Nigella Lawson shares some of her favourite Christmas recipes
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Christmas is the time for eating, drinking and being merry, but this can be tricky for vegans and veggies. The holiday’s staple meals are typically meat and dairy-laden, but it’s really easy to put vegan twists on desserts. Not sure where to start? Express.co.uk reveals the five Christmas desserts to make for veggies and vegans.
Fancy Tiramisu but you’re vegan or don’t want dairy? Try Violife’s recipe that serves 12 and takes just 50 minutes.
- 1200g Violife creamy original
- 2/3 cup agave syrup
- 2/3 cup coconut oil
- ½ tsp salt
- Seeds of 1 vanilla bean pod
- 1 ½ cup soya milk
For vanilla cream
- ½ cup soya milk
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
For coffee cream
- 2 tbsp Kahlua
- 2/3 cup freshly brewed espresso, cooled
For the soaking syrup
- 1 ½ cup freshly brewed coffee, cooled
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 6 tbsp Kahlua
- Cocoa powder to decorate with Christmas stencil
- 400g vegan ladyfingers or biscuits (store-bought or homemade)
Step one – the filling
Beat Violife Creamy Original with the agave syrup until fluffy. Add salt, vanilla, soya milk and coconut oil. Mix until creamy. Divide mixture into half: use one half for the vanilla cream and the other half for the coffee cream.
Step two – the vanilla cream
Take one half of the vegan filling, add the soya milk and coconut oil and set aside.
Step three- the coffee cream
Add the Kahlua and espresso to the second half of the vegan filling.
Step four – assemble
To assemble use a 23 inc removable base cake tin.
Step five – soaking syrup
Mix freshly brewed coffee, sugar and Kahlua, soaking 200g vegan ladyfingers for one minute inside the mixture. Place ladyfingers on the base of the tin. Top with a layer of vanilla cream and dust with cocoa powder. Then top with a layer of coffee cream. Repeat one more time.
Use a Christmas tree stencil to dust the top of the tiramisu with cocoa powder.
Place in the fridge for at least six hours. To serve remove from the cake tin carefully. Use the rest ladyfingers to create a fence around the sides of the tiramisu. Use a ribbon to keep in place and serve.
Mince pies recipe
You HAVE to eat mince pies at Christmas, vegan or not!
Baking Mad’s Vegan Mince pies take around 35 minutes to make from start to finish, and they’re worth the effort.
For the Pastry Cases
- 70g Allinson’s plain flour
- 100g Coconut oil (cold, hard)
- 0.5 tsp Salt
- 80g Billington’s Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
- 200g Marzipan
- 10ml Almond milk (to glaze)
For the Mincemeat
- 225g Bramley apples
- 0.5 tsp Ground cinnamon
- 0.5 tsp Ground nutmeg
- 1.5 tsp Mixed spice
- 3 tbsp Brandy
- 115g Sultanas
- 115g Raisins
- 115g Currants
- 115g Shredded vegetable suet
- 115g Whole candied peel (finely chopped)
- 150g Billington’s Unrefined Dark Muscovado Sugar
- 1 Orange zest & juice
- 1 Lemon zest & juice
Make the mincemeat in advance following Billington’s recipe.
Chill the shallow cupcake tin in the fridge. Rub together the flour, coconut oil and sugar in a food processor or by hand until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add a tablespoon of water a little at a time until the dough begins to come together as a ball. It is important not to overwork the pastry otherwise it can become very tough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and bring it together. Using a floured rolling pin begin to evenly roll out the pastry to about 2-3mm thickness.
Use a small circular cutter and stamp out 16 circles and place them in the holes in the baking tin. Fill generously with mincemeat to the top of the edges of the pastry.
Roll out the marzipan to 2-3mm thickness and use a snowflake cutter to stamp out shapes. Place them on top of the pastry cases and brush the rims of the pastry with the almond milk.
Preheat the oven to 200C and bake the pies for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden and cooked throughout.
Remove from the oven and then leave for one to two minutes before removing from the tin. Place on a rack to cool.
Here’s another Baking Mad recipe that will take you just 15 minutes and make 12 delicious gingerbread biscuits.
- 100g Vegan butter
- 50g Billington’s Unrefined Light Muscovado Sugar
- 5 tbsp Golden syrup
- 225g Allinson’s Plain White Flour
- 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- 2 tsp Ginger (ground)
Place the butter and muscovado sugar in a medium saucepan and heat gently until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Stir until the mixture blends together, but do not boil.
Take the saucepan off the heat and sieve in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger and beat the mixture together, then add the golden syrup and beat until smooth.
Turn the mixture out onto some cling film and pat into a flat ball, wrap tightly and chill for 30 minutes then place in the freezer until you are ready to use it.
You can keep unbaked biscuit/cookie dough in your fridge for up to three days before baking or freeze for a month. Tightly wrap the dough in cling film when storing in these conditions.
