Occasionally the fancy takes me to make an attempt at being healthy, but only very occasionally. Everyone who knows me is well aware of how much I like cake and chocolate and biscuits. In fact, pretty much the only things I like more than these are strawberries. Thankfully strawberries are extremely healthy so I take advantage and eat as many as I can get my hands on during the few months that I can get hold of British strawberries. You are going to have to trust me when I say I can eat a LOT of strawberries in one sitting because for the time being I am not going to post the picture of my 9 month old self, sitting on our front lawn surrounded by several baskets of strawberries shoving as many as possible into my face. The only thing that has changed in the years since then is that I can now eat my favourite fruit with a little more decorum. Until someone tries to steal one. I would rather give up my monster jar of Nutella. The only reason why I won't be yakking on about many recipes with strawberries in is because the said ingredients would never make it into the bowl with the other ingredients.
So, back to the recipe. I first heard about Weetabix cake from someone on my course at university, my initial reaction being one of disgust immediately followed by intrigue (which just happens to be the same reaction of both my parents when I said I was making it.) When I found a rather large box of Weetabix on a really good offer in Morrison's and it fell conveniently with my latest foray into limiting how much cake I ate, I decided to save in a little plastic tub all the flaky bits that fall off when you attempt to take out a couple for your breakfast instead of crushing them to start with. By the time I finished uni for the summer I had enough for the cake and had persuaded my mum that it wouldn't be so bad to try it. The result was something that was enjoyable enough to not throw out to the birds and seeing as the cake didn't peak during baking, I was doubly pleased. It might not look over-exciting but after I have added some orange zest and some chocolate (and removed some of the sugar because this version was agreed to be very sweet by both my parents as well as myself) I'm hoping that it will go on 'the list' as my dad puts it to make again. My development ideas are going to have to wait a little while though because there are lots of other cakes I'm dying to try first. It will never win any awards for visual impact but some of the most simple cakes to make can be some of the best. It's also a brilliant way to use up cereal that might have been taking up room in your cupboard for a while if you have phases of eating different ones.
Hope you enjoy!
300g self raising flour
225g caster sugar
200g raisins or other dried fruit (I used a 1:1 mix of raisins and glace cherries)
2 Weetabix, crushed
1 tsp mixed spice
1 medium egg, beaten
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl then mix in the egg and milk. Pour into a lined 2lb loaf tin and bake in a preheated over at 130 degrees Celsius/110 fan/ gas 3 for 1 hour 15 mins. Once cooked (a cocktail stick or skewer should come out of the centre clean) put on a cooling rack and after 5 or ten minutes take out of the tin and remove the lining paper. Slice and serve once cool.
Notes: The first time I did this I had it on 110 fan for about 1 hour 35 mins. You might need to rotate the cake periodically depending on your oven but it probably isn't a good idea to open the oven door in the initial 30 minutes or the cake could sink if it behaves like spongier recipes. Strictly speaking this isn't my recipe - I got it off the netmums website. I've only put it on here because I've seen the same one on other websites so I wasn't sure which was the original. But yes, you did read right, there is no fat added like most cakes. (Hooray!)
In case you were wondering, my healthy eating lasted for less time than it took me to finish the big box of Weetabix.