“Alternative” Christmas cake - by Gabriele Fantelli
This has been my family’s official Christmas cake for a few years now; it’s light, moist, healthy, ready to eat right after cooking and non-alcoholic… ‘What is the point then!??’
Well, I never liked traditional Christmas cakes, so I revised it to make it my own! The problem is I find the traditional ones too heavy, I am also not keen on “boozy” desserts and I would like to give myself and my guests the choice weather to have alcohol or not. This way everybody is happy and nobody misses out, after all it is very easy to open a bottle! I also tried to make this cake as healthy as possible, packing it up full of great ingredients. Wholemeal flour and brown sugar keeping our blood sugar levels steady; Raisins, full of vitamins, minerals and even an amino acid that is recommended for people with loss of libido or sexual weakness; Walnuts, a rich source of Omega 3.
Just consider this as a starting point, as I said before, we can always open a bottle of alcohol and since is Christmas and we are all allowed to let ourselves go, you could, as I often do, smother it in custard or ice-cream… Or both!
175gm Wholemeal self raisin flour
100gm brown sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp mix spices
3 tbsp vegetable oil
Zest and juice of one orange
1 medium carrot (grated)
100gm chopped walnuts
200gm raisins (soaked in orange juice for at least 20 minutes)
Preheat the oven to 180/200 C – Gas 5. Mix the eggs with the sugar until creamy. Add the spices the zest and juice of the orange, the melted butter and whisk together. Slowly add the flour and whisk until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Ultimately fold in the carrot, the walnuts and the raisins (drained). Grease and line a 6 inches round cake tin, pour the mix into it and place in the middle of the oven for 45/50 minutes. Check it by inserting a wooden skewer in the middle and if it comes out clean, the cake is ready. When ready, switch the oven off, open the oven door and leave the cake in it for a further 5 minutes.
Preparation time – 20/25 minutes
Cooking time – 45/50 minutes
Difficulty – medium/hard