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Big Boozy Yule Cake
A lovely, easy fruit cake that is good at just about any time of the year, although especially nice during the festive season.
- 350g/12oz fine self-raising wholemeal flour OR 175/6oz each of fine self-raising wholemeal and half white self-raising
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 175g/6oz vegan margarine OR 115ml/4fl oz sunflower or similar oil plus 60ml/2floz soya milk
- 150g dark brown sugar – if very lumpy, sieve or grind up before adding
- 500g/generous 1lb mixed dried fruit
- 100g/4oz glacé cherries, dried and halved
- Grated zest of 1 large orange
- 50g/2oz flaked almonds
- 1 tbsp black treacle/molasses
- 2 tbsp ground almonds
- 125ml/4fl oz soya milk
- 2 tbsp red wine OR cider vinegar
- ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tbsp brandy
- Preheat oven to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas Mark 2 and grease a 20cm/8 inch cake tin top and bottom. Line the sides with a double layer of greased baking parchment. NB reduce temperature a little if using a fan-assisted oven – about 5-10 degrees.
- Sift flour and mixed spice into a bowl.
- Rub margarine/oil into the flour with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then add sugar, dried fruit, cherries, orange zest, flaked almonds, black treacle/molasses and ground almonds.
- Warm half the soya milk in a small saucepan and add the vinegar.
- Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) in the rest of the soya milk, then add this to the milk and vinegar mixture. It foams up very dramatically!
- Quickly stir this into the flour and fruit, mixing well so that everything is combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth out the top. Cover top of cake with a double layer of baking parchment to prevent burning.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 2-2½ hours, (check after 2 hours) until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean and the centre of the cake springs back a little when pressed. The secret is to make sure the cake is cooked in the middle but the fruit hasn’t burned round the edges!
- Leave cake in tin to cool then turn out and strip off the greaseproof paper. Place carefully on a cooling rack – a clean grill pan rack will do.
- Prick cake all over with a cocktail stick and pour over 2 tbsp brandy.
- Wrap in baking parchment and store in a tin until required. It will keep for 3-4 weeks, during which time you can ‘feed’ it with more brandy, as above!
- It may also be covered with vegan marzipan and fondant icing shortly before serving, if desired.
Adapted with thanks from Vegan Feasts by Rose Elliot
Viva! Vegetarians International Voice for Animals
8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8QH, UK
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