Seasons Greetings

This season we are serving up three Christmas cake recipes for you

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Jelly Tip Cheesecake

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(raw, vegan, refined sugar free, gluten free)

Recipe by Charlotte Bell, Bell & Co

(serves 8-12)

Base

  • 1 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1 cup cashews or almonds
  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup cacao
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2-3 tbsp boiling water
  • a pinch of salt

Grease a 26mm springform cake tin with coconut oil or line with baking paper.

Put all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until it comes together into a sort of sticky dough, with small bits of almonds and crunchy buckwheat. Don’t over process, otherwise it will turn into a nut-butter. Press the base mixture into the tin. Put in freezer while you make the filling.

Filling

  • 2 cups cashews - soaked for 4 hours or overnight in water, then rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1/4 cup sweetener - pure maple syrup, rice malt syrup or honey
  • 2/3 coconut oil - melted

To make the filling, add all ingredients to a high-powered blender or food processor. Process until creamy and smooth. Pour the topping over the base, and then smooth out evenly.

Place in the freezer to set for at least 3 hours to set.

Raspberry Jelly Topping

  • 2 cups raspberries - frozen, defrosted or fresh
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sweetener - pure maple syrup, rice malt syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

Blitz raspberries, water and sweetener in food processor or blender until smooth. In a mixing bowl, stir in chia seeds until they are evenly incorporated in the raspberry mix.

Let sit for at least an hour, so the chia seeds absorb the water and create a jelly like consistency. Pour over the top of the set cheesecake and place back in the freezer.

 

Pavlova Wreath

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(gluten free)

(serves 8-10)

Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature (save the yolks for making Lemon Curd)
  • 1½ cups caster sugar
  • 2 tsp corn flour
  • 1 tsp white vinegar

Vanilla Cream

  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence or extract

Topping

  • ½ cup lemon curd (see recipe below)
  • Fresh strawberries or raspberries
  • Fresh mint leaves

Preheat oven to 130degC (do not use fan bake). Line an oven tray with baking paper and draw a 28-30cm circle on it using a dinner plate as a stencil. Draw another 8-10cm circle in the centre of the 30cm circle using a ramekin.

Place egg whites in a large, clean, dry bowl (be careful you don’t get any egg shell or yolk in the bowl) and beat with an electric beater on high, until stiff peaks form. Gradually add castor sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while continuously beating. Once all sugar has been added, continue beating on high speed for 10 minutes, until sugar has dissolved and meringue mixture is thick and glossy. Beat in corn flour and vinegar for about 1 minute.

Using a large metal spoon, place large dollops of pavlova mixture onto baking paper (in between the two circles), to make a wreath shape. Level the top slightly to create a flatter surface to add the cream later.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Without opening the oven door, turn off heat and leave pavlova to cool completely in the oven for 2 hours minimum (or overnight).

Once completely cool, you can store the pavlova in a large, dry, airtight container or on a large platter, lightly wrapped in cling film for 1-2 days.

Whip cream and vanilla essence until soft peaks form.

To serve, spread cream over top of pavlova, decorate with berries and drizzle with lemon curd. Sprinkle with mint leaves.

Lemon curd

Whisk 4 egg yolks with ½ cup caster sugar in a medium-size glass or metal bowl, until well combined. Whisk in ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice. Sit bowl above a pot of gently simmering water (or use a double boiler) and stir mixture continuously with a wooden spoon until mixture is a sauce consistency and has thickened enough to lightly coat the back of the wooden spoon, about 10 minutes. Set aside in the fridge to cool before using (it will thicken as it cools).

 

Mary McKinnon’s Christmas Cake

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(c. 1900, Southland, New Zealand)

Ingredients

  • 225g butter
  • 225g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 5 eggs
  • 250g flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of curry powder
  • ½ tsp each of essence of lemon, orange, vanilla and almond
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1.5 kg mixed dried fruit of your choice
  • 70g blanched split almonds
  • ¼ cup brandy, for top of cake

Prepare a 20 cm (8 in) square cake tin by lining the inside with two layers of brown paper, and two layers of baking paper.

Preheat oven to 150degC (140 fan forced). Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add essences and brandy and beat well.

Sift flour, baking powder and spices and mix a few tablespoons into the dried fruit.

Add eggs one at a time to creamed butter and sugar (if there is sign of curdling add a little flour from measured amount). Beat well.

Gently fold in flour and then fruit. Mix well. Spoon into prepared tin, hollowing out slightly in the centre. Cover the top with blanched split almonds.

  • Cook at 150 for 2 hours, then
  • 130 for 1 hour
  • 125 for 15 minutes
  • Oven off for 15 mins

As soon as cake comes from oven, make small holes with a fine skewer all over the top and gently spoon ¼ cup brandy over it.

Leave in tin on a rack overnight.

When cake is completely cold, remove from tin and wrap in two layers of waxed paper and then put loosely in a cloth bag. Place in a metal tin and leave in a cool place.

Don’t use a plastic bag or plastic box!

 
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