“This recipe came from necessity. I needed a dessert for a catering job that was Christmas themed and gluten free, so I adapted my mud-cake recipe to include some Christmas flavours. The result was a super moist cake that works brilliantly as a warm dessert served with ice cream or custard and a hearty cake for your Christmas celebrations. If you don’t need it gluten free then substitute regular flour. For the dessert cake I slightly undercook it so it is still fudge and moist inside. Enjoy”
375g dark chocolate
600ml water (or red wine)
300g almond meal
200g gluten free self raising flour
400g dark sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
150 chopped walnuts or almonds
1kg Christmas mince (Recipe on “Christmas Mince Pies” post)
Place chocolate, butter and water (or red wine) in a saucepan and bring to a medium heat, stirring occasionally until all ingredients are melted and combined. Allow to cool.
Combine in a mixing bowl the almond meal, GF flour, sugar and spices.
Beat the eggs and mix into the cooled chocolate mixture.
Add the Christmas mince to the chocolate mixture and stir through.
Pour the chocolate mixture and the nuts into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Pour into a large flat lined dish or several smaller ones. I use one that is 35cm by 24cm. If you try to use a traditional cake pan it will take ages to cook and burn around the edges. You want the cake to be about 4cm tall (It won’t rise much at all)
Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 45 minutes or until just set. As long as there’s no movement in the cake when you move it and a skewer comes out relatively clean it should be fine.
Allow to cool in the pan in the fridge before turning out and cutting.
“I’m always looking for quick and easy recipes to make for Christmas parties and presents. These biscuits are based on a Mexican recipe I found that I deleted the chilli and spices and added Christmas mince. They turned out so well I’ve had requests to make more. (Mainly from my husband) I love the texture of the crinkle and on the outside which is achieved by rolling them in icing sugar. Enjoy!”
(Photos by Gary Corbett)
450g plain flour
80g dutch cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
300g Christmas mince (Recipe on “Christmas Mince Pies” post)
Icing sugar to roll balls in
Combine flour, cocoa, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix well.
Beat the eggs with the oil, then stir in the Christmas mince.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and beat until combined.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes (this makes them easier to roll)
Put icing sugar into a small bowl.
Roll golf ball sized balls in your hand then roll then in the icing sugar until covered. shake off the excess and place on a parchment lined baking tray. (You can press them down slightly so they won’t roll around but don’t flatten them out. They will keep their ball-shape once they’re cooked.)
Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 10-12 minutes or until the crackle patten has emerged.
“Every year I make Christmas mince pies. Mum’s been doing making them for years but I’m sure mine are better! She will disagree with this. Anyway, this version is very tasty and vegan friendly. Of course, you can make them with a traditional shortcrust pastry but I love the texture of this pastry and it’s really easy to make and work with. This recipe makes enough pastry for about 3 dozen mince pies, so halve it if you don’t need that many. I make the Christmas mince in bulk every year and use it to make Christmas cakes, biscuits and other delicacies. I haven’t given weights for the dried fruit because with this method you can make as much or as little as you like and use a combination of fruits that you like best. I would also suggest you use less expensive cooking port or it can get expensive. Enjoy!”
(Photos by Gary Corbett)
Ingredients for Christmas mince
Method for Christmas mince
Cut up the dried fruit into small pieces or use a food processor.
Place fruit in a large saucepan pour over enough port to saturate the fruit.
Bring the heat up to medium and keep stirring until the port has been incorporated and the fruit has softened. There should be no liquid left in the mixture and the fruit should be glossy and sticky. (When doing 2kg of dried fruit this takes up to 20 minutes) You can always add more port and keep the mixture on the heat if you want cook it for longer.
Let the Christmas mince cool completely in the saucepan then transfer to a plastic container and refrigerate. Because of the high amount of natural sugars the Christmas mince will last for ages!
Ingredients for Vegan shortcrust pastry
190g Nutilex (or non-dairy margarine)
190g icing sugar
400g plain flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
Method for Vegan shortcrust pastry
Put all ingredients in a food processor and combine until it comes into a ball. If you mixture is crumbly add a small amount of cold water. If it’s to soft put some more flour in.
Empty mixture onto some plastic wrap and knead into a disc. (This will make it easier to roll out later)
Wrap disc in the plastic wrap and place in the fridge until needed.
Method for Christmas mince pies
Roll out the pastry until it’s about 5mm thick.
Cut out circles of pastry to fit your pans. (I have specialty pans that are shallow with a fluted edge that are perfect for these pies)
Press the pastry into the base of each mould so it comes a few centimetres up the side. (Or as deep as you want if you want bigger pies!)
Fill the moulds with the cooled Christmas mince and smooth the top.
Using Christmas cutters make tops for the pies. I use stars, Santas, Christmas trees or baubles for mine. You can also enclose the top completely if you like.
Before you put them in the oven you can use an egg-wash, milk or any vegan milks to paint over the pastry tops. Or you can sprinkle a bit of sugar over them.
Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 10-15 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and starting to brown.
Give to all your family and friends and everyone will love you!
Hello, my name is Craig.
Craig Allister Young is a cellist, orchestrator, arranger, singer and song-writer who works with the QLD Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane.
Over the past 20 years he has orchestrated music for most of the major orchestras in Australia, composed music for the Sydney 2000 Olympics,
toured a cabaret ensemble around QLD and for the past three years has been a musical director and cellist for the QLD ballet. His passion for cooking
saw him embark on his latest adventure as a top 24 contestant in the hugely popular TV sensation Australian Masterchef 2011. It is from this that the idea of
"Musical Menus" materialised as a way of combining his love for music with his passion for creating imaginative culinary dishes. Bon Appetite!