Vegan Christmas Pudding!!

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So it is that time of year again, in fact I have been sitting on this recipe now for almost a year, I had to make sure it worked before I post it, and since last years was such a success today I am making it again.

Christmas pudding is time consuming, but easy and makes the house smell great! So to kick of the holiday spirit here is my vegan Christmas pudding.

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What you will need: (this will make 2 xmas puddings, because 1 is never enough!)

  • Brandy & Port to taste for soaking the dried fruit!
  • 300g currents, raisins, sultanates
  • 100g chopped apricots
  • 100g chopped prunes
  • 200g vegan margarine
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 100g wholewheat flour
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp all spice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 grated cooking apple
  • 1 grated carrot
  • Rind and juice of 1 lemon

Misc – Lots of tin foil, grease proof paper and string!

What you need to do…

  1. Soak your dried fruit overnight in the Port and Brandy.
  2. Decide how you are going to cook it, this year I am doing one in a slow cooker, and one in a pan on the hob, either way you want to put a couple of cm of water in the bottom of the pan, a piece of grease proof paper covering the bottom, with a jam jar lid or similar on top of the paper to raise the pudding bowl off the bottom of the pan (to stop the pan getting marked from the metal lid.)
  3. Prepare your pudding bowls, thoroughly grease the inside of the bowls, and put a small circle of grease proof paper at the bottom… also greased! This helps turn it out when cooked!
  4. To start cooking…cream the margarine and treacle together.
  5. Then mix in all the other ingredients until fully combined, the mixture will be “soft drop”.
  6. Divide the mixture between the two bowls, leave about 2cm at the top to leave room for raising.
  7. Now for the tricky bit… get a large square of tin foil and a place a slightly smaller square of grease proof paper on top if it, grease the paper, then create a 1-2cm fold in both sheets, (this gives room for the pudding to raise.) Place both sheets over the pudding bowl, tin foil up, and then tie string tightly around the outside to keep the lid in place. It is really important to make this as tight as possible, wrap the foil tightly around the bowl, and try to make sure that there is no paper showing, as much as possible you want to make sure no water can seep into the pudding. Before lowering the pudding into the pan, get a long sheet of tin foil, and fold in quarters to make a belt of foil, place this under the pudding bowl, you can use this to lower the bowl into the pan, and remove when hot! Lower onto the jam jar lid and cook…

image     8.  Cook for at least 6hr on the hob and 8hrs in the slow cooker, keep checking every             2hrs that there is still water in the pans, you want it to come about half way up the               side of the pudding bowl.

9.  Once cooked leave to cool completely then redo the grease proof paper and foil lid.             It is important you replace this before you store it. In theory you can store for up to             a year… but I haven’t tried that yet!!

10.  Cook again for at least 2hr before serving, then tip out onto a plate, carefully heat up           some brandy over a gas hob in a metal soup ladle or similar and once on fire pour               over your pudding!!! (Its traditional to play with fire isn’t it?!)

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Easter Simnel Cake Vegan & Gluten Free

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So before the Easter brake is totally over here is an amazingly rich Gluten Free, Vegan celebration cake. Known as a Simnel cake it has something to do with the 11 true disciples of Christ. (I am hazy on the religion but the cake is too good to ignore!)

I actually got the recipe from the Doves Farm website, they have some great ideas, partially for Gluten Free baking. These cake comes complete with homemade Marzipan, I had no idea it would be so easy to make!! This really is a true celebration cake, so rich and sticky, you would never know it was Gluten Free or Vegan!!

Link to Simnel Cake Recipe: Gluten Free Simnel Cake

A quick note on the recipe, in point 1. It means add the icing sugar and in point 2. It means the brown sugar!!! Also when making the marzipan you might need to add a little more water in your lemons are small, you want a firm dough you can roll and mold.

I cooked mine in a bigger tin, because I didn’t have an 8in, so I cooked it for about 1 and a half hours at about 120c

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