The "Twist" is to replace milk with an organic mulled tea for added flavour and moist. I also like adding a pinch of salt to enhance the balance of flavour between the tangy cherries and the sweet marmalade.
180g of organic vegan margarine (soy or vegetable oil based) or organic salted butter (for non-vegans)
180g organic brown sugar
3 tbsp organic orange marmalade (Meridian makes a lovely organic marmalade)
1 organic smashed banana or 3 organic beaten eggs (for non-vegans)
1 zest of an organic orange
225g organic self-raising flour
25g organic ground almonds
1 heaped tsp organic ground mixed spice (www.buywholefoodsonline.co.uk)
400g organic dried fruit (www.buywholefoodsonline.co.uk)
75g organic golden cherries (I have replaced the glace cherries for organic golden cherries available at buywholefoodsonline.co.uk )
40g organic blanched almonds (for decoration)
And last but not least, roughly 4g of Totem Tea Gingery reindeer freshly brewed in roughly 25ml of water (www.totemteashop.co.uk)
1. Leave your mulled tea to infuse for at least 15 minutes, it will produce a dark, intense and spicy brew. Let it cool for few minutes as it will be close to boiling temperature at that point.
2.Line a deep loose-based 20cm cake tin with baking parchment.
3.Preheat the oven to 180C/160 C fan/Gas Mark 4.
4.Beat your margarine (or butter) and sugar in a food processor until light and fluffy.
5.Stir in the orange zest, the marmalade and the tea and mix for a minute or two.
6.Slowly add the mashed banana (or eggs).
7.Add the flour, ground almonds and spices to the batter. Mix slowly until well combined, then stir in the mixed dried fruit and golden cherries. Add the mulled tea and mix until combined.
8.Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and spread level using a spoon. Carefully arrange the blanched almonds in neat circles on top of the cake.
9.Bake in the oven for 45 mins.
10.Lower the oven temperature to 160C/140 C fan/Gas Mark 3 and cook for a further 60 minutes. Check the cake after 50 minutes by inserting a metal skewer into the centre of the cake. Remember to check regularly - it’s important not to overcook this cake so the centre will be a little moist.
11.Leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes then remove from the tin, remove the lining paper and leave to cool on a wire rack. Wrap in foil and store in a cake tin and eat within 4-5 days.
12.Enjoy with a cup of mulled tea, dunk your cake in it if you feel like it.:)