Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fruit and nut cake

No better way to use the over ripe bananas than baking a cake or a bread with them. But I realized the same is applicable with other fruits too. For a couple of days I had to go to Chennai. By the time I returned, all the fruits were over ripe and I had no heart to throw them in to the bin.
I also had about 250g of cherries, the bright red ones you find in Iyengar bakery cakes, nearing its expiry date (don't panic: I said 'nearing' with just over a fortnight left :)) So basically what I baked was all the left overs in my house and I had to do a lot of tweaking to the basic banana bread recipe to get one of my best bread till date!!! It turned out much better than most of the meticulously followed recipes :)

If you are thinking fruit cakes/bread are loaded with unwanted calories and not worth the effort then this is the perfect recipe for you. Both whole wheat and all purpose flour are used and there is no butter. Just 1/4 cup of canola or any vegetable oil along with flax seed, milk and fruit puree to get a nice moist bread.

  • Whole wheat flour (atta) - 2 cups
  • All purpose flour (maida) - 1 cup
  • Oil (canola/sunflower) - 1/4 cup
  • Sugar - 1 cup
  • Nuts - 1/2 cup  walnut (chopped, toasted)
  • Cherry - 3/4 cup (chopped)
  • Fruit puree - 11/2 to 2 cups ( I used a mixture of banana, strawberry, apple and some mango pulp)
  • Orange - juice of 2 medium size orange and 1 tsp of grated orange peel or zest
  • Milk - 1 cup
  • Flax seed -  3 tbs
  • Baking powder - 2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/8 tsp
  • Almond essence - 1 tsp (Vanilla essence can also be used)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a loaf pan. If possible line it with oven grade butter paper.
  2.  In a big bowl sift whole wheat flour, aps flour, salt and baking powder.
  3. In a mixer take flax seeds and all the fruits except orange. Grind to get a smooth puree and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. I added 3 bananas, 5 to 6 strawberries, 1 big apple and 2 tbsp of mango puree (can be substituted with mango juice like slice or maaza)
  4. In another large bowl take oil, sugar, fruit puree, milk, orange zest and almond essence. Whisk well to combine.
  5. Add the sifted flour and orange juice to the wet mixture (puree-milk mix) and mix with a wooden spoon till just combined. 
  6. Fold in half the cherries and walnuts. If the mixture is too thick then add more orange juice or milk. (It shouldn't be as thick as a chapathi dough. It has to be much more gooey and sticky)
  7. Gently transfer it to the prepared loaf pan and top it with rest of the cherries and walnuts.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 65 to 75 minutes.
  9. Cool the golden brown bread for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Slice after it cools completely.

sending it to colourful holi by cuisine delights