Posts tagged mincemeat
‘Twelve Days’ day 9: Mincemeat fruit loaf

I’m on a bit of a mincemeat kick!

Yes, I know I could freeze part of the batch I made a few days ago but I wanted to make it into as many things as possible right now!...plus I can always make more if I need to as it’s so simple.

I’ve never been a fan of traditional fruit cake as it’s so dense and rich and I’m not a lover of candied peel.  However I do like the idea of a fruit cake as a semi-sweet filling mid afternoon snack served warm with some vegan butter or yoghurt.  So as with all things… I set about creating my own version. This loaf is a lot lighter than a traditional loaf cake and I used a food processor to blend the mincemeat into the mixture so that the pieces were much smaller with a delicate crumb to the cake, (great for people who proclaim not to like fruit cake because of the bits!) but instead of blending you could simply fold the mincemeat through by hand if you would prefer to retain more of a texture to the fruit.

The basis of this recipe was inspired by this cake as it had a lovely light delicate sponge, although I have ended up modifying it quite a lot.

I can barely believe we’ve reached ‘Day 9’ already…..this time next week Christmas day will be upon us! 

Ok- now I’m starting to get really excited…the final countdown has begun and there are still 3 more recipes to squeeze in this week…. 

So, put you Christmas tunes on, get your tinsel out and dance around the room like a crazy person. It’s Christmas so anything goes…plus after all that dancing you’ll need a rest and refuel with a little piece of cake!

Recipe: Mincemeat fruit loaf

Ingredients

  • 150g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 50g almond meal
  • 50g potato starch
  • 1tsp flax seed mixed with 1tbs hot water
  • 3tsp baking powder 
  • 1tbs bicarbonate of soda
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 70g rapadura
  • ¼ tsp stevia
  • 100ml melted coconut butter
  • 50ml soy yoghurt
  • 100ml orange juice (more if needed)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g mincemeat (ideally homemade)
  • Whole blanched almonds for decoration
  • Fills one 8 inch loaf tin

Method

Blend all liquids in food processor and melt coconut oil separately then mix in. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl then pour into the wet ingredients and beat well to get a very smooth mixture. Add the mincemeat last and either blend in or fold in by hand. Add a little more orange juice if necessary to ensure a smooth batter.

Pour into greased and lined8” loaf tin. Place/scatter a handful of blanched almonds over the top of the loaf. Bake for approx. 40 mins at 180C. If the top of the loaf begins to brown before the centre is fully cooked, lightly cover with foil for the last few minutes of baking time.


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‘Twelve Days’ day 8: Gingerbread parcels

Photo shoot complete before breakfast… so then these became breakfast!

I really wanted to put together a healthy gingerbread recipe. I love gingerbread and typically I would cut out the dough into gingerbread men, but gingerbread men are everywhere at Christmas and as cute as they are I really wanted to do something a little different from the norm this year.

I wanted to combine the idea of gingerbread with something equally as Christmassy…. Enter the Christmas gingerbread parcel, packed full of sweet and spicy mincemeat!

Mmmm, a crisp and chewy gingerbread cookie shell with a soft and juicy fruity centre. These are so moreish, rich and filling but not so sickly sweet. Using homemade mincemeat makes such a difference, as I mentioned yesterday in this post, I never used to like mincemeat at all….please give it a try!

I’d originally tried to create a gluten free gingerbread dough which tasted great (in dough form) but rolling it out presented an issue as the dough was quite crumbly. I think it would have been fine for a flat cookie, but these really needed the extra elasticity to allow them to be folded up into the individual parcels. So, I opted for the tried and tested spelt version as I am still quite a novice when it comes to GF baking. I’d be interested to know of any tips or comments other may have!

Of course this dough could be used for traditional gingerbread men if you prefer!

