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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

‘Tis the season

Festive fare for the whole family, brought to you by our food writer, Libby Kimber.

Recipe extracted from Vegan Christmas by Audrey Fitzjohn, published by Smith Street Books, RRP $29.99. Photography © Audrey Fitzjohn

Gingerbread layer cake

Recipe courtesy of McKenzie’s Foods.

Serves 10-12

  • 250g butter, diced and softened
  • 1 1/4 cups caster sugar
  • 2/3 cup golden syrup
  • 4 extra large eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp McKenzie’s baking powder
  • 1 tsp McKenzie’s bi-carb soda
  • 2 tsp McKenzie’s ground ginger
  • 1 tsp McKenzie’s mixed spice
  • 1 1/3 cups warm milk

Cinnamon cream

  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 200g mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar mixture, sifted
  • 1 tsp McKenzie’s ground cinnamon

Coconut balls

  • 250g plain sweet biscuits
  • 3/4 cup McKenzie’s desiccated coconut
  • 395g can condensed milk
  • 1 tsp McKenzie’s Ground Cinnamon
  • Extra McKenzie’s desiccated coconut, for rolling
  • Rosemary sprigs, for decoration

Pre-heat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease and line the base and sides of 2 x 20cm cake pans.

Place butter, sugar and golden syrup in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time until well incorporated.

Fold in the flour, baking powder, bi-carb and spices, alternately with the milk, until the batter is smooth and well combined. Pour between the prepared pans and bake for 45-50 minutes until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool, before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, cut each cake in half, to form four layers.

For the cream, beat cream with electric beaters until soft peaks form, add mascarpone, icing sugar and cinnamon, mixing until well combined and mixture has thickened. Refrigerate until required.

For the balls, place biscuits in a food processor, pulsing until fine crumbs. Remove to a mixing bowl and stir in the coconut, condensed milk and cinnamon. Mix until well combined. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and toss in extra coconut.

For assembly, place one layer of cake onto a serving plate, spread with 1/4 of the cinnamon cream, top with another layer of cake, continuing until all layers are stacked, finishing the top with a more decorative swirl of cinnamon cream. Arrange rosemary sprigs upside down into cake and decorate with cinnamon balls. Sprinkle rosemary with extra icing sugar. Serve.

christmas tree food

Festive fir

Serves 6

  • 225g pitted green olives
  • 30g capers, drained and rinsed
  • 60g artichoke hearts, drained
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Handful of basil leaves
  • 2 sheets vegan puff pastry
  • 2 Tbsp soy milk
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the olives, capers, artichoke hearts, garlic cloves, lemon juice and basil in a food processor and blend to a fine paste.

Spread the olive paste in the shape of a fir tree on one sheet of puff pastry, then place the second sheet on top. Cut out the same tree outline from the pastry. To do this, starting on one side, make horizontal cuts, about 1.5cm from the centre to the outer edges of the pastry, each cut about 1cm apart. Repeat on the other side. Twist each strip 180 degrees, then brush the pastry with soy milk.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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