Prep 1 hr
Cook 1 hr 19 mins
This was given to me by a very good Bulgarian friend, Nadejda Loumbeva, who translated it from her mother's private recipe. I converted it to vegan as an experiment, and it worked surprisingly well (very well). Quantities are approximate from memory: take them with a pinch of salt, use plenty of fruit and nuts, and let me know if you have suggested changes. The biggest problem I had was with the cake collapsing while being baked, losing all the air. I haven't solved it completely. All I can recommend is to bake for as long as you dare before opening the oven, to give the cake maximum chance to set before you disturb it by opening the oven. If you know how to fix this, please share!
- 125 g soya margarine or 125 g margarine or 125 g butter
- 3 eggs (optional)
- 200 ml honey or 200 g sugar
- 200 ml soya yoghurt or 200 ml yoghurt or 200 ml cream
- 200 g whole wheat flour (or more or less or needed)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons lemon peel, grated
- 2 tablespoons orange peel, grated
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
- 50 g walnuts, finely chopped
- 50 g almonds, finely chopped
- 50 g hazelnuts, finely chopped
- 100 g dried apricots or 100 g peaches, finely chopped
- 100 g sultanas or 100 g raisins, finely chopped
- Butter a cake tin (preferably a non-stick one) and then flour well on top of the butter. Preheat the oven to 200'C (400'F). If possible, set your oven to heat from the bottom only.
- Take a large mixing bowl. If using eggs, crack them and whisk together yolks and whites.
- Add the sugar or honey, and blend well into a smooth paste.
- Add the yoghurt, baking soda, vanilla essence, cinnamon and margarine (or butter) and mix well until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder very well.
- Add flour mixture slowly to the yoghurt mixture, mixing all the time, until the mixture is smooth, neither dense nor light. It is right when it ripples on the surface as you mix.
- Add in the grated peels, the nuts and the dried fruits, and pour into the cake tin. The baking powder will be active and producing gas by this point, so you need to work quite quickly and minimize disturbance of the mixture to avoid losing it all.
- Cover the cake with aluminium foil and bake for 30-40 minutes, or longer if you dare. Do not open the oven during this time! The cake will collapse if the temperature changes before it has set.
- Remove the foil and continue to bake until a toothpick or wooden stick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Turn the cake out onto a wire rack, allow it to cool for about half an hour, and serve.