Chocolate Christmas cake (dairy and gluten free)

Posted on 20 December 2013 · Posted in Our recipes    Share on   

This recipe is adapted from a recipe from Nigella Lawson. It is a very English cake, dense, with high flavors, but it doesn’t take as long to make as the traditional Christmas cake which requires soaking the fruits in brandy for 48 h. In this recipe, heating all the fruit in liquid replaces the soaking. The prunes ensure that the cake is dark, moist and squidgy – but what makes it really special is the chocolate. Laurent&Magalie suggest to use a gluten-free flour, reduced the amount of alcohol and replaced the butter with a mixture of olive oil and almond butter to make it dairy free.

1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas mark 2.
2. Line the sides and bottom of a 20cm/8in, 9cm/3½in deep, round loose-bottomed cake tin with a layer of bake-o-glide or other reusable silicon-baking parchment. When lining the tin with the bake-o-glide, cut the material into strips that are twice as high as the tin itself (it’s easier to use two shorter strips of bake-o-glide, than one long strip); the height of the strips protects the cake from catching on the outside of the cake tin.
3. Place the fruit, olive oil, almond butter, sugar, honey, coffee liquor, orange juice and zest, mixed spice and cocoa into a large wide saucepan. Heat the mixture until it reaches a gentle boil, stirring the mixture as the butter melts. Let the mixture simmer for ten minutes. Then remove the saucepan from the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
4. After 30 minutes, the mixture will have cooled a little. Add the eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking powder and baking soda, and mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until the ingredients have combined.
5. Carefully pour the fruit cake mixture into the bake-o-glide lined cake tin. Transfer the cake tin to the oven and bake for 1h30, or until the top of the cake is firm but has a shiny and sticky look. At this point, if you insert a cake tester into the middle of the cake, the cake should still be a little uncooked in the middle.
6. Place the cake on a cooling rack. Once the cake has cooled, remove it from the tin.
7. Decorate the cake as you like, with little stars, or almond paste, or edible glitter.

Servings: 6 persons
Preparation time: 35mn + 1h30 cooking time
Difficulty: easy

350 g dried soft prunes, chopped
250 g raisins
80 g almond butter
60 g olive oil
175 g dark muscovado sugar or any dark sugar
175 ml honey
60 ml coffee liquor or Grand Marnier
2 oranges, juice and zest only
1 teaspoon mixed spice
2 tablespoon good quality cocoa
3 organic eggs, beaten
150 g plain flour or brown rice flour for a gluten free version
75 g ground almonds
½ teaspoon baking power
½ teaspoon baking soda