In which I update an old recipe...
I usually make a Christmas Cake around this time of year to take to work. As I now have vegan colleagues I decided to look into making it safe for them to eat. Luckily this is quite easy to achieve with a stodgy cake like this one.
- 450 g (1 lb) currants
- 175 g (6 oz) sultanas
- 175 g (6 oz) raisins
- 50 g (2 oz) glacé cherries, chopped
- 50 g (2 oz) mixed peel
- an amount of brandy* (check its vegan-ness first)
- 225 g (8 oz) plain flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg†
- ½ teaspoon all spice†
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 225 g (8 oz) vegan sunflower spread
- 225 g (8 oz) soft brown sugar
- 284 ml (1/2 pint) oat milk (or any other vegan milk substitute) 
- 1 dessertspoon black treacle
- rind of 1 lemon, grated
- rind of 1 orange, grated
- optional: 50 g (2 oz) almonds, chopped
*the recipe I followed said 3 tablespoons but more brandy is better. If doing the cake quickly with limited feeding time I would go for 6 tablespoons.
†Again I feel more spice is better.
- Mix all the fruit in a bowl and cover with brandy.
- Leave to soak overnight.
- Pre-heat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan).
- Cream the spread and sugar in an other mixing bowl.
- Whisk the oat milk.‡
- Add them slowly to the creamed spread and sugar mixing thoroughly.
- Fold in the flour and spices.
- Mix in the fruit, peel, brandy, treacle (and nuts).
- Put the mixture into the cake tin.
- Tie brown paper (or tinfoil if you don't have any) around the tin and on top of the cake leaving a 2 cm hole in the middle of the top.
- Bake the cake for 4¼-4¾ (don't open the oven for the first 4 hours).
- Cool the cake before putting it in an airtight tin until icing.
- Occasionally feed the cake with extra brandy up until icing.
‡Eggs normally provide the structure and help produce the foam structure of a sponge cake. Whisking the oat milk helps get some air into the cake. The benefit of a heavy fruit cake is that rising isn't a major concern.
It is possible to make royal icing without eggs using one surprising ingredient: aquafaba. Or as most people will know it: the brine in beans/legumes are stored in.
- 1 tin worth of aquafaba (I used a tin of chickpeas)
- 500g (1 lb 2 oz) icing sugar
- 500g (1 lb 2 oz) marzipan
- apricot jam
- Use a pastry brush to spread apricot jam over the cake.
- Using rolling pin create a thin layer of marzipan and place it over the cake.
- Clarify the aquafaba over a low heat by reducing it to 80% of it's original volume.
- Remove the froth and any other fibre.
- Add the aquafaba to the icing sugar and mix with an electric whisk.
- Once the icing is glossy it is ready to use.
- Spread over the cake.
- Create a snowscene.
 Smith, D., 1992. Delia’s Complete Cookery Course. London: Ebury Publishing.
 Suma, 2017. Vegan Christmas Cake Recipe. [online] Available at: http://www.suma.coop/archives/vegan-christmas-cake-recipe/ [Accessed 12 December 2017]
 Wallflower Kitchen, 2015. Eggless Royal Icing. [online] Available at: http://wallflowerkitchen.com/vegan-eggless-royal-icing/ [Accessed 13 December 2017]