Grease a 2 pint pudding basin. Put the soaked fruit, cherries and ground almonds into a large bowl. Add the flour, salt, spices, sugar, breadcrumbs, suet, lemon zest and juice, treacle, soya milk and 4 tbsp sherry. Mix well to make a soft mixture. Spoon into the basin, cover with two layers of greased foil and tie down. Steam for 4 hours. Cool. Cover with a circle of greaseproof paper and two layers of tinfoil. To reheat steam for three hours as before. (I have to say that when I make it I prick the pudding and feed some more sherry or brandy into it…) and don’t forget that after it is reheated pour MORE brandy over it and set it on fire.
‘Vegetarian Christmas’ by Rose Elliot. Not exclusively vegan but there is a plethora of vegan delights included and most of the lacto-ovo recipes are easily ‘veganisable’. Our favourite Christmas dinner of Chestnut and Red wine pate en croute is one of many included here along with lots of advice on taking the work out of Christmas catering. This book is full of ideas for lots of special touches which can be prepared early and frozen – a firm favourite. Now out of print but the hardcover is available cheaply from both UK and USA Amazons below and has lots of lovely photos throughout 🙂 We love this book so much we even wrote a blog post on it! Buy Amazon UK
Mix all ingredients ,except the brandy, together in a bowl then cover and leave for 12 hours. To prevent fermentation place the mincemeat in a 120C/ 225F oven for 3 hours. Then allow to cool, stir in brandy and put in clean jars and seal.
I loved this so much before I was vegan that I veganised it one year and it is excellent… you can leave off the ‘cream’ layer if you like but I think it makes it!
Note: since this recipe was written in 1998, many ready made vegan creams have become available.
Vegan Trifle Method
Make a plain vegan sponge and sandwich it together with jam. Slice it up and put it on the bottom of a trifle dish ( or other suitable deep dish) drain a tin of fruit and put on top of the sponge (or use fresh fruit. I like raspberries).
Next make up a vegan jelly and pour on top of everything… leave to set. Make up custard with soya milk and pour that on top of the set jelly. Leave that to set. Now put on a thick soya cream made with…2 tbsp cornflour, 2 oz/60g vegan margarine, 1 oz/30g sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla essence and 1/2 pt/250ml/1 cup of soya milk… blend the cornflour with a little soya milk. Add the rest of the milk gradually and transfer to a saucepan. Bring to the boil gently and stir until the mixture thickens. Set aside to cool. Cream the margarine with the sugar until pale in colour. Beat in the cooled cornflour mixture a little at a time. Add the vanilla essence.
Put the cream layer on top of the chilled custard layer. Decorate with fresh fruit and then eat voraciously.
The cream can also be turned into brandy cream by adding a spoonful of brandy…serve with Christmas pudding.
‘Vegetarian Christmas’ by Rose Elliot. Not exclusively vegan but there is a plethora of vegan delights included and most of the lacto-ovo recipes are easily ‘veganisable’. Our favourite Christmas dinner of Chestnut and Red wine pate en croute is one of many included here along with lots of advice on taking the work out of Christmas catering. This book is full of ideas for lots of special touches which can be prepared early and frozen – a firm favourite.
Now out of print but the hardcover is available cheaply from both UK and USA Amazons below and has lots of lovely photos throughout 🙂 We love this book so much we even wrote a blog post on it! Buy Amazon UK
1 batch of vegan chocolate ‘butter’ icing: Beat together half a cup/130g/4oz vegan margarine with 1 and a third cups/210g/7 oz sifted icing sugar and one tablespoon of cocoa (also sifted to avoid lumps). Beat in a few drops of natural vanilla extract.
1 tablespoon of icing sugar for dusting
1 festive cake board or large plate and decorations of your choice (fake flowers or berries, holly leaves, small baubles etc.)
Cut the corner off one end of the cake and turn it round to look like a branch (excuse rough drawing!) – arrange on the cake board or plate. Secure the branch with some of the icing.
With a knife smooth off the corners of the log to make it rounded. Cover the entire cake with the rest of the icing, then use a fork to make lines and knots like a log 🙂 Dust with icing sugar. Decorate to your hearts content.
Little Chocolate logs
1 chocolate cake prepared in a large square tin so it will not be too deep ( visit the chocolate page if you need a recipe for this)
A bar of dark vegan chocolate
icing sugar for dusting
glace cherries and crystallised angelica for decoration or children might prefer D&D chocolate beans or other sweets – in the picture weve used pecan nuts
Cut the cake into small rectangles ( 10 cm. X 4 cm. and 2 or 3 cm. deep). Cut thin pieces of marzipan and place on top of the cakes. Pour melted chocolate over the top of each log, decorate to your hearts content and then dust with the icing sugar (snow!).
Cook the onion in the oil until soft and then stir in the oatmeal and salt and cook for a few minutes longer, stirring frequently to prevent sticking – then use as a side for roast dinners or any other meal you fancy. Can be made the day before needed (eg. Christmas Eve!) and heated up in a dish in the oven,
Creating a Forest Garden: Forest gardening is a novel way of growing edible crops – with nature doing most of the work for you. A forest garden is modelled on young natural woodland, with a wide range of crops growing in different vertical layers. Unlike in a conventional garden, there is little need for digging, weeding or pest control. Buy Amazon UK
Potatoes, peeled and cut to desired size (this coating is enough for about 4 or 5 lbs/2 or 3 kilos.)
salt to taste
Par boil the potatoes then just when they are beginning to soften remove from heat and drain. Place in baking tray and rub the coating all over them (careful!) – roast in a hot oven until nice and crispy (30 minutes plus). You might want to baste with a little more oil half way through for extra crispiness!
Variation: Sesame roast potatoes – coat the potatoes in sunflower oil and plenty sesame seeds before roasting – this has a lovely flavour too.
Melt the margarine in a large pan for mixing and cook the celery and leek in it for a few minutes. Mix the yeast extract into the hot water (alternatively you could use any stock you like) and add this to the leek and celery. Stir in the soya flour, nuts, herbs, breadcrumbs and salt and pepper and mix well. Allow to cool slightly while you grease a loaf tin.
Place half the nut roast mixture in the tin and press down well, then add the sage and onion stuffing (pressing down well again) and place the rest of the nut roast mixture on top. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes at 180/360 then turn out of the tin and slice. Nice served with all the traditional trimmings for a perfect vegan Christmas.
Playmobil do a lovely range of non-edible Advent Calendars, with great scenes to build from traditional Nativity to dragons, unicorns, pirates and Santa’s workshop.
Variations: you can substitute wine (red or white) or soya milk for the water and yeast extract. The sage and onion stuffing is optional – it works just as well without it and might actually slice up easier! A layer of sliced mushrooms and garlic is an alternative to the stuffing.
Pictured vegan nut roast is made with red onion and lots of fresh rosemary. Speaking of rosemary, an absolutely perfect accompaniment for any nut roast either hot or sliced up cold in sandwiches, is the rosemary and redcurrant jelly detailed here on the blog. If reading this in winter, sorry, it’s a bit late to go out and get redcurrants, but it’s a great one to make for next year. A jar of that would be a very nice vegan Christmas gift too.
Eating: a simple trifle made of bananas in vegan jelly, topped with thick custard and this rather nice provamel cream (we were lucky enough to find a few of these cheaply on Approved Food recently). There’s a more detailed trifle recipe on the Vegan Christmas page.