Brilliant Bubble and Squeak Cakes

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Brilliant bubble and squeak cakes, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free

It’s suddenly all about the leftovers. With Christmas over for another year, it’s time to think up ways of eating all the festive foods without feeeling like you’ve eaten the same meal for multiple days in a row. We’re definitely in comfort food territory, food to warm the soul on brisk chilly days, and potatoes lend themselves so well to this.

D and I are fans of the odd cabbage based dish but I’ve never managed to persuade the girls – I guess it’s always been thus with children and cabbage. But hidden in potato could work?

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The brilliant part of these bubble and squeak cakes is that they’re naturally dairy-free, with no fat included in the recipe to bind them together – sure you have to roast the mini potatoes originally, and then fry them to give a crispy outside but it’s not so naughty. The potato cake is also the most fabulous carrier of any green veg really, enrobing it in comforting mashed and roasted potato. I’ve always found the name very appealing too, the bubble and squeak being from the sound makes while cooking.

I’ve used cabbage here, but this recipe will work brilliantly with chopped up roasties from your Christmas or Sunday lunch, and any leftover veg you fancy. Try these with any left-overs or as part of a full English breakfast. Veggies and non veggies will love these.

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Bubble and Squeak Cakes

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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free-from potato cakes

Serves 4

2 large baking potatoes, baked and still warm

2-3 small to medium potatoes, cut into small cubes

Green or cabbage of choice, shredded and blanched

Salt and pepper

  1. Roast the potato cubes in oil and seasoning (plus any herbs optional) for about 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade, until golden and crispy. Set aside.
  2. Using a potato ricer (my preference), rice the insides of the large cooked baked potatoes. (Keep the skins to make stuffed potato skins!). Stir in the mini roasties and cabbage/greens, season well.
  3. Press into a ring that is on baking paper and then place in the fridge to firm up.
  4. Fry in flavourless oil until golden on each side and then transfer to a hot oven for 15 minutes.
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veggie full English with bubble and squeak cakes

Christmas Spiced Mini Shortbread Bites

 

vegan Christmas shortbread

I love the warm spices of Christmas, the gentle cosy hug of cinnamon, ginger and mixed spice. Not only do they make the house smell of Christmas while baking but they also make me feel like everything is right with the world. Well maybe that’s a bit much, but there’s definitely something emotionally warming with the subtle winters spices.

Since shortbread is such a great carrier of flavour and makes really yummy little biscuits I thought some spiced shortbread would go down a treat. I’ve made these extra Christmassy with red sprinkles and cut into bite sized morsels. They little sweet bites are perfect as a little snack with coffee, drinks or tea, or even as a homemade present. I think even Father Christmas might even like a few when he visits on Christmas Eve 🙂

egg-free, nut-free spiced shortbread

Christmas Spiced Mini Shortbread Bites

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

Christmas Spiced shortbread, dairy-free, egg-free

makes about 20

225g plain flour

75g soft brown sugar

150g dairy-free margarine

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp mixed spice

1/4 tsp salt

Christmassy sprinkles [optional]

  1. Heat the oven to 160 degrees centigrade/Gas mark 3
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment – Stir the sugar, spices and salt into the flour.
  3. Rub in the margarine with your fingertips (you need a light tough with shortbread). Squeeze together to form a crumbly dough.
  4. Roll out and then cover with the sprinkles. Roll out a little more and stamp out or cut out shapes. Place on the baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Cool on a wire rack.

dairy-free Christmas shortbread

Christmas Cupcakes

 

christmas lights cupcakes

Is there any time of the year more about decoration and glitz than Christmas? So when everything from houses, trees and Christmas jumpers are adorned with lights, baubles and bells, why not also decorate some cupcakes to fit into the generally merriment?

These little chocolate cupcakes decked with Christmas lights make a wonderful addition to the Christmas fare. They look delightfully festive whilst also being a crowd pleaser; not many people can resist a delicious chocolate cupcake. The decoration is pretty effective but very easy: vanilla buttercream is piped into a smooth swirl, which is then drizzled with a ‘string’ of melted chocolate along which colourful decorations or sweets are placed to represent the twinkling lights on a tree.

