Cuts into 16 thin slices
I love my new job, not least because my new workmates are such enthusiastic cake eaters. One of them though is dairy free, and my love of baked goods and butter mean that often she has to say no to cake. And let’s face it, no one should have to say no to cake.
So in the spirit of Christmas, I set about making something really delicious that my dairy free friend could eat and enjoy, and everyone else too. So that’s how this yule slice was born.
It’s kind of like a light Christmas cake, although it’s not overly heavy because it’s light on flour and not overly sweet because it’s relatively low in sugar. The fruit and nuts are where this cake’s at, with delicious flavours and textures in every bite.
It’s a doddle to make and the only equipment you’ll need is a bowl and spoon, although because I come from the Lazy Girl School of Cooking, I did chop the figs and dates in the Thermomix (separately at 3-5 seconds on speed 5, if you’re interested.)
This cake is freezer friendly and will keep up to two weeks wrapped in foil but I promise you it won’t last that long. And the best bit? All you need to make this is a bowl and a spoon. True story.
200g blanched almonds
100g pitted dates, chopped
160g dried figs, chopped
180g glace cherries
100g plain flour
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
100g brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Icing sugar, for dusting
- Heat oven to 150C/130C fan-forced. Line the base and sides of a 1.5-litre loaf tinwith baking paper.
- Using your hands, mix the nuts and dried fruit in a large bowl.
- Sift in the flour, mixed spice and baking powder, then add the sugar and mix everything well.
- In a jug, beat the eggs and the vanilla, then add to the fruit and flour mix, combining everything together until you can’t see any dry mix.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, press down firmly and smooth the top. Bake for about 1 and a half hours, then cool in the tin for 15 mins. Keep an eye on the loaf during cooking, if it is browning too quickly, simply cover it loosely with foil.
- Turn out, peel off the paper and cool on a wire rack.
- Dust the top thickly with icing sugar and use a serrated knife to cut thin slices, to serve.
Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 1 1/2 hours
TIP! You can use your favourite combination of dried fruit and nuts in this loaf – just keep the total quantities the same. If you like your slice on the boozy side, soak the sultanas in half a cup of brandy overnight, discard the soaking liquid and chuck in the boozy sultanas, this will make a moister cake. If brandy ain’t your thing, try tea instead.