Tag Archives: Christmas

Cheeky Christmas cake – gluten and wheat free.

Christmas… I literally love it. The smells, the sights, the sparkles, the foods, the fun, the family time. For us as Christians it’s a proper time to celebrate the birth of a special little baby. How better the celebrate than eat too much, drink too much and laze around?! Hold on, I’m a dietitian and a Pilates instructor…and YES I eat cake  😉

So Christmas cake for me is a big part of things, I love all the fruit, the booze, the decorating of it and the fact it lasts for soooooo long! Being wheat intolerant I know going out to Christmas event there is often not a lot of festive foods I can eat, so I make this and take a bit with me.

Last weekend I got busy soaking my fruit, I used a mix of sultanas, raisins, apricots, cranberries and prunes. My alcohol of choice this year was brandy, and I soaked it for a week…mainly so I could just keep smelling it 😉 My famous wedding cake was a mix of all the alcohol in my parents alcohol cabinet – Martini, whiskey, peach schnapps…you name it, it went in, soaked in a huge pan in my bedroom, I’m pretty sure I was drunk on the fumes, it tasted AMAZING!

So here is my wheat free, gluten free recipe – enjoy:

Ingredients:

  • 700g dried fruit (raisins, apricots, prunes, cranberries are all good)
  • 150ml brandy
  • 250g butter
  • 200g sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice
  • 125g rice flour
  • 2 tsp xanthum gum
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1 orange zest and juice

Recipe:

  • Place fruit in a bowl and cover with the alcohol, leave to soak for at least 24 hours.
Dietitian UK: Fruit soaks for Christmas cake
Dietitian UK: Fruit soaks for Christmas cake
  • Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a large cake tin.
  • Place butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, if it starts to curdle add a little flour.
  • Add the rice flour, xanthum gum, ground almonds, mixed spice, orange zest and juice.
Dietitian UK: Wheatfree, Glutenfree Christmas cake Mixed up.
Dietitian UK: Wheatfree, Glutenfree Christmas cake Mixed up.
  • Pour into the tin and bake at Gas Mark 4 for 1 hour, then Gas Mark 3 for 2-2 1/2 hours.
  • When cool wrap in cling film and then foil.
  • To feed prick with a skewer and sprinly over 1 tbsp brandy.

I haven’t iced the Christmas cake  yet, but here is a pic of last years! How do you decorate your cake? I’m thinking of dried fruits and nuts with a glaze this year.

 

Wheat Free Christmas

This year has been an odd Christmas for sure…. my husband has been working, pretty much all of the festive period. True some of that has been from home, but it’s been a very bitty and odd time. However having a 1 year old and having a great love of Christmas myself I’ve tried to make the most of it. Money is tight at present, so we’ve gone low key on presents and high key on a few quality foods that we all love (including the little one). One of those being cheese:

 

Being wheat free, we’ve not got into the whole mince pie, yule log and sweet treats, but what I did do was make a wheat free Christmas cake. I used plenty of dried fruit, rice flour and a little alcohol of course 😉  covered the cake with marzipan and icing. It turned out pretty well and is mighty tasty!

 

Most of our meals have been planned to work around the event of my husbands on-call phone going as we sit to eat (it always happens that way!), so easy to keep warm or not needing to stay warm. We had a paella for Christmas dinner and have had some lovely chilled meals of cold meats, cheese, salads and crackers/oatcakes.

What things make Christmas special for you?

 

Christmas Paella

Christmas Dinner – what does it look like in your home? Turkey with all the trimmings? Not in our home I’m afraid. We’re a bit untraditional in our house when it come to Christmas Day food. In fact I’ve only actually had Turkey on Christmas Day twice in just over 30 years. We’ve had duck, beef, salmon en croute, prawn linguine, Sri-Lankan curry, a Chinese banquet and more. For us it’s a chance to have whatever we really fancy having, buy quality ingredients and make it a special meal.

This year my husband has worked over most of the Christmas period, he was home on Christmas Day but working from home. Due to the nature of his work it could mean you just plate up a meal and then the phone rings….that’s that….cold dinner. So we wanted to keep things simple this year. Having spent Christmas in Spain before my husband requested Paella. His wish = my command!

Having looked through a few recipes I took bits from all of them and as always followed none of them but created my own version. We used saffron plus a special Spainish paella mix (brought over from Spain), chorizo, chicken, prawns and mussels along with the essential rice plus peas, peppers and mushrooms. Easy to cook, keep warm in case of phone calls and lots of left overs for baby dinners and Boxing Day. Here’s a photo of it cooking. It was so tasty that we only managed paella…no dessert, no chocolates, nothing till cheese and wine in the evening 🙂