Quick Apricot, Apple and Pecan Loaf Cake

If you've never made a cake in your life before I promise you, you can make this one – whether you're male, female, age 6 to 106, it really is so simple, but tastes so divine you would think it took oodles of skill. The only important thing to remember (as with all cakes) is to use the right size tin.

For the loaf cake:

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Winter Collection.

Quick Apricot, Apple and Pecan Loaf Cake
 6 oz (175 g) ready-to-eat apricots, each chopped in half
 6 oz (175 g) cooking apple (1 medium apple), cut into ½ inch (1 cm) chunks with skins on
 6 oz (175 g) pecan nuts
 pinch salt
 1½ level teaspoons baking powder
 2 rounded teaspoons cinnamon
 4 oz (110 g) plain flour
 4 oz (110 g) wholewheat flour
 4 oz (110 g) butter, at room temperature
 6 oz (175 g) soft brown sugar
 2 large eggs, beaten
 3 tablespoons milk
For the topping:
 4 cubes demerara sugar, roughly crushed
 ¼ level teaspoon ground cinnamon
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).

You will also need a Deliaonline Silverwood loaf tin (or standard 2lb loaf tin), lined with a traditional 2lb loaf tin liner


First of all when the oven has pre-heated, spread the nuts out on a baking sheet and toast them lightly for about 8 minutes, using a timer so that you don't forget them.

After that remove them from the oven to a chopping board, let them cool a bit, then chop them roughly.

Meanwhile, take a large mixing bowl, sift the salt, baking powder, cinnamon and both flours into it, holding the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing and adding the bran from the sieve.

Then simply add all the rest of the ingredients except the fruit and nuts. Take an electric hand whisk, begin to beat the mixture on a slow speed, then increase the speed to mix everything thoroughly before folding in the apricot, apples and pecans.

When it's all mixed add some more milk if necessary to give a mixture that drops easily off a spoon, then pile the mixture into the tin, level the top, sprinkle on the crushed sugar cubes and cinnamon, and bake in the centre of the oven for 1¼-1½ hours or until the cake feels springy in the centre.

After that remove it from the oven, let it cool for about 5 minutes in the tin, then turn it out on to a wire tray and let it get completely cold before transferring it to a tin. The storage tin may not be needed if there are people around, as this loaf tends to vanish very quickly. Cut into slices using a serrated knife.

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