Christmas cake is a traditional dish dessert served in many homes around the festive season. It combines dried fruits, spices, molasses or other rich sugars such as muscovado or light brown sugar, butter and flour. It is rich and dense in texture and has more, not fewer ingredients.
I find the traditional version quite rich that is not well tolerated. And I definitely would not want to eat it after a hefty Christmas lunch!
This recipes not only is gluten-free but it is also lighter on the ingredients side. It uses fresh oranges and mixed spice for flavour and selection of dry fruits that are available. You can easily customise the fruits to suit your needs. If you don't want to use sugar at all than simply swap it with either honey about 1/2 the amount of sugar used or use stevia glycosides.
100 Gr soft unsalted butter
100 Gr unrefined caster sugar
2 medium eggs
100 Gr rice flour (minus 1 Tablespoon)
1 Tablespoon Potato flour
3 tsp Gluten-free baking powder
50 Gr Ground Almonds
1/4 Tsp Vanilla extract
Few grains of salt
160 Gr Dry fruit ( I used Prunes, dry apricot, mulberries, raisins)
Zets of 1 orange
1 Tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
Grease with butter and dust with rice flour 3 mini loaf tins or 1 regular small cake tin. I used tins with a diameter of 18.5*8*4.5 cm
Set oven to pre-heat to 160 C or gas mark 3-4
Wash fruit and dry. Cut the large fruits into a smaller size, dust with 1 tablespoon flour.
Cream the butter and sugar till pale and light, ad 1 egg at a time beating well after each egg. If the mix splits just add in a pinch of flour and keep mixing.
Take one tablespoon out of the rice flour and replace it with 1 tablespoon potato flour. Add a few grains of sea salt, BP, mixed spice, sift into a bowl.
Gradually add the flour into the egg and butter mix, then stir in the dry fruit, orange juice and zest.
Fill your cake tin 2/3rs full with the mix.
Bake for 30-35 minutes for the small cakes or 40-45 minutes for a larger cake. Test for if cooked by inserting a skewer into the cake. If comes out clean and there is a bounce to the cake it is cooked. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
Icing sugar, fresh orange zest and juice
Sift couple tablespoons of icing sugar into a small bowl. Add the fine zest of 1/2 an orange. Add a small squeeze of orange juice to the sugar and mix with a spoon. Aim for a consistency that will coat the back of the spoon thickly but will still have a slight run to it.
Cover the top of your cakes when they are cold and let it sit at room temperature till icing is set.