Hoppo Bumpo (n): A children's game. Played by folding one's arms and hopping on one leg. Aim is to bump opponents, so that they lose their balance. Last person standing wins.

May 12, 2009

Stand-back-and-throw: a complete fruitcake

Do you like fruitcake?

I have a theory that feelings for it are mostly at either end of a scale: you love it or consider it poisonous. The take-it-or-leave-it fence sitters are a bit thin on the ground (perhaps because they won't get off the fence). Certainly, a little chat with Mr Google confirms that there crowds out there who consider fruitcake to be best used as a door stop. Or worse - as a term of derision (sample usage: watch out for that Hoppo Bumpo, she's a complete fruitcake).

Me? Well, I quite like it (middle grounder) and don't mind baking the occasional cake. Christmas just isn't festive without a fancy brandy-soaked-fruit version. But recently I have begun baking it in the off-season. An interesting version that has no added sugar or fat. Its also incredibly easy to prepare (ticking all the stand-back-and-throw boxes) ... and has the universal approval of Argy and Bargy. Unfortunately, I cannot claim the credit for this one.

Mango diabetic fruitcake: link (you will need to scroll down the page)

(The recipe - from the late Doris Wandel - was originally published in Liz Harfull's The Blue Ribbon Cookbook, a collection of competition winning recipes from rural shows and cooking competitions throughout South Australia.)

The cake has a lovely moist texture and just the right level of sweetness. The tinned mango is certainly a delicious addition. I can't use eggs at home, so I have been replacing the two that the recipe calls for with a replacer (Orgran's No Egg), which works just fine. Also, I haven't been able to find the size tin of mango recommended in the recipe. I've found something roughly twice the size so I've been decanting about half the juice and weighing out about half the fruit and use that. Then scoffing the remainder while the cake is baking. Naturally.

Traditionally fruitcakes have a long shelf life (they were taken on the road by travellers, as early as the Middle Ages), but if I am not using this cake within 3 or 4 days, I have been freezing slices. It could well last longer, but I like to be cautious as there's no extra sugar to act as a preservative.

Anyway, I can recommend giving it a try. If things don't work out, you always use it as a doorstop.


  1. I definitely use the fruit cake aa door stops :p eaten as a last resort. but I do like raisin bread/cake as long as thats the only fruit in it :p

  2. Om nom nom. I need to find a good moist Christmas time fruit cake...as I'm a teetotaler and can't have the brandy. :-(

  3. Oh that looks so yummy! I'm the only one who likes fruit cake here...maybe I need to make it and freeze in slices..nothing nicer than a piece and a cuppa at quiet time LOL.

  4. I know a guy that is a professional fruit cake maker (true!).
    His are incredibly heavy, horrendously expensive and I go through one a fortnight.
    I guess that puts me in the love camp.

  5. I love fruitcakes (the edible variety that is). I must try out this recipe - my dad is diabetic so this is just perfect.

  6. Yum - I love fruit cake - a recipe without sugar or fat, even better!

  7. How bizarre, just this morning I was thinking - gosh I feel like some fruit cake.

    And I don't even really like fruit cake.

    I'm coming over.

  8. I'm feeling game for shelf life testing. Mainly because I now really, inexplicably NEED fruit cake and there isn't room for one single extra ice block in my freezer.

  9. Did you hear the one about the pack of mixed dried fruit and the 2 cartons of low fat choc milk and some flour? Nup? You mix em together and apparently it makes a low fat low sugar fruitcake. I didn't believe it either but then someone made it at christmas and I tasted some and it was actually not bad.

    Now I may have left an ingredient out (bad memory) but I'm pretty sure that's it.

  10. I don't mind a good fruit cake - they do remind me of Christmas. Mum's always has so much brandy - I guess it acts as a good preservative.

  11. Mmm..I like fruitcake. In theory. Cause it seems not to exist without scads of raisins, which should rot in hell. So a recipe to make it myself, with less sugar to boot, is right up my alley! :p


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