After doing a lot of bake sales you get to know the best sellers at different types of events. One favourite it seems is date and walnut cake. It sells well as a whole loaf cake but you can cut it easily to sell as individual slices. In recent years though I have found that people are turning down cake. The reasons for this are often because they have a dairy or egg intolerance though of course there are growing numbers of people who choose to follow a vegan diet. So since it is January in the spirit of Veganuary I've made this as a vegan cake. The liquid comes from simply adding enough water to bind the mixture all together. For the fat I've used vegan baking spread (Pure or Vitalite works well) which is easily available in supermarkets. This also has no added sugar with all the sweetness coming from the dried fruit.
Equipment: 2lb (1kg) loaf tin lined, glass Pyrex bowl, large bowl
5½oz (155g) Dates, chopped
4oz (115g) Sultanas
3oz (85g) Vegan baking spread
2oz (55g) Walnuts, chopped
6½oz (185g) Self-raising wholemeal flour
1tsp (5ml) Bicarbonate of soda
1tsp (5ml) Nutmeg
1tsp (5ml) Cinnamon
¼ pint (140ml) Water
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4.
2. Put the dates and sultanas into the glass bowl with the baking spread. Heat in the microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes until the dried fruit is plump. Alternatively you could warm them in a saucepan on a gentle heat until the spread has melted and the fruit is plump.
3. In a large bowl add the other dry ingredients and mix together and then add in the dates and sultanas.
4. Stir in the water until all the ingredients are moist and stick together. Add a little extra water if required.
5. Transfer to the loaf tin and then bake for around an hour until a skewer comes out clean.6. Take out of the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.