Chocolate Christmas Cake (gluten free)

Ma usually makes the Christmas cake, but I’ve taken that over now.  It needed to be gluten free for Ma, and I trawled through the internet to find something I could use or could convert and I’m not a big fan of dried fruits (blah to candied peel, currants and those revolting cherry things – why do that to perfectly wonderful fresh cherries??!)

So I found a recipe from Nigella Lawson which I was able to change to suit both Ma’s needs and mine, and here ’tis

Gluten Free Chocolate Christmas Cake

Approx. 700g of a mix of dried apricots/dates/figs/prunes chopped

Mix of nuts (I used brazil, almonds, walnuts) chopped (as many as desired – I used a handful of each)

175g unsalted butter

175g dark muscovado sugar

175ml honey

125ml coffee liqueur (I used Kahlua)

2 oranges, zested and juiced

1 teas mixed spice

2 tabs cocoa

3 eggs, beaten

150g gluten free flour (or plain flour if gluten free is not needed)

½ teas baking powder

½ teas baking soda

Pre-heat oven to 150⁰C.

Line the sides and bottom of an 8 x 3 ½ inch deep round, loose-bottomed cake tin.  Cut the lining for the sides twice as high as the tin itself (use two shorter strips rather than one long one; easier to handle).

Place the fruit, butter, sugar, honey, Kahlua, orange zest and juice, mixed spice and cocoa into a large saucepan.  Heat until it reaches a gentle boil, stirring the mixture as the butter melts.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stand for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes add the eggs, flour, nuts, baking powder and baking soda and mix well with a wooden spoon until the ingredients have combined.

Carefully pour mixture into the lined cake tin.  Place in oven and bake for 1¾ to 2 hours or until the top of the cake is firm but has a shiny and sticky look.

Remove from oven and place on cooling rake.  Once cooled remove cake from tin.

As gluten free cakes tend to dry out, I wrapped the cake in two layers of foil and once a week “basted” it with 2 tabs of Kahlua.  On the day I decorated it with gluten free pearls and sprinkles.

Regrettably I didn’t take a photo before we hoed into it, so you’ll have to make do with the left overs!

1-dscn5288‘Twas rich and scrumptious, and on Christmas Day we actually had it with the Vanilla Ice-cream I make, to which I’d added the chopped up pulp of two mangoes – Yum!