A few years ago, I was somewhat glad of my coeliac diagnosis – at Christmas it meant I avoided the dreaded Christmas pudding and cake. I just don’t get on with those cloying rich, teeth-achingly sweet, and alcohol-soaked flavours. I prefer my alcohol to be in a glass – pass another snowball! These days, I’m not so lucky, there are plenty of gluten free alternatives available (although someone should tell the office Christmas party venue). I haven’t, however, seen a baking mix for one before. Delicious Alchemy kindly offered to send me their limited edition one to try. I agreed, but I made my views on Christmas cake very clear first!
So what to serve for the Christmas-cake hater, and how to use the mix? I have reinvented last year’s dessert – Baked Alaska – from the first Christmas dinner in our new house. For that I actually used Delicious Alchemy’s sponge mix and I was so proud of the results; but time to step it up a notch. A is currently egg and milk free, so a showstopper pudding without those is required. Combined with a brown sugar meringue and the mild tang of tamarind to balance all the sweetness, these bite-sized puds are just the right amount of festive for me, and would make a perfect light afters for your Christmas dinner (although I’d perhaps scale them up to cupcake size), or even a canapé using the leftover Christmas cake for your new year bash. Very special indeed.
Miniature Festive Baked Alaskas with Brown Sugar Meringue
GF DF EF SyF – Makes approx. 24
Adapted from Ruby Violet’s Baked Alaska. Cake mix kindly provided by Delicious Alchemy.
- 1 x 650g Delicious Alchemy Christmas Fruit Cake Mix
- 110g of soft unsalted butter (I used Pure Dairy Free spread)
- 2 large eggs or preferred egg replacer (I used ½ cup apple puree)
- 75ml of brandy or orange juice
- 1 pot dairy free icecream (I used CoYo Sticky Date & Tamarind Flavour)
- 80 ml egg whites or 80ml water from a can of chick peas
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- pinch xanthan gum
- 45 g caster sugar
- 45g brown sugar
- Make the cake mix according to the packet instructions, and put heaped teaspoons in a mini muffin tin. Bake for 30-40 minutes until slightly risen and cooked through.
- When completely cool, trim the tops to make them flat.
- Using a melon-baller, place a small scoop of icecream on each cake, and place on a tray in the freezer whilst you make the meringue.
- To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites or chickpea water on high with an electric whisk or stand mixer until frothy (this may take 5-6 minutes for chickpea water). Add the cream of tartar and the xanthan gum and whisk until you have soft peaks.
- Heat the sugar in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons water until it reaches a temperature of 116°C (just bubbling if you don’t have a thermometer), then remove from the heat.
- While slowly whisking the egg whites/water, dribble the sugar syrup down the side of the food processor bowl, avoiding the whisk. Then briskly whisk for 2–3 minutes until you have glossy, firm peaks.
- Remove the cakes from the freezer and use a spoon to coat the icecream balls with the meringue mix, making sure there are no gaps.
- Return them to the freezer for 3-4 hours, or for up to 2 days if making ahead.
- When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 240°c. Place the Alaskas on a lined baking tray, and place in the oven for 2-3 minutes, when they will be starting to brown, but with a frozen middle. (You might like to test with 1 first). Serve immediately.
I hope this has given you an idea for an alternative Christmas dessert, you can enjoy a proper pudding even without gluten, dairy or egg! Remember, fruit is not a pudding my friends. x