In his Guardian column this weekend, Dan Lepard gave two recipes for cakes raised with vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. Although I've never really noticed vinegar cakes before, both recipes sounded really interesting. I chose the first recipe, as I'd baked with dates in my recent Date and Maple Brownies. Dan suggests that this Caraway and Vinegar Currant Cake is quite adaptable, so I took him at his word, and replaced the currants (not tolerated in this house) with a mix of sultanas, dried cranberries and chopped ready-to-eat dried apricots. I kept the caraway seeds in the recipe, as I quite like the flavour, but it could be replaced with any other spice - I know it's an acquired taste.
As we are not eating large quantities of cake at the moment, I divided the batter between two small loaf tins, so that half could go into the freezer. The batter completely filled my loaf tins, so if you make this, make sure you use a really deep baking tin. I was worried about overflow, but the cakes rose gently, and the outer edges were set before the centre showed signs of rising - I think most of the rise occurred in the last 15 minutes of the baking time, which was the same for these loaves as suggested in the recipe.
The mix of fruits I used worked well too, with the sweetness of the sultanas and apricots balanced by the tarter cranberries. The fruit stayed evenly distributed throughout the cake, and although there wasn't the quantity to call this a rich fruit cake, there were plenty of pieces of fruit in each slice. The caraway wasn't overwhelming, but it was noticeable, so it's best to substitute if you don't like the flavour.