Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Gluten free Kahlua Christmas cake

You may already have a special Christmas cake recipe in your family that has been handed down from generation to generation.
The hand written recipe having been, at some point in time, penciled over with metric conversions, splattered with butter and spice, torn, worn, paper yellowed, and yet with so many memories dancing off the page, the paper is pulled out of storage once a year, marking the start of another season of celebrations.

Funnily enough that was not the case in our family.  Actually I don't remember traditional Christmas cake ever gracing the table in our house.  Mum was the only family member who even liked it and because our family is very small, we tended to celebrate Christmas either with a seafood BBQ or even going out for Yum Cha at Little Bourke St, Melbourne city!

But I have this new found urge to create a new tradition for my own little family now, and that is to perfect a Christmas cake recipe that hopefully will be loved and remembered by my boys as something to look forward to each festive season.

Being Coeliac and no fan of 'peel', glaced cherries or brandy, I needed to come up with another recipe.  I also wanted to avoid as many additives and artificial preservatives as possible, hence my choice of dried fruits being cranberries, currants and prunes, and Kahlua which is not only my alcoholic liqueur of choice (!), but also preservative and additive free.

And in true Mellymaks style, you'll note a few little health kicks added because, well, just because I couldn't help myself!!  But by no means am I spruiking this as a health cake!

The spices and amounts of spices I used are to my taste, so feel free to personalise it to your tastes, as with the fruit and nut selection.  If you are looking to make it nut free, substitute the almonds for either sunflower seeds or even just more flour if you wish.  By substituting the butter for something like Nuttelex or another dairy free alternative, the cake becomes dairy free, and you could even use normal wheat self raising flour (or any other flour you desire) in place of the gluten free self raising flour is gluten is not of concern to you.

To store it once completely cooled, wrap the cake in brown paper then foil (making sure it is well sealed) and place in a cool spot until needed.  If you are icing your cake with the traditional rolled fondant, it won't be necessary to wrap it.  The icing will act as the 'preserver'.

Now, all that you have to remember is to ditch the brandy from the custard and add Kahlua instead!  Mmmmmmmmmmmmm ( :

From my family to yours, wishing you a safe and happy Christmas with all of your loved ones!

Gluten Free Kahlua Christmas Cake


170g dried cranberries (this was 1 Ocean Spray packet)
150g currants
350g prunes (pitted)
1 c Kahlua
100g raw almonds (or almond meal if you're not using a TMX or food processor)
30g flaxseed/linseeds (or ground flaxseeds if you' re not using a TMX or food processor)
150g butter
1/2 c (75g) rapadura sugar (or brown sugar.  You can use more if you like a sweeter cake but I figure with the dried fruit, glace ginger and Kahlua in the mix, 1/2c was enough for me)
150g gluten free self raising flour (I used Orgran brand)
3 free range eggs
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp mixed spice
1-2 tbs glace ginger, chopped finely (qty up to your taste!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
juice of 1 orange

Method - Conventional

1.  Place dried fruits in the base of an airtight container.  Pour over 3/4c Kahlua and mix thoroughly.  Cover and leave to soak at least overnight (I left mine for about a week, stirring around ever couple of days).
2.  To make the cake, preheat the oven to 150 degrees celcius.  Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.
3.  Place the butter and sugar in an electric mixer bowl and beat until light in colour and fluffy.
4.  Add one egg at a time, beating well between each addition.
5.  Add remaining ingredients and stir through with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are incorporated.
6.  Pour mixture into prepared tin and even out on top.
7.  Place in preheated oven and cook for approximately one hour (mine took about 5-10 minutes more) until skewer comes out clean but still moist.
8.  Once cooked, pour remaining 1/4c Kahlua evenly over hot cake.  Allow to cool in tin.
9.  Turn out and store either in an airtight container or wrapped in brown paper and foil.

Method - Thermomix

1.  Follow steps 1 and 2 above.
2.  Place almonds in TM bowl and ground on speed 8 for 20 seconds.  Set aside.  No need to wash bowl.
3.  Place flaxseeds in TM bowl and grind on speed 9 for 20 seconds.  Set aside with nuts.  No need to wash bowl however remove as much of the seeds as possible.
4.  Place butter and sugar in TM bowl.  Cream on speed 4-5 until light in colour.  I had to scrape the bowl down a couple of times and use the spatula while creaming to assist in the creaming process.
5.  Reduce the speed down to 3 and add the eggs one at a time, waiting a few seconds in between each addition.
6.  Add ground nuts and seeds, flour, spices and orange juice and mix on speed 4 for 30 seconds.
7.  Add fruit and mix on REVERSE, speed 1-2 for 45 seconds or until combined.
8.  Follow steps 6-9 above.

Decorated with my almond and coconut 'snowballs'


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