I have a confession to make – I am extremely selfish.
Not generally in life (I hope), but more when it comes to baking. While I love having a reason to bake, like a birthday, what I’m really excited about is having the chance to try baking something new.
My dad’s favourite cake is, and always has been, fruit cake, but every year I bake him something else – because to me, fruitcake is boring. Easy to make, simple looking, no icing, nothing fancy…
But this year, I decided to put my selfishness to one side and bake him an amazing fruit cake. I chose a recipe from the Great British Bake Off – How To Bake book, and got ready to write down my list of ingredients.
It was only when I read through the whole recipe, however, that I noticed the line which said ‘leave to mature for at least a month before finishing’. Oops. This was the day before my dad’s birthday.
As I’d bought the GBBO book especially, I decided to stick with it and go for the ‘quick and simple fruit loaf’, which only needed to be kept for a day before eating.
It was exactly as described – quick, simple, un-fancy – but baked beautifully to a deep golden colour with a huge crack running down the length of it, which in my mind is how a fruit loaf should look.
My dad was happy, as was I – and now I’m really looking forward to baking more recipes from this book as it was so easy to follow with great results.
(PS – In case my gushing about this book is sounding suspicious – I did buy it with my hard earned cash, it wasn’t a freebie for review!)
Simple fruit loaf (from the Great British Bake Off – How To Bake)
- 175g butter
- 150g caster sugar
- 400g plain flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 300g luxury dried fruit mix
- 125ml semi-skimmed milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp apricot jam
Grease and line a 900g loaf tin (the book helpfully gives the measurements – 26×12.5×7.5cm). Heat the butter and sugar together in a saucepan until the sugar has completely dissolved, then remove from the heat. Sift together the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and stir in the dried fruit.
Beat together the eggs and milk, then pour into the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter and sugar, and mix it all together until well combined. Spread the mixture into the prepared tin, then bake at 180 degrees for about an hour, or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
When cooled remove from the tin. Melt the apricot jam with a tbsp water, then brush over the top to glaze.