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Gluten Free Christmas Cake

If you're looking for a tasty gluten-free Christmas cake, then look no further! It can also be made dairy free, egg free and vegan by making a few simple substitutions.

Ingredients

450g Currants

170g Sultanas

170g Raisins

55g Mixed peel

55g Glace cherries

Grated rind of 1 lemon

Grated rind of 1 orange

4 tbsp Brandy or rum

140g Ground almonds

55g Rice flour

30g Corn flour

2 tsp Mixed spice (check for wheat flour)

½ tsp Salt

225g Butter or dairy-free margarine

225g Soft dark brown sugar

4 Eggs, beaten (substitute with 225ml apple or apricot purée for egg free version)

2 tbsp Black treacle

55g Almonds, roughly chopped

Method

  • 1 hr prep, 4 hrs cooking
  • 12
  1. Place the dried fruit, orange and lemon zest in a bowl. Stir in the brandy or rum, cover and soak overnight.

  2. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Grease a 20cm round, deep cake tin and line the base and sides with greaseproof paper.

  3. Mix the ground almonds, rice flour and corn flour in a bowl with the mixed spice and salt.

  4. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon until pale and fluffy. Beat the eggs (or fruit purée) into the creamed butter and sugar, a tablespoon at a time. If the mixture starts to curdle, mix in a spoonful of flour and almonds.

  5. Fold the flour mixture into the butter and egg (or purée) mixture. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of tepid water if the mixture is a little stiff.

  6. Stir the treacle and chopped almonds into the soaked fruit and fold this into the cake mixture. Do not beat or the air you have incorporated will be lost. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top with the back of spoon.

  7. Secure a double layer of brown paper around the outside of the tin with string, extending 5cm above the tin.

  8. Cover the top of the cake with two pieces of greaseproof paper cut to the size of the tin and make a hole in the centre to allow the steam to escape.

  9. Bake for 3 ½ - 4 hours. Do not open the oven door until the cake has been cooking for 3 hours or it may collapse. Remove the greaseproof paper, cover and allow the cake to brown for the last half an hour. The cake is cooked when the cake is evenly browned on top, feels firm in the centre and a skewer, inserted into the middle of the cake, comes out clean.

  10. Turn the cake out of the tin and allow to cool in its lining paper on a wire rack. Once cold, make holes 2.5cm apart through to the bottom of the cake and carefully drizzle 2 tablespoons of brand or rum over the surface of the cake.

  11. To store, leave the cake in its lining paper and wrap tightly in 2 or 3 layers of cling film, then in foil. Place in an airtight container and store somewhere cool and dry. Once a month, unwrap the cake and pour over 1-2 tablespoon of alcohol.

  12. The cake can be covered with marzipan and icing up to three weeks before it is to be eaten.