Thursday, 31 January 2013

Peroni fruit loaf


Sometimes I wish I didn't, but I really do like every food out there imaginable. Because I am such a gannet type, I find it hard to come to terms with the fact that some people don't like some foods. I also take great pleasure in reintroducing an ingredient to someone who forbids it, resulting in a 'Come Dine With Me' moment, where one contestant says 'I don't like pears, but I've got to say Nigel, I like this pear dish'. As a kid, I couldn't bare mushrooms, tomatoes, peas and fruit cake. Then one day, because that ingredient is cooked differently or the variety or quality is like none you have tasted before you think to yourself, well that's delicious, I've been missing out for years! 
A light fruit cake like this is so different to the heavy, dark, alcohol fed wedding fruit cake. I like those too now, but it took a while. It is fat free (no butter or oils) and sugar free (if you want it to be) as the fruit is soaked overnight. You can add sugar for a let's face it yummy loaf or you can omit is because all that candied peel got candied in something right, clue is in the name!
I love whole candied fruits. They are beautiful like little works of art and if you have ever seen a cabinet full of them, it's like staring into a display case of jewels. I used whole candied orange slices, apricots and figs but I have also used regular cut peel before which works a treat.
Here's where I confess that there is a bottle of beer in each loaf! It should be a fruity ale but this loaf came about late the other night from a conversation on twitter with @GentlemanBaker, who put the idea of fruit loaf into my head just before bed. I suppose I could have soaked the fruit in tea but I had a couple of beers sitting in the cupboard, so in they went. It tasted the same as the ale, I love discovering things like this. The Gentleman Baker had little faith.

It's best after a few days but that warm loaf is so tempting when there is salty butter to be absorbed. Yes, I see the irony in making it fat free and then slathering it in butter, welcome to my world.

I gave a loaf to my sister and kept one for myself, it lasts weeks!
The perfect accompaniment to your tea break. 
Just as I had filed my self assessment, which was a wee bit stressful being the day before deadline, this card fell through the door to make the cake taste that much sweeter. I did this lovely couple's wedding catering and little did they know, just as I was cursing the decision to be self employed with all this tax nonsense, they had lifted my spirits, high. I love my job. 

Recipe makes 2 loaves

600g made up of currants, raisins, sultanas 
150g candied fruits/mixed peel
1 lemon and 1 orange zested (optional, but I like)
500ml of strong ale or peroni ;)
3 med/lrg eggs 
100g of soft dark brown sugar (not if you don't want)
100g of SR flour
300g wholemeal SR flour
3 tsp mixed spice

It really is simple and if you are anything like me, you may well have all the ingredients in your cupboard.
In a large saucepan, tip in fruit, peel and zest. Cover with ale and bring to the boil. Cover, turn off heat and leave overnight.

The next morning, mix all the ingredients together in the same saucepan and tip into lined 500g loaf tins x2

Cook on 150C for an hour. Check, and if ready cool on a wire rack, in its tin with a cloth over the top. 


sophie // the cake hunter said...

I would never have thought about putting beer in a fruit cake, it looks so good. Making a fat free cakes completely justifies the butter!

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious!

thelittleloaf said...

I'm not a fan of fruit cake at all but would love to find one I like. This does look much lighter and a good contender...does the beer taste come through or is it more to help the texture? (I'm not a big beer fan either, eek, fusspot alert!)

Shu Han said...

I'm not usually a fan of fruit cake but that looks shit gorgeous!! that photo of all those raisins and wonderful golden oranges ahhh...and the finished loaf of course. good one !

Georgie said...

Your blog is one of the few I have come across that makes me want to eat everything you post! This looks fantastic- beer and fruit cake, what's not to like?

Milli said...

the cake hunter- I don't ever have to justify butter to myself, just on here ;)

Anon- ta!

The little loaf- I think the more currants you put in the richer the loaf but I don't use them, instead, plenty of fruit and yellow raisins. You can't taste the beer at all.

Shu Han- Thank you, I wasn't expecting much from the exterior but yes, it is gorgeous and jewel like inside!

Georgie - What a sweet thing to say, thank you!

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