Fruitcakes are luxurious treats also called Christmas cakes since that’s often the only time of the year they are popular. Growing up in the Trinidad and Tobago, the fruitcake was a family traditional staple - a very heavy, dark rich cake made of butters, flours, sugars, glazed cherries, nuts, Trinidad rum and cherry wine. Also, we gifted it a as symbol of love and appreciation for family, friend and neighbours. The aroma of the spices and wine soaked fruits added a special feeling of joy and happiness to the spirit of the holiday season. The smell of my childhood baking this special cake with my mum and 9 siblings is as vivid as yesterday.
Today as a health and wellness warrior, I am always looking to add creativity to make life more interesting and healthier. So I created an unorthodox NO sugar/flour/butter version of the fruitcake that’s just as divine and aromatic without compromising my healthy eating habits. For many decades, I created many versions of this gorgeous cake but they all failed until one day magic happened and version 2 - "the healthnut fruitcake" was born:-)). Unfortunately, my Swiss-Trini kids are not fond of it (both versions).
At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I simply love the smell of fruitcake baking in the oven on cold winter nights especially Christmas Eve. The making of the fruitcake heralds the significance of my beautiful tropical childhood and Christmas holiday preparations. Here‘s the recipe I created for you:
Photo 2: Healthnut Fruit cake by Zalina
- 1/cup dried figs
- 1 cup cashews
- 7 oz cup sultana raisins or cranberry
- 3 oz dates (seedless)
- 2 oz currants or cranberries
- 1 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 3 oz citron
- 1 cup red wine
- ½ cup coconut powder
- 1/2 cup spelt or almond powder
- 3 Tbsp avocado oil
- 11/2 Tbsp coconut paste
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp cardammon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 peeled ripe banana
- 2½ tbsp molasses
- 1 tbsp Zalina Ashwagandha
- 2 tbsp coconut milk (optional)
- 3 eggs (optional)
- 1 cup Trinidad rum
Transfer all dried fruits and nuts to a food processor or Thermomix, select function to grind (coarse). Add dry ingredients and mix until combined into thick batter.
Prepare a rectangle or square silicon baking dish, transfer batter into dish and slow bake for 2 hours at 150C.
Add decorations to the top of the cake, if desired.
Let cake cool completely before brushing with wine. Serve immediately or let cake “age” for at least 1-week before cutting and serving.
Note: Research shows that there are some healthy benefits using red wine in a controlled environment. Red wine is enriched with powerful antioxidants (darker grapes) such polyphenols, resveratrol, epicathechin, cathecins and proenthocyanadins that can support and lower cholesterol, detox and stimulate blood circulation.
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Love and light,