Our Top Three Gluten Free Christmas Recipes
John Lennon and Yoko Ono once famously sang: “So this is Christmas, and what have you done?” And if we’re being totally honest, we’ve mainly been browsing through Instagram looking at pictures of dogs in Christmas jumpers and stealing bits of leftover pastry from the Too Good To Be kitchen. HOWEVER, Christmas is far from over, and there’s still time for us to do something valuable with our time and give something back to the community. We initially suggested the idea of a naked advent calendar starring the mind-bogglingly good looking men of Too Good To Be HQ, an idea that was unceremoniously shut down and scoffed at by our ungrateful co-workers. So, unfortunately for you, we settled on sharing our three favourite Christmas dessert recipes. Not the Christmas gift you wanted but not too bad…
Ginger & Orange Christmas Pudding
We couldn’t give you Christmas recipes and not start with one of these bad boys. As with all Christmas puddings you’re going to want to make it a few weeks in advance, meaning you’d better get a shift on…
- 100g dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp Valencian orange extract
- 50ml orange juice
- 75ml gluten-free wine or beer
- 50g golden linseed, ground to a powder in a blender
- 200g mixed dried fruit
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
- 100g chopped pecans, optional
- 200g chopped glacé ginger
- 50g gluten-free plain white flour
- 50g Sainsbury’s Freefrom spread made with sunflower oil, plus a bit more for the basin
- 75g gluten-free white bread, ground into soft breadcrumbs
- Whisk together the sugar, spices, orange extract, juice, stout and linseed until smooth.
- Stir in the fruit, grated carrot, pecans and ginger then add the flour and mix well.
- Pour in the melted spread, add the gluten-free breadcrumbs and stir well.
- Grease the inside of a pudding basin with more Freefrom spread, then spoon in the mixture, patting it down as you go. Cut squares of non-stick baking paper and aluminum foil, large enough to easily cover the bowl, pleat them, and with the layers paper-side down, tie them tightly in place around the bowl with string.
- Simmer in a boiler for three hours.
- Store in a cool place. Do not break the seal or be tempted to remove the lid to look at the pudding. On Christmas day, simmer for another three hours before serving.
If your Christmas doesn’t consist of scoffing vast quantities of Yule Log then unfortunately you’ve been doing Christmas all wrong. There’s still time to redeem yourself by whipping up this gloriously chocolately beast of a log from Hannah Miles…
For the cake:
- 100 g dark chocolate
- 150 ml milk
- 1 tbsp gluten-free plain flour, sifted
- 5 eggs, separated
- 140 g caster sugar
For the filling and icing:
- 200 g chestnut purée
- 4 tbsp gluten-free icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
- 300 ml double cream
- 200 g dark chocolate, melted and cooled
- sugar paste decorations
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4. For the cake, melt the chocolate in a saucepan with the milk, then once the chocolate is melted, add the flour and whisk until the mixture becomes a smooth paste. Put the egg yolks and caster sugar in a mixing bowl, and whisk together using a mixer or whisk, until the mixture is creamy, pale yellow and has doubled in size. Whisk in the chocolate paste.
- Put the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl and whisk until they form stiff peaks, then fold them into the chocolate mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin using a spatula. Bake for 15–20 minutes until the cake springs back when pressed lightly with your fingertips. Remove the cake from the oven and leave for a few minutes.
- Put a sheet of baking parchment on a clean work surface. Invert the cake on to the parchment, cover with a clean damp kitchen towel and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the kitchen towel and lining parchment. Roll up the cake from the short end, using the baking parchment to help you, and leave to cool completely.
- For the filling, mix the chestnut purée and two tablespoons of the icing sugar together in a bowl until smooth. Add the cream, and whisk to stiff peaks. Unroll the cake. Spread about two-thirds of the cream in an even layer over the whole sponge. Reroll the cake up tightly from one of the short ends, and place on a serving plate. Cut off one end of the cake at a diagonal angle and place it to the side to make a branch.
- For the icing, stir half the cooled melted chocolate into the remaining chestnut cream and add the remaining icing sugar. Whisk until the icing holds stiff peaks. Spread over the whole cake, but leaving the ends uniced. Spread the rest of the cooled melted chocolate out thinly on a silicon mat, and allow to set. Once set, break the chocolate into thin shards. Decorate the log with the shards of chocolate. Dust with icing sugar and add sugar paste decorations. Chill for 3 hours in the fridge before serving. Best eaten immediately, or refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Gluten Free Panettone
As you might be able to deduce from the name, Panettone is an Italian dish, that in recent years has experienced a surge in popularity here in the UK. When researching the cake we learned that its direct translation was “large cake”, something we were all a little disappointed by. Not entirely sure what we were expecting but perhaps something a little more poetic. Anyway, have a go at this fab little recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring…
- 350 grams all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 100 grams sugar
- 3 teaspoons instant (also called rapid-rise or breadmaker) yeast
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- grated zest of 1 medium lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
- 8 ounces dried fruit (I used dried blueberries and diced dried apples)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup warm milk (about 100 degrees F)
- 4 extra-large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 112 grams unsalted butter at room temperature, divided into tablespoons
- Cream, for brushing on top
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the flour, xanthan gum, sugar, yeast, cream of tartar, salt and lemon zest, and whisk to combine well. In a separate small bowl, place the dried fruit and toss with a tablespoon of the dry ingredients and set it aside.
- Add the vanilla, vinegar, milk and eggs and egg yolk, and mix on low speed to combine. With the mixer still on low, add the butter one tablespoon at a time, blending well in between each addition. Turn the mixer up to high speed, and allow to mix for about 6 minutes uninterrupted. Add the dried fruit and reserved dry ingredients, and mix until well-combined.
- Butter a panettone mold (I used a 6-cup brioche mold, but you could use any sort of baking dish with high sides) very well while the dough is beating. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan (the dough will be like thick batter — see photo)), and smooth the top with wet hands. Place the dough in a warm and humid, draft-free environment to rise until it is about 150% of its original size.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F while the dough is rising. Once the dough has finished rising, brush the top lightly with cream, and place it in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once during baking, until the top is golden brown and the loaf is firm to the touch, 35 to 45 minutes. Allow the loaf to cool briefly in the pan before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve right away, or store on the counter wrapped in waxed paper and serve within 2 to 3 days.
Have a great Christmas from all here at Too Good To Be!