Christmas is coming and the goose won’t be getting fat in our house (well Turkey, we always used to have Turkey). This will be our third vegan Christmas and we’re slowly starting to plan what we’ll be serving up on the big day, Amy’s Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate Salad will definitely be going down a treat, and I’m sure we’ll have some other tasty recipes to share with you before the 25th!
I feel like Christmas has definitely creeped in earlier this year, in fact we made this cake a few months ago, we were really excited to be asked to contribute to Gluten-free Heaven magazine so we got our festive on a little earlier than planned.
The cake is refined sugar free, so I will definitely be making this at Christmas, but the icing is far from sugar free, and has plenty of icing sugar, plus some delicate sugar coated cranberries, so feel free to eat your yearly intake of sugar in one sitting! Or you could always cut down the sugar or leave it un-iced – it is tasty enough not to need icing, but then you wouldn’t get to try the wonder of aquafaba. Yep – aquafaba is the juice in the tin of chick peas…who knew?! This wonder ingredient is making shockwaves through vegan baking….royal icing…meringue….macarons, there appears to be an eggless revolution happening!
Cranberry Christmas Cake
200g chopped dates
75g chopped walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
150g ground almonds
150g rice flour
1 tbsp + 2 tsp gluten free baking powder
150ml orange juice
For the icing and decorations
The water from 1 tin of chick peas (aquafaba)
500g icing sugar (sifted)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vegetarian glycerine
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g caster sugar
3 tbsp granulated sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- In a saucepan, bring the dates to the boil with the water and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add the raisins, sultanas, walnuts, cranberries and mix through all the spices. Stir through the ground almonds, rice flour and baking powder.
- Once the dates have softened down, add them to the mixing bowl along with the orange juice, and combine until everything is mixed together.
- Grease the cake tin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper. Pour in the cake mixture and spread evenly. Wrap the tin with newspaper so the edges don’t burn and bake in the oven for 1 hour until a skewer comes out clean.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin before turning it out onto a wire rack.
For the icing:
- In a bowl, whisk the aquafaba until frothy, add the icing sugar a tablespoon at a time until it has a meringue like consistency.
- Add the lemon juice, glycerine and vanilla extract and stir through. Spread a crumb coating over the cake, and ensure it is even.
- Leave to set for an hour before covering with a thick layer. Leave to set overnight.
For the sugar glazed cranberries:
- In a saucepan, melt the caster sugar in the water over a low heat until all the sugar has dissolved.
- In a bowl, cover the cranberries in the sugar syrup, drain the excess sugar syrup and leave until tacky, sprinkle over half of the granulated sugar and leave to set in the fridge for a couple of hours, turn them over and sprinkle with the rest of the granulated sugar. Leave overnight.
- The next day, the icing will be firm enough to allow you to decorate with the sugar coated cranberries.
If there is a time to feast on a sugar laden cake then Christmas is definitely that time. I’ll be enjoying this cake just when I think there isn’t another morsel of food that I can possibly eat, but come 7pm I’ll be on the hunt for some more food!
Enjoy the festivities December brings!