At the risk of sounding like Scrooge, I don’t like your usual Christmas fare. Fruit mince pies, Christmas cake and plum puddings have never been my thing, and being vegetarian, well that means Christmas hams and turkeys are out too. Shortbread is ok, but it’s not something I choose to eat. Never having liked sultana’s, or dead flies as I like to call them, the thought of Christmas cake is never going to get me excited.
As much as I love Christmas, it’s strange that I don’t actually like traditional Christmas fare. So, I decided, this year I would make a Christmas treat I would actually like. No sultanas, or mixed peel in site….ok, as a compromise, I served them (albiet soaked in alcohol) on the side for the people who like them.
The recipe for this cake comes from delicious Simply The Best, which you might recall I mentioned in my list of favourite cookbooks. At the back of the book is a small section on non-traditional Christmas fare, and when I saw this Christmas Spice Cake it immediately called my name. Ok, I admit, the fact it contained cocoa had something to do with it, along with the fact it didn’t contain dried fruit, but it also sounded intriguing with it’s mix of spices, almonds and polenta.
Calling this a cake is perhaps a bit misleading. It’s somewhat of a cross between a cake and a cookie. It’s dense and crumbly, but not quite as dense as a cookie. But, it’s deliciously different and something I could easily see becoming a new Christmas tradition in our house.
Do you enjoy traditional Christmas fare? What are your favourite festive treats?
PS Don’t forget to check out all of the other delicious submissions to the festive favourites blog hop event below.
- 250g of plain (all purpose) flour, sifted
- 200g of fine polenta
- 140g of blanched almonds, toasted and chopped
- 2 tbs of cocoa, sifted, plus extra to dust
- 200g of caster sugar
- 125g of unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
- 125ml of oil
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tbs of vanilla extract
- 1½ tsp of ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ tsp of ground cardamon
- 200g of whole almonds
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (355 Fahrenheit) and grease s 24cm loose bottomed tart tin.
- Place the flour, polenta, blanched almonds, cocoa and sugar into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until combined. Add the butter and process until the butter forms fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the oil, eggs, vanilla and spices and pulse until the dough forms a ball.
- Press into the prepared tart tin and bake for 25 minutes or until tested with a cake tester. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire wrack to cool completely.
- Dust with cocoa before serving and serve with whipped cream and stewed fruits or mascarpone and fresh berries.
This month’s Festive Favourites Blog Hop event is being hosted by JJ from 84th & 3rd. We hope you can join us in this fun exploration of Festive Treats. Check out all of the other Festive Favourites submissions below.
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