Saturday, 26 December 2015

Vegan Christmas (and Easter) cake

Dinosaur footprints optional!

I'm not great at updating my blogspot. I have quite a few weddings to post on here, and I've added a Heather Hartley facebook page so I really should devote more time to social media in 2016. However, my two young boys keep me busy and I'd rather spend my evenings doing things other than going on a PC. We'll see if I stick to this resolution.

My youngest son has a dairy, egg, soya and peanut allergy. I made a vegan Christmas cake and it tastes so good I thought I should share the recipe and post it on here for longevity. I hate it when I make something delicious and don't keep a record. Even if he outgrows his food allergies, we'll be sticking to this recipe from now on. 

Vegan Christmas cake

It's basically a Simnel cake come Christmas cake so I'll be using this recipe at Christmas and Easter - I've substituted egg with pureed apricot and apple, and soak the fruit (and later cake) with brandy (dark rum would also work well). The cake is made with self-raising flour so the sponge is slightly lighter than a Christmas cake, but the addition of marzipan to the cake mix makes the cake rich and almondy. You could leave out the marzipan if you're not a fan. I make it just a week before Christmas as it doesn't need time to mature.

Ingredients and method:
Pre heat oven to 150 degrees Celsius and line an 8" round cake tin.

1. Mix the following together and leave for a few hours or overnight:

2 tablespoons of brandy
8oz sultanas
4oz currants
4oz raisins
grated rind of 1 lemon
grated rind of 1 orange
4oz glace cherries, quartered

2. Then mix the following together and stir in the fruit mixture.

8oz dairy free margarine (I use Pure sunflower spread)
8oz light muscovado sugar
6oz self raising flour
2oz ground almonds (substitute with flour if you have an almond allergy)
2 teaspoons of mixed spice
225ml apple and apricot puree (*see below)

 *Puree - heat 3oz dried apricots and 6oz dessert apples in a pan with 85ml water. Heat til soft and then blend. Makes 225ml.

3.  Place half the mixture in the cake tin and level. Place marzipan circle on top of the mixture and add the remaining mixture on top. Level.

300g marzipan rolled out into an 8" circle (omit if allergic or don't like)
4. Bake in the oven for about 1.5 - 2 hours until the cake is risen, comes away from the sides of the cake tin, and a skewer comes out clean. Cover the cake for the last hour with tin foil to stop it browning too much.

5. When cool, prod with a skewer and feed the cake with 3 tablespoons of rum / brandy.

6. A few days before Christmas, brush the cake with either warmed apricot jam or brandy / rum, and put 700g of rolled marzipan on it (I buy ready made marzipan).

7. Two days before Christmas, brush the cake with brandy or rum and put 454g of rolled out white icing on it (I use ready made icing). Decorate as desired.