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This rich and delicious Xmas cake takes a fairly traditional approach with some yummy twists. Bananas add gorgeous flavour and dark chocolate adds a cheeky treat to each slice. Both molasses and wholemeal spelt flour give richness and an earthy goodness. Perfect to share with loved ones this Xmas.
Recipe & photography by Kelly Gibney
200g dried apricots – cut into small pieces
250g dried figs – cut into small pieces
250g prunes – cut into small pieces
1 cup brandy*
300g room temperature butter
1 cup brown sugar
5 free range eggs
2 ripe All Good Bananas – peeled and mashed
2 tablespoon molasses
Zest of 2 oranges
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups wholemeal spelt flour
1 ½ cups almond meal
150g dark chocolate – roughly chopped
To garnish: almonds (optional)
Place the dried fruit and the brandy in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Place in a large bowl. Cover and leave to steep overnight in the fridge. Drain well before using.
Use a stand mixer or electric beaters to cream the butter and sugar until pale. Add the eggs one at a time (mixing between each addition), followed by the molasses, orange zest and banana.
Mix through the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
Use a wooden spoon to combine with the flour, almond meal, chocolate and the soaked fruit.
Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
Prepare a 20 x 20cm deep square cake tin using the instructions below. Spoon the cake batter into the tin and use a spatula to flatten the top. Decorate with almonds if desired.
Bake for 3 hours. A cake skewer should come out mostly clean. Wrap the cake in tinfoil while still warm to keep to keep moist. Keep it wrapped in the paper it was cooked in also.
Once a week you can poke a few holes in the top of the cake and spoon over 1-2 tablespoons of brandy if you like. This is called ‘feeding’ the cake. It will help keep it moist and the flavour to develop and mature. After each feeding, double wrap the cake in baking paper and then wrap tightly in tinfoil or store in an airtight cake tin.
Cooks tip: Prepare the tin by greasing it well (so that the baking paper will stick). Cut one square piece to line the bottom of the tin and then criss cross two large rectangles of baking paper (with a width the same as the tin), leaving the ends hanging over the tin. This will help remove the cake at the end.
*If you would prefer your cake to be free of alcohol, you can soak your fruit in a strong brew of black tea.
We're always on the hunt for inspiration to keep banana loving monkeys happy. So, we asked Kelly Gibney to help us out. Kelly is a wholefoods writer and Dish magazine columnist, and we're so pleased to be able to share her recipes with you.