3

Christmas almond macaroons

We wanted to make a Christmas treat with similar flavours to stollen, lots of dried fruit, spices and yumminess. These really exceeded our expectations, they are moist, slightly chewy and full of Christmassy goodness!

The aquafaba and ground almond mix is a bit of a star, and can be made without any of the dried fruit and nuts to make a lovely soft cookie.

These almost didn’t last long enough to photograph…

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Christmas almond macaroons

makes 12 to 14


100 ml aquafaba (this should be half the amount you get from 1 400 g tin of chickpeas)
50 g caster sugar
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
a pinch of salt
1/4 tsp mixed spice
150 g ground almonds
50 g pistachios, roughly chopped
60 g glace cherries, quartered
30 g mixed peel
50 g raisins
2 tbsp icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c and line a tray with baking paper.
Using a hand or stand mixer beat the aqua faba until it forms soft peaks. As aquafaba varies in strength, this can take anywhere 4 to 8 minutes.
Beat in the sugar until mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks. Next beat in the xanthan gum, salt and mixed spice.
Fold in the ground almonds, pistachios, cherries, mixed peel and raisins until well combined. The aquafaba meringue mixture will lose volume, this is correct.
Using two dessert spoons make quenelles of the mixture and drop them carefully onto the lined tray.
Bake for 20 minutes until attractively browned.
When cool, dust with the icing sugar.

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Christmas almond macaroons, just dusted with icing sugar


By A. and E.

6

Vegan, gluten free chocolate mallow teacakes!

The teacake is a beautiful thing. Soft biscuit, jam and airy mallow all encased in a chocolate dome. It’s such a treat!
We’ve been thinking about having a go at a vegan, gluten free version for a while, pretty much since we heard about aquafaba!
Aquafaba is the cooking liquid (or canning liquid) from legumes, often chickpeas, and can mimic egg whites. It whips up really well, so we’ve used it as the base of our mallow filling.
Rather than beat in lots of icing sugar as you would for a traditional meringue or marshmallow, we’ve used sugar syrup and a little xanthan gum which gives a lovely airy finish with very little sugar (comparatively!). It’s a long recipe, but none of the steps are difficult and they’re such a joyful thing to make!

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Vegan, gluten free chocolate mallow teacakes!

makes 6


200 g dark chocolate
3 tsp raspberry jam
for the biscuits
50 g vegan margarine, we use vitalite
50 g dark muscovado sugar
50 g caster sugar
100 g rice flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp soy milk
for the vanilla mallow
100 ml aquafaba (around half the amount you get from a 400 g tin of chickpeas)
25 g sugar
25 ml water
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
you will also need..
a 6 x 6.5 cm silicon dome mold
a 6 cm round biscuit cutter
an electric hand mixer to make the mallow (it’s perfectly possible with a balloon whisk, but is much quicker this way)


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.
Melt 150 g of the chocolate, we use use the microwave in 15 second bursts. Put a tsp of chocolate into the first dome and smooth it out. Add more chocolate until the dome is covered with a thin layer.
Repeat with the other domes, you should have used about half of the chocolate. Refrigerate the domes for 10 minutes.
Give the chocolate a quick burst in the microwave if it has started to set, and add another layer to the domes. Pop them back into the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
While the domes are setting, make the biscuits. Cream together the margarine and sugars in a large bowl. Beat in the vanilla. Add the rice flour, baking powder xanthan gum and salt and mix well.
Add the soy milk if it feels a bit dry, it should come together as a soft dough. Pat the dough out on a lightly greased tray to about 3/4 cm thickness. The shape isn’t important as long as you make sure that you will be able to cut 6 biscuits out of it.
Bake for 15 minutes.
While the biscuit is still soft cut the rounds out, but leave them on the tray to cool and set.

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The biscuit bases

Next make the vanilla mallow. Make simple syrup by dissolving 25 g sugar in 25 ml water over a medium heat. Leave to cool a little, although it still needs to be quite hot for the mallow.
Beat the aquafaba in a large bowl until it reaches the soft peak stage, around 5 minutes. While the beaters are still going, slowly pour in the hot sugar syrup. Sprinkle the xanthan gum over the top and add the vanilla. Beat again until well combined.

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Light, airy vanilla mallow

Now to assemble the teacakes!
Carefully loosen the edges of the chocolate dome molds and remove the domes.

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Chocolate domes

Place the domes back in the molds and then fill 2/3 full with vanilla mallow. Put 1/2 a tsp of jam in the middle of each biscuit and then place jam side down into the chocolate domes. Melt the last 50 g of chocolate and cover each biscuit, smoothing it around the edges to form a seal with the dome.
Return to the fridge for 30 minutes, and then carefully remove the finished teacakes from the molds.


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Vegan, gluten free chocolate mallow teacakes!

By A. and E.