I made this vegetarian marmalade cake a week ago and it was such a hit with my family that I just had to share the recipe with you. It’s from Delia Smith’s The Delia Collection: Baking, which is fast becoming my favorite kitchen companion. I love that she offers vegetarian recipes, which is quite rare in general baking books… normally I’d have to scour for cookbooks specializing in vegetarian fare for them. But in her collection, she has peppered all sections with at least one vegetarian recipe. Woohoo! *grin*
This eggless wholemeal cake is full of flavor and it leaves you feeling not-so-guilty for indulging in a sweet treat as there is no refined flour or sugar in it! Using dark brown sugar (use unrefined for the best flavor), wholemeal flour and lots of fruit, this is a spectacular vegetarian and healthy tea-time cake. And I love that Smith instructs you to sprinkle the top of the cake batter with demerara sugar before baking, which creates a crunchy sweet topping on the crust that is SuCh a delight to bite into when you tuck into a slice. Oh and I need not say (but I will anyway! J) that this cake is so rich and delicious that nobody will guess it to be egg-free.
The flavor develops over time so I’d advice you to bake it a day or two before you plan to serve it. Let the baked cake cool completely, wrap in foil and store until you’re ready to slice and serve. And just a note on the wholemeal flour… try to use only stoneground wholemeal flour, because I find the texture of the normal wholemeal flour we get here (from Prima and Phoon Huat’s in-house brand for example) way too coarse to be used in baking, especially in a recipe like this that solely relies on wholemeal flour, without any addition of plain flour to lighten the batter. I tried the Prima brand before in a cake and I couldn’t stomach the rough and super-dense texture. Stoneground flour (I use Waitrose’s Organice Stoneground Wholemeal Flour which I found in Vivoity’s Organic Mart) is much finer and lends to a more delicate crumb… and most importantly, still retains all the fiber of normal wholemeal. And remember to store wholemeal flour in the fridge as it can go rancid quickly because of the natural oils found in the wheat grain.
Vegetarian Marmalade Cake
(from The Delia Collection: Baking)
1 rounded tablespoon chunky marmalade
80z/ 225g plain wholemeal flour
1 tbsp baking powder
4oz/ 110g dark brown soft sugar
4 oz/ 110g butter, cubed and softened slightly
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 tsp ground mixed spice (I used ¼ tsp each of ground cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger and cardamom)
4oz/ 110g dried mixed fruit
5 fl oz/ 150ml milk, plus more if needed
1 tsp cider or white wine vinegar
1 tbsp demerara sugar, for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 350F/ 180C. Grease a 7” round tin or a 450g/1lb loaf tin. Line the bottom of the tin with greaseproof paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and sugar. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. I did this in my food processor by blitzing all the dry ingredients to mix them evenly, then throwing in the cubed butter and pulsing the mixture just until it resembled coarse breadcrumbs.
3. Next, add the orange and lemon zest, mixed spice(s) and dried fruit.
4. Stir everything together well and then add the milk, a little at a time, followed by the vinegar. Stir until the ingredients are evenly distributed and finally stir in the marmalade. You should have a good dropping consistency so that when you tap the mixture on the side of the bowl, it drops off easily. Add more milk if necessary.
5. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared tin and sprinkle the top evenly with demerara sugar.
6. Bake for 60-75mins until the cake has shrunk slightly from the sides and when a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave to cool in tin for 10mins before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
p/s: I’m having some trouble with my internet connection so I may not be able to reply to al your comments, but I promise to get to them once I fix the problem!