I love a traditional rich and boozy Christmas cake, but sadly I am the only one in the family who does, determined to find a way to win them over with a cake for everyone I set about thinking of the things that puts the children off. OK the brandy for start, but then I realized it is the ‘bits’ they don’t like. It is just the same with yogurt, fruit juice and jam, unless the ‘bits’ in a cake are chocolate they claim not to like it. My theory is that not liking the lovely dried fruit in cakes is a texture thing rather than flavour. Something I have touched on before with Kids eating habits and so I set about creating a bit free cake.
Packing in the Healthy Ingredients
I was also keen to make my cake as healthy as possible with as many good nutritious ingredients as I could muster. Actually I think I have ended up with a meal in a cake. I used butter beans in place of some of the flour, an idea stolen from Mummy Mishaps and ground almonds too making this cake high in fibre, protein and vitamins; that’s my excuse for an extra slice anyway! Incidentally since it is wheat free it should be an ideal recipe if you have a coeliac member in your household.
Oh so simple!
As always I only make things that are quick and simple, I have 6 children and a business and while I love cooking, I can’t afford for it to take over my day. Trust me this one ticks all the boxes on simplicity, though you would never know that when you eat it!
So without further ado here’s how to make my melt in the mouth Christmas Cake:
A 250ml measuring cup (an average size mug will do) everything is then measured from here
2 cups of ground almonds
1 400g tin of butter beans well rinsed and drained
1 cup of sunflower oil
2 cups of sugar; I just use basic granulated but soft brown would work well too
1/2 cup yoghurt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 rounded teaspoon of mixed spice
2 cups of mixed fruit (I used raisins, dates, figs and prunes)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon baking powder
Place the banana, butter beans and fruit in a large mixer and whiz until as smooth as possible.
note: if bits are not a problem to your family you could just chop the fruit and add it at the end instead of the beginning to retain the texture though I would still add the banana with the butter beans at the start; if it wasn’t for my kids I would do this and add cherries too.
Beat in the eggs.
Then add all the other ingredients and beat well.
Line a roasting tin or cake tin approximately 30cm by 24cm with baking paper, lightly grease and pour in the mixture.
Cover with silver foil – I like to use 2 pieces with a loose overlap at the centre so a little air gets in.
Bake at 180 degrees for about an hour and a quarter till just firm to touch.
Leave to cool.
I used a simple butter icing thinly spread then dug out our Christmas cake decorations for the top but you can be as creative as you like here.
Without doubt this is the most delicious and simple Christmas cake I have ever made. It is very rich tasting, moist and literally melt in the mouth with the smooth texture so you only need a finger, having said that nearly half the cake disappeared at dinner time yesterday. I will definitely be baking it again for my Coombe Mill house party on Christmas Eve where all our holiday guests will be able to have a slice. Lucinda BartonandCrocketts Gatesare staying so I hope they both like it!
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.