Grease/line a loaf tin.
- Combine dried fruit with hot tea and brandy and leave to soak for at least an hour. Drain fruit and reserve liquid.
- In the meantime, toast the nuts in the oven or in a frypan until fragrant.
- Combine sugar, flour, salt, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon in a large bowl.
- Heat 100ml of reserved liquid with treacle and oil in a small saucepan until it just starts to simmer (it won’t take long!).
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine. Stir through fruit and nuts.
- Pour batter into prepared tin and bake on the bottom shelf for about 1 hour 30 min (keep an eye on it), or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. You may need to cover the loaf with tinfoil part way through baking to prevent the top from burning.