'Tis the season to be KITSCH WITH EVERYTHING. This is fantastic. Glitter? Allowed. Sequins? Pile them on me. Cuddly polar bears and penguins wearing stylish knitwear? Why is that even a question?!
Continuing our quest for fun Christmas recipes, like these gorgeous stained glass window biscuits, here are some cute cakeys that'll make a good addition to any gingerbread laden wonderland. You could use dairy free brownies as the base, if you're in a more chocolatey mood. Either way, these are dairy free, naturally gluten free and don't involved refined sugar. And they look like little hats. Jolly.
Dairy Free: Pistachio & Strawberry Santa Hats (Makes 8)
You will need:
For the cake:
- 75g ground almonds
- 100g pistachios, shelled
- 75g nut butter (cashew, pistachio or hazelnut will all work)
- 50g coconut oil (cool, so that it has a butter-like texture)
- 40g honey
- 40g maple syrup
- 4 free-range eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp baking powder (check that it's gluten free)
- Strawberries (to decorate)
For the marshmallow topping:
- 2 free-range egg whites
- 3/4 tsp agar-agar (or gelatine, if you prefer)
- 30g maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, or vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
- small pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease and line a baking tin (I used a shallow 20 x 30cm tray), with a little melted coconut oil.
- Place the ground almonds and pistachios together in a blender or spice grinder and blitz until they form delightful green fine crumbs.
- Place the nut butter and coconut oil together in a large bowl along with the honey and maple syrup, and beat together until creamy and completely combined.
- Add in a quarter of the egg, along with a quarter of the ground nut mixture and baking powder, and stir gently together, repeating with the remaining ingredients until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour into the baking tray, smooth over and bake for 20 minutes, until set. Cool in the tray before turning out into a wire rack.
- When cool, use a small cake ring or cutter to cut circles from your cake.
- Slice the tops off the strawberries so that they'll sit flat on the cake.
The marshmallow topping:
- Prepare the agar-agar as per the packet instructions if necessary.
- Place the egg whites in a heatproof bowl along with the agar. Allow to stand for 5 minutes or so.
- Add in the maple syrup, vanilla and salt.
- Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water (so that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water in the pan)
- Whisk together for 8-10 minutes, until the mixture feels like thick cream.
- Spoon into a piping bag with a fluted nozzle.
- When you're ready, pipe a dot of marshmallow onto the centre of the cake to hold the strawberry in place.
- Pipe a ring around the base of the strawberry and a dot on the tip for a santa hat effect.
- MARVEL at your creations before eating.