After our experiments with adding beetroot juice to icepops last month we’ve become big fans of Cawston Press juices. Picked and pressed immediately they have such vibrant, fresh flavours so I was really excited when they sent us some other flavours to try. I had the best of intentions to create something in the kitchen using apple juice to sweeten instead of sugar but we simply couldn’t stop returning to the fridge to top up our glasses. Woops, before we knew it we had drank them all! (and G got a telling off for drinking the can of sparkling rhubarb while I was out knowing it’s my favourite).
E was good enough to share his kids blend juices after racing round the park with his buddy. A straw is our best friend when it comes to getting E to drink and for a boy who rejects water in favour of smoothies the lower sugar option of pressed juice and spring water is perfect. Just as well they come in a pack of 3 – ”another one please Mum, I’m a big boy, I need two”.
Back in the kitchen, with a newly purchased carton of Apple and Ginger juice, cake was back on the agenda! This recipe for Molly Cake from the River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook is sugar free but totally sweet and moorish from soaking dried fruit in juice. The original recipe uses orange juice but you could experiment with all sorts of different juice and fruit combinations. The texture reminded me of bread and butter pudding which was just lovely for someone who generally steers clear of bread! A little surprising too since it has no fat or egg in it. It’s so wonderfully moist it would be a good recipe for experimenting with gluten free flours (which I find usually make for a dry cake). The beauty of a recipe like this is that you can bung in just about anything, mixing up the recipe each time you make it.
100g dried apricots
100g stoned dates
2 oranges or 350ml fruit juice
125g plain flour
100g spelt or wholemeal flour
2tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground mixed spice or just ground cinnamon
50g ground almonds
375g raisins or sultanas
- Preheat the oven to 170c/gas 3. Line a large 1ltr loaf tin with greaseproof paper
- Chop apricots and dates and put in pan. Add 350ml apple juice, bring to the boil then remove and set aside. (If using oranges as per original recipe finely grate zest of one orange and add to dried fruit in pan. Squeeze juice of both oranges into a measuring jug and top up with water to come to 350ml).
- Combine flours, baking powder, ground almonds and raisins in a large bowl. Add the soaked fruit with their liquid and mix thoroughly.
- Scoop the mixture into the loaf tin and gently smooth out. Bake for about 45 minutes or until skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Leave in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store the cake in an airtight tin where it will keep for several days
Disclosure: I was sent the juice samples to review. I was not required to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.