Fruitcake!

Preamble

Due to a delay in shipping, some gluten-free goodies that my wife had ordered failed to arrive yesterday (Friday), leaving here without for the weekend. As my gluten-free breads have been improving with every batch, I thought I would have a crack at making a gluten and dairy free fruitcake. Herewith are the details of the experiment.

Ingredients

  • 150g maize courflour
  • 75g green pea flour
  • 75g chickpea (besan, gram, urid) flour
  • 75g rice flour
  • 75g tapioca flour
  • 200g brown sugar (I used a mix, mostly dark brown)
  • 160g vegetable oil (I used peanut, others may need to change if intolerant)
  • 460g water
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ packet dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon (about 2g) guar gum
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon or cassia
  • 1 pinch ground ginger
  • 3 – 4 cups mixed dried fruit

Method

  1. Pass the flours, gum and sugar through a sieve into a bowl, introduce yeast, then mix well with a (dry!) hand whisk.
  2. Add oil, water and eggs to the pan of a bread machine.
  3. Add flour mix to bread machine pan, salt and spices going in on top.
  4. Operate bread machine on dough cycle, adding fruit at the appropriate point (our machine beeps).
  5. When mixing has stopped, transfer resultant batter to a baking tin, ensuring that the fruit is spread evenly across the bottom.
  6. Prove in a warm place for about 45 minutes. I used the oven, only just switched on.
  7. Turn oven on with cake inside, bake for 1 hour or so, when it reaches temperature. Using our fan oven, I did this at 150 degrees Celsius.

Results and Observations

The cake rose well and came out sufficiently moist, and with a good texture. All the fruit, however, was at the bottom. I believe that a thicker batter (less water) may be able to remedy this.

I baked the cake in a spring-form tin, lined with greaseproof paper. This prevented any problems getting the thing out of the tin at the end. My experience has shown that gluten-free bakes can be rather fragile when still hot, so an easy release can be important. I peeled the paper off the side as soon as the cake was out of the oven and the tin; however, I did not attempt to remove the paper from the base for about 20 minutes after that. The paper was removed by covering the cake with a plate, inverting, removing the cooling rack and paper, replacing the cooling rack, then righting it again and removing the plate.

My wife liked the cake, but my sensitive pallet could still detect the chickpea flavour, which put me right off it. (I can also taste the soy in commercial gluten-free products that contain it and don’t like them either.)