You can tell how tempting this recipe is - published on Saturday, in the Guardian Weekend magazine; baked on Monday afternoon as soon as the ingredients were acquired. Another Dan Lepard recipe, no surprise there!
Although it's an unusual method, it's not difficult if you plan ahead and have everything weighed out in advance, in little bowls. Sometimes you do need to be organised and careful! The only 'problem' I encountered was that the cake took a lot longer to bake than suggested in the recipe, but I put this down to my loaf tin probably being a different shape. I often have timing problems with loaf cakes - my 2lb tin is short and deep, so a cake will take longer to bake than in a longer, more shallow tin. This cake took 25 minutes longer, and I covered it with a piece of foil for that extra time to prevent it getting too dark.
There are lots of flavours in this cake - almonds, banana, orange, coconut, tropical fruit - and they all come together nicely to create a very subtle, well balanced, delicately flavoured cake, with a moist delicate crumb, as promised. No one flavour predominates, although the orange and coconut are recognisable, and biting into the pieces of tropical fruit gives little bursts of other flavours - in this case pineapple, papaya, mango and melon. I didn't taste the banana at all, but someone who doesn't like bananas might notice it.
If I have any criticism, it's that I wasn't happy with sticky, soft texture of the Tropical Fruit mix - I used Waitrose own brand 'Tropical Fruit Medley'. It was the only tropical mix I could find which was only semi-dried, but it had a lot of added sugar - more than 50%. It's clear from the photo, too, that the weight of this sugar dense fruit has made the pieces sink through the batter, rather than being evenly distributed. I think next time I make this, I will use soft dried pears or apricots and leave the word 'tropical' out of the name.