Christmas Lights Cupcakes

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

christmas cupcakes, dairy-free, egg-free

makes 18

350g self-raising flour

200g caster sugar

50g cocoa powder

200ml sunflower oil

300ml oat milk

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade/Gas Mark 5
  2. Mix together the oat milk, lemon juice, vanilla and oil. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Stir in the sugar.
  4. Add the bicarb to the wet ingredients and stir.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix to thoroughly combine.
  6. 2/3rds fill the cupcake cases and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
  7. Cool on a wire rack.

Fluffy White Buttercream

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

enough to ice 24 cupcakes

1/4 cup vegetable fat

3/4 cup dairy-free margarine

3 cups icing sugar, sifted

1 or 2 tbsp dairy-free milk

1/2tsp vanilla extract

  1. Whisk together the spread and vegetable fat.
  2. Add the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time with a splash of the oat milk and the vanilla, until fully combined and nice and fluffy.
  3. Pipe or spread onto the cupcakes.
  4. Melt 20-30g chocolate, pipe a line onto the buttercream. Stud with decorations or sweets.

vegan Christmas cupcakes

Cherry and Sultana Christmas Cake

 

cherry and sultana Christmas Cake

Christmas isn’t Christmas without a cake, right? But a Christmas cake that is free-from eggs, milk and nuts is almost impossible to buy.

Fruit cakes don’t really feature on my blog since my girls have an aversion to dried fruit, mainly I think due to the fact that it was so hard to find them safe snacks when they were tiny that they ate far too many little boxes of raisins! But it’s Christmas time and fruit cake might not be popular,  but they’re so very traditional that they really do have to feature somewhere along with the other sweet treats.

This is a variation on my previous Christmas cake, just to add a bit of excitement and variety to the Christmas teatime centre piece. I think this version which is jam packed full of cherries and sultanas hits just the right note of slightly out of the ordinary. It is a lighter fruit cake variety which is more to my taste as I do find the really dark intense fruit cakes a little challenging!

You may find the method odd, and it is unusual for a cake mix but the finished cake is beautifully light whilst being loaded with dried fruit.

Try and make it as early as you can and then feed once a week with a table spoon of brandy, apple juice or perhaps Chambord blackberry liqueur as I did here for an extra fruity hit.

When it’s time to decorate, paint with a layer of warmed apricot jam and cover with a thin layer of marzipan and fondant icing. If you avoid tree nuts just leave out the marzipan, it really won’t detract from the cake at all!

I haven’t yet iced this cake, so i’ll add a photo of the finished article in the next week or so 🙂

Cherry and Sultana Christmas Cake

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, vegan and vegetarian)

egg-free, dairy-free Christmas cake

makes 1 12″ cake

125g glace cherries, roughly chopped

300g sultanas

50g mixed peel, chopped

100g dates, stoned and chopped

2 tbsps brandy (or apple juice)

350g plain flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp mixed spice

pinch of salt

70g dairy-free margarine

zest of 1 lemon

170g light Muscovado sugar

250ml dairy-free milk, warmed to hand hot temperature

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  1. Grease and line a 12″ cake tin
  2. Pour the brandy/apple juice over the dried fruit and leave to steep for at least a couple of hours, or preferably overnight
  3. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas mark 4
  4. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon and mixed spice. Add the lemon zest.
  5. Rub in the dairy-free margarine
  6. Stir in the sugar, and the dried fruits
  7. Add the bicarb to the warm milk and stir until dissolved
  8. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix to form a stiff dough (it will be surprisingly stiff)christmas cake mix egg-free
  9. Turn into the lined cake tin and bake for 1 hour. Then turn the oven down to gas mark 3/160 degrees Centigrade and continue to bake for a further 15-30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
  10. Cool on a wire rack.
  11. Keep wrapped in baking paper, in an airtight container until ready to decorate (if desired) just before Christmas
  12. For added moisture and flavour, pour 1 tbsp of apple juice or brandy onto the cake each week until ready to use.

vegan christmas cake

Cinnamon and Cocoa Biscotti ( aka Christmas spiced biscotti)

dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free biscotti

Panic! Only days to go til Christmas and I still haven’t got all my presents. Time for some last minute baking I think; hopefully some gorgeous home made treats will do the trick and save me from trudging to town to face the crowds of last minute Christmas shoppers.

Biscotti are the perfect biscuit to give as a gift. These ultimate dunkers of biscuits are sturdy and perfect for wrapping, last well and go down a treat at any time, especially over Christmas. These biscotti are flavoured for Christmas with a combination of cinnamon and cocoa flavoured doughs, combined to give the perfect warming chocolatey taste. We couldn’t stop eating the first batch I made, so I’d better start on batch number two straight away!

