Vegan + gluten-free cakes = stodgy, tasteless party-pooper right? Wrong. Check out this goodie-packed Vegan Christmas Cake. Just don’t tell the haters it’s healthy.
Veganism is the new black. The most recent series of The Great British Bake Off included vegan week for the first time and my son told me yesterday that three of the contestants in the current I’m a Celebrity eat a plant-based diet. (Mind you, I’m deeply suspicious of this latter statistic: it seems a very convenient way to avoid eating kangaroo anus or drinking cockroach milkshake.)
And although it’s really fashionable, the food companies have launched so many new vegan products lately, it’s looking like more than a flash in the pan (geddit?!).
Still, there’s something a bit humourless about vegan cake recipes. I mean, cakes! Cakes are for indulgence, celebration and fun. Cakes are about crumbs down your front and chocolate on your chin. Vegan cakes just sound a bit… brown rice and lentils.
Add gluten-free into the (cake) mix and we may as well just give up on food altogether and inject some kind of protein powder directly into the bloodstream, right? Wrong.
I’ve had a pre-Christmas epiphany. I’ve tried them and I’ve had to eat my words (and my gluten-free, vegan cakes) and admit that they’re moist, tasty and bursting with really good things.
Right now, it’s vegan chefs and bakers who are the ones pushing boundaries, discovering exciting new ingredients and surprising uses for old ones.
I reckon it’s better if you don’t expect the plant-based recipe to be a healthy copy of the traditional one. Think of it as ‘inspired by’ – a new experience of its own.
So it is with this Christmas loaf cake. It’s crammed with enough raisins, sultanas, dates, mixed peel and seeds to feel seasonally special. But with no sugar, it’s a healthy, junk-free alternative to stave off the regret of Christmas excess. Try it.
Just don’t tell my eldest it’s good for you or it’ll end up meeting the same fate as the sprouts did last year. (Don’t ask).
Gluten Free Vegan Christmas Loaf Cake
Serves 10 • Ready in 1 hour
80g (2.8oz) oatbran
50g (1.8oz) sultanas (golden raisins)
50g (1.8oz) raisins
50g (1.8oz) currants
75g (2.6oz) chopped dates
25g (0.9oz) mixed peel
300ml (10.6oz) almond milk
15g (0.5oz) milled flaxseed
80g (2.8oz) coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
• Place the oat bran, dried fruit and mixed peel in a bowl and pour over the milk. Stir and then leave to soak for an hour.
• Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease a small loaf tin and line the base with baking parchment.Place the flaxseed in a small bowl or cup, add 3 tbsp water, stir and leave to rest for 5 mins.
• In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut flour and baking powder. Whisk the flaxseed mixture into the milk and fruit and then add this to the flour; stir well. You are looking for a gloopy dough so if the mixture feels too firm, add about 3 tablespoons of water.
• Scoop the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 40 minutes until golden brown on the top.
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