Christmas Cake: Vegan Edition

In which I update an old recipe...

I usually make a Christmas Cake around this time of year to take to work.[1] 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.

The Cake

Ingredients

  • 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) [2]
  • 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.

Recipe

  1. Mix all the fruit in a bowl and cover with brandy.
  2. Leave to soak overnight.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan).
  4. Cream the spread and sugar in an other mixing bowl.
  5. Whisk the oat milk.‡
  6. Add them slowly to the creamed spread and sugar mixing thoroughly.
  7. Fold in the flour and spices.
  8. Mix in the fruit, peel, brandy, treacle (and nuts).
  9. Put the mixture into the cake tin.
  10. 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.
  11. Bake the cake for 4¼-4¾ (don't open the oven for the first 4 hours).
  12. Cool the cake before putting it in an airtight tin until icing.
  13. 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.

The Icing

It is possible to make royal icing without eggs using one surprising ingredient: aquafaba.[3] Or as most people will know it: the brine in beans/legumes are stored in.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  1. Use a pastry brush to spread apricot jam over the cake.
  2. Using rolling pin create a thin layer of marzipan and place it over the cake. 
  3. Trim. 
  4. Clarify the aquafaba over a low heat by reducing it to 80% of it's original volume. 
  5. Remove the froth and any other fibre. 
  6. Add the aquafaba to the icing sugar and mix with an electric whisk. 
  7. Once the icing is glossy it is ready to use. 
  8. Spread over the cake. 
  9. Create a snowscene.

Enjoy!

Tasty tasty cake.

Tom Out!

References

[1] Smith, D., 1992. Delia’s Complete Cookery Course. London: Ebury Publishing.

[2] Suma, 2017. Vegan Christmas Cake Recipe. [online] Available at: http://www.suma.coop/archives/vegan-christmas-cake-recipe/ [Accessed 12 December 2017]

[3] Wallflower Kitchen, 2015. Eggless Royal Icing. [online] Available at: http://wallflowerkitchen.com/vegan-eggless-royal-icing/ [Accessed 13 December 2017]