Options for Paleo Christmas Cake – Grain, Starches, Dairy and Sweeteners Free

This quite unique Christmas fruit cake I baked 3 times, slightly changing some ingredients in the batter and using different mixes of dried fruits, as well as their quantity each time. The cake is grain, pseudo grain, starches, legumes, dairy and gums free. I baked it without any sweeteners, including natural unrefined sugars, any syrups or honey. The sweetness in the cake comes from fresh apples and concentrated sweet peach puree, which I make myself every year to bake this cake. A portion of peach puree can be replaced with small dates, soaked to softness. However, using dates can create 2 problems, the first – making fine puree from them and the second their capacity to be burned more easily during baking, thus resulting in darker cake crust. When sweet peach puree was not available in needed quantities, or it was not providing enough sweetness, I used pure glucose powder, allowed as an ingredient in this blog.

Paleo Christmas cakes in chronological order 

Peach puree cake with Swiss meringue and cranberry jelly frosting 2016

efruitcake2-3

Peach and apple puree cake with glucose and ginger added 2017

Peach puree and dates cake with extra dried fruits 2018

Ingredients:

original recipe 2016

  • 100g organic tart cherries
  • 100g organic Turkish figs
  • 100g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 200g organic yellow raisins
  • 100g orange peel made with honey (I used my own homemade)
  • 200g peeled and cored fresh Granny Smith apple pieces
  • 300g concentrated peach puree
  • 4 large eggs ( 210-220g without shells)
  • 150g organic pumpkin seeds, ground and sifted
  • 230g almond meal, sifted (larger pieces which did not go through the sifter have to be ground and put through the sifter again)
  • 20g cinnamon powder
  • 2 tea spoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 tea spoon pure organic vanilla powder (use any source of vanilla you can tolerate)
  • 7g baking soda

Ingredients for orange or apricot glaze, Swiss meringue and cranberry jelly can be found here.

changes in ingredients for 2017 cake

  • 230g peach puree, 70g apple puree and 80g pure glucose powder were used instead of 300g peach puree
  • 7g ginger powder was added to a mix of dry ingredients
  • walnut quantity was increased to 150g
  • 1 coffee spoon of pure vanilla powder added
  • baking soda quantity increased to 9g

changes in ingredients for 2018 cake

  • 200g peach puree, 100g small dates soaked in boiling water and 80g pure glucose powder were used instead of 300g peach puree
  • 10g ginger powder was added to a mix of dry ingredients
  • dried fruits mix included 200g organic yellow raisins, 100g organic black raisins, 100g organic green sultanas, 100g organic Inca berries, 100g organic figs, 100g currant, 100 organic dried apricots and 50g honey orange peel, total weight after soaking 870g
  • walnut quantity was increased to 150g
  • baking soda 9g

Preparation:

cake 2018

  • put juicy dried fruits aside
  • cover the rest with boiling water for 15-20 minutes
  • drain all liquid, return fruits to dry glass bowl, cover the bowl with glad wrap and leave on a benchtop for 48 hours, or up to 5-7 days refrigerated
  • chop figs, walnuts and orange peel
  • if any extra moisture is left in soaked fruits, dry it on paper towel
  • mix dried fruits and nuts for even spread in the mix
  • mix all dry ingredients – almond meal, ground pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla powders, baking soda
  • use 1 heaped teaspoon of dry ingredients mix to cover dried fruits, orange peel and nuts mix
  • cover dates with boiling water, soak them for 30 minutes, drain
  • blend cored and peeled apple pieces
  • add soaked dates and blend them together
  • add 2 eggs to the mix and beat them together for 6-7 min
  • add peach puree, whisk them together
  • I used food processor at first and stick blender after to achieve reasonably even and fine texture
  • separately whisk 2 eggs with glucose powder
  • mix 2 wet ingredients whisked eggs with apples, dates, peach puree and eggs blended mixture
  • add dry ingredients to wet
  • combine well
  • grease the tin with coconut oil
  • use some of the cake batter without dried fruit mix on the bottom and sides of the pan, it prevents burning of dried fruits
  • leave 1 or 2 table spoons of the batter for the top of the cake
  • add dried fruits mix to batter, use spatula to mix them in
  • spoon the batter with dried fruits and nuts into the pan, push the batter down to avoid cavities
  • use the reserved batter on top, so the surface of the batter does not have any dried fruits sticking out
  • bake in preheated to 160C fan forced oven for 20 minutes
  • reduce temperature to 150C, bake for another 60-70 min
  • leave the cake for 10-20 min in a tin
  • turn the cake over to a wire rack, lined with baking paper, make sure the cake moves freely in the tin and is fully separated from its walls before turning it over
  • if the crust became wet, return the cake to the oven, turn the oven on for 5 minutes to 140C, leave the cake in the oven to rest till the next day

 

Cake can be dusted with glucose powder if it is intended for longer storage.

Colourful frosting with Swiss meringue, cranberry jelly and pistachio nuts will make the cake look more festive, but at the same time will prevent its long storage (more than 5 days).

efruitcake2-7

efruitcake2-23

For the frosting any Swiss meringue, made with honey can be used. Alternatively dairy free spreads, fruit or tahini based, can be used for structurally sound icing.

Happy Christmas baking!

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