Biscotti are very simple to make, just a little more time consuming that normal biscuits due to their double bake in the oven; once in a large log shape and next cut into even slices. The dough does expand a lot, so if you want tiny little biscotti make sure the initial log is smaller than you think it should be!

dairy-free cinnamon and cocoa biscotti

Once I’ve baked and wrapped the biscotti my Christmas is nearly completely prepared for, now just time to relax and have fun with the family. I wish all my lovely readers a safe, happy and joyful Christmas.

Chocolate and Cinnamon Biscotti (Christmas Spiced Biscotti)

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan christmas spiced biscotti

makes about 40

2 cups plain flour

2 tbsps baking powder

Large pinch of salt

1 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup sunflower oil

1/2 cup dairy-free milk

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsps cocoa powder plus 1/2 tbsp dairy-free milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar. Pour in the sunflower oil and 1/2 cup of milk and mix to form a soft dough.
  3. Split into two. Mix the cinnamon into one half, and the cocoa and extra 1/2 tbsps of dairy-free milk into the other half.
  4. Making 2-4 logs, lay one of the doughs in logs onto the baking sheets. I made two logs, placing the cinnamon dough down first. Drape the other dough over the top, spreading it out to cover the bottom dough. This will give the two tone effect.
  5. Brush with some dairy-free milk and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and cool until cold enough to handle. un-sliced dairy-free biscotti
  6. Using a bread knife, cut into 1/2 cm slices and place bake on the baking trays. Return to the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, until the dough has crisped up and it’s starting to turn golden around the edges. Turn over and bake the other side for another 8-12 minutes. ready for second bake, egg-free biscotti
  7. Cool on a wire rack.Best enjoyed with coffee, hot chocolate, dairy-free milk of a dessert wine or Christmas liqueur.

nut-free vegan cocoa and cinnamon biscotti

Stuffing and Sprouts

egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free stuffing

Thoughts are rapidly turning to Christmas lunch and how to make it as friendly as possible. This is a fantastic friendly side dish, incorporating two Christmas classics in one dish (stuffing and sprouts), that is perfect to be included on the festive table whether it features turkey or a vegetarian centre-piece.

Stuffing is always problem for us – so often it contains egg, milk and/or nuts. We could go without, but stuffing is an essential part of a traditional English Christmas lunch, and why should we always go without when a food item is tricky to source! This vegetarian version is particularly tasty, flavoured with both dried and fresh herbs and pepped up with a good dose of Dijon mustard. Any recipe based on breadcrumbs (and by all means use gluten-free if you wish) have a tendency to fall apart if you don’t use eggs. In this instance I’ve used aquafaba (water from a tin of beans) to bind the ingredients, and it does a fantastic job of keeping the little stuffing balls together during cooking.

Brussels sprouts are much maligned but also a real Christmas tradition – to the ridicules extent that my hairdresser said the other week that she can’t stand them but has to have them at Christmas! Bonkers or what? I actually quite like Brussels, but only if they cooked properly – none of this boiling them til they resemmble sludgy little green balls! In this recipe I’ve roasted them alongside the stuffing. It takes no more time and results in wonderfully flavoursome, slightly charred Brussels with no hint of song – give them a go, I reckon you might be a convert too.

In my opinion, these stuffing balls with sprouts,  an array of tasty veg and some stunning sauces would make for a perfect veggie spread.

Stuffing and Sprouts

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, can be gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan christmas stuffing and sprouts

Serves 2 as a centre-piece, 4 as a side

3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 sage leaf, finely chopped

1/4 tsp herbs de Provence

1/4 cup mushrooms, very finely chopped ( approx 1 medium mushroom)

Small handful parsley, finely chopped

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsps aquafaba

  1. Fry the onions in a little oil until softened, add the herbs and mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms have softened. Season.
  2. Mix in the breadcrumbs, dijon mustard and aquafaba and set aside to cool.
  3. Roll into neat balls and place in the fridge to firm up.
  4. To cook, preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Halve the sprouts and toss them and the stuffing balls in a little oil. Roast for 20-30 minutes until cooked throu and starting to turn golden brown.
  5. Serve with all the usual Christmas trimmings.

egg-free stuffing