Recipe: Gingerbread parcels

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups mix of whole and white spelt flour
  • ½ cup arrowroot
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1tbs ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 3tbs coconut oil- melted
  • 1 tsp flax and 2 tbs hot water mixed
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar plus ¼ tsp stevia
  • 2 tbs molasses
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Half a jar of mincemeat- bought or (ideally) homemade

Method

Preheat oven to 180C. In a large bowl mix together dry ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.  Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet until you get a stiff dough. I didn’t feel that the dough needed time to chill, but feel free to chill for a short while if you feel it will make it more workable, particularly if a little sticky.

Roll out the dough using lightly floured parchment paper. Roll out to approx. 5mm thick and cut into squares approx. 8cm wide. Spoon a teaspoon of mincemeat mixture into the centre of each square and pinch the corners together sealing them at the top  to form a parcel (it’s simpler than it sounds!)

Bake for approx. 8-10 mins until they begin to colour at the edges. Cool completely and decorate with a dusting of icing sugar if desired.


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‘Twelve Days’ day 7: Mincemeat- simple and sugar-free!

When I pulled open my blind this morning I realised we’d had our first snow! Ok, so it wasn’t really much to write home about and wasn’t particularly photo worthy either…but it was still snow! Wohoo!

It now feels much more like winter, a little boost to the Christmassy spirit!

So far this year it’s been very mild outside, I’ve barely had to scrape my car at all in the mornings before heading off to work but in the last week or so there has definitely been a winter chill in the air and snowfall was only a matter of time.

Time, to cosy up indoors with snuggly slippers a dressing gown and maybe a glass of mulled wine?   No… I’m saving that for Christmas! A mug of herbal tea with have to do.

It’s time like this I really wish I had a crackling fire to sit next to as I write…no such luck, although the glow of the tree lights is nice.  Actually an open fire would probably be a bad thing…I’d fall asleep in no time!

In all the talk of warmth and spices, Christmas is not complete without mincemeat….. Oh no, I can see some of you pulling a face…stop and re-consider.  I’ve never really liked mincemeat, it always seemed full of too many currants, mixed peel  and things like that and for someone who previously disliked dried fruit it just wasn’t my thing. 

I’d never even considered making my own and certainly not realised how simple it really can be! Now I'm brimming with ideas using this basic concept...for example a 'summer fruits' or 'tropical' version for summer time- who says mincemeat is for Christmas only?

It's simple…pick the dried fruits you like (ok so ideally there should be some sort raisin/sultana combo going on but you can add other things too) blitz together and you’re done. No cooking, no sugar, not fat and no mess. This will easily store in a jar for a few weeks and freezes well too….so make it now to see you through the holidays.

As noted above this recipe is fat free and sugar free….it’s just pure and simple and needs nothing more. The dates along with the other fruits give it all the sweetness it needs.

I have a couple of mincemeat recipes coming up.  I had planned on including the first recipe as part of this post, however the daylight faded before I’d finished in the kitchen so the photoshoot will have to take place tomorrow with recipe to follow.

Recipe: Mincemeat

Makes approx. 2 ½ cup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (I used the sweetened variety since I could not find unsweetened at the time)
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • ½ cup coarsely ground dates
  • ½ cup whole blanched almonds
  • 2 small to medium apples
  • grated rind of one orange
  • grated rind of one lemon
  • 1 tbs arrowroot/tapioca flour (or any fine flour) optional
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice or nutmeg
  • 1 tsp rum extract (optional- I did not include this as it tasted great without)

Method

Peel and core the apples and chop into quarters. Chop the dates in a food processor to get a course meal. Add all the ingredients and process until you have a sticky chunky mixture. I added a tbs of arrowroot to absorb a little of the liquid and help bind the mix together but this is not a necessity. 

When I tasted the mixture I felt it really didn’t need the rum extract but feel free to add some at the end before a final whizz if you fancy. You could also include actual rum or brandy but again I didn’t feel it needed it and it would also have changed the consistency of the mixture.


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