When it’s time to make your gingerbread biscuits remove the dough from the freezer and leave to defrost for three to four hours until it is soft enough to roll out. You can use this dough in any of our gingerbread recipes.
Transfer onto baking sheets on a baking tray slightly spaced apart, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
Leave them as they are or decorate with icing – do as you please!
Christmas Tree Brownies
Chocolate brownies aren’t necessarily festive, but Nourishing Amy has created a recipe that makes brownies into eight large trees.
This will take 60 minutes plus cooling time, so you’ll have a delicious dessert in no time.
- For the brownies
- 200g Divine Dark Mint Chocolate, divided
- 240ml plant-based milk, warmed slightly
- 75ml sunflower oil
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 175g self-raising flour
- 30g Divine Chocolate cocoa powder
- 1 tsp coffee, optional
- A pinch of salt
For the decoration
- 90g Divine Dark Mint Chocolate
- 50g icing sugar
- 1-2 tbsp water
- Green food gel or colouring
- Pretzel sticks
Preheat the oven to 160 Fan/180*C and line an 8-inch round tin with parchment paper (with fairly high sides as it rises).
Melt 150g of the chocolate, allow to cool for 5 minutes. Chop the remaining 50g of chocolate small. Warm the milk slightly and add to a small bowl with the oil, sugar and vanilla essence.
Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and coffee into a second mixing bowl and add the salt. Pour in the melted chocolate and the milk mix and whisk to a smooth batter. Fold in the chopped chocolate and pour into the lined tin. Smooth over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes and cover the top if it’s browning too much and cook for another five minutes or until cooked round the edges but slightly soft in the middle. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then lift out the tin to cool fully. Once cool, use a hot sharp knife to slice into eight triangles (like you’d slice a cake).
Melt the 90g of chocolate and dip each triangle into the chocolate to cover the top. Place onto a tray or plate and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes to set the chocolate.
Make the icing sugar by stirring together the icing sugar, water and green food gel to make a thick but pipeable frosting. Pipe the green frosting over the brownies as a tree and decorate with sprinkles and a pretzel stick as a tree stump. Allow the icing to set and enjoy.
Store leftover brownies at room temperature for five days in a sealed container or freeze un-decorated brownies for one month in the freezer.
Christmas cake can be vegan too, thanks to Flora’s recipe, but you’ll need at least two and a half hours to make it.
- 750g mixed dry fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, mixed peel)
- 100ml brandy, (plus 50ml for feeding)
- Zest and juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon
- 200g Flora 100% Natural Ingredients
- 200g soft dark brown sugar
- 85g pecans, toasted
- 3 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 200g plain flour
- 100g ground almonds
- ½ tsp each bicarbonate of soda and baking powder
- 1 tsp each mixed spice, cinnamon and allspice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Icing sugar, stencils and ribbon, to decorate
In a large saucepan, add the mixed fruits, brandy, orange and lemon zest and juice, Flora 100% Natural Ingredients and sugar. Bring to boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or so, until thick and glossy.
Set aside to cool for 20 mins, then tip into a large mixing bowl to cool for 10 mins further.
Make your flax eggs, mix the three tbsp of ground flaxseed with 100ml water and set aside for 20 mins whilst the mix cools.
Heat the oven to 150C/130C fan, grease and line a 20cm cake tin.
Roughly chop the pecans, then add them to the fruit mix. Add the flaxseed mix, which should look a little like a gel, along with all the other remaining ingredients and stir well.
Tip into the lined cake tin and use a spatula or spoon to spread evenly. Bake for 45 mins, then turn down the heat to 140C/120C fan and bake for one hour and 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Check regularly that it’s not browning too much – cover with foil if it looks dark. Use a skewer to poke holes in the cake and brush the remaining brandy into the cake.
Allow to cool completely in the tin, then serve, or wrap and baking paper and foil and keep in a sealed container to mature for up to three months.
After Eight Tiramisu
It’s not vegan but this dessert by After Eight is suitable for veggies (and who doesn’t love After Eights on Christmas?)
This recipe takes 20 minutes to prepare and two hours to chill, and it serves about eight people.
- 175g pack sponge fingers
- 300ml strong coffee (2 tbsp coffee granules and 300ml boiling water)
- 150ml double cream
- 230g reduced fat mascarpone
- 125g Carnation Condensed Milk
- 75g After Eight Mint Chocolates, chopped into very small pieces
For the top
- 25g After Eight Mint Chocolates, cut in half
- 2 tsp cocoa powder
You will also need a 20 x 20 cm serving dish
Put the mascarpone and condensed milk into a bowl and mix together until completely combined. Add the double cream and mix again until you have reached the consistency of thickly whipped cream
Add the After Eight pieces into the cream mix and very gently fold them through using a spatula.
Pour the coffee into a shallow container and carefully dip in the sponge fingers, turning so they are soaked in the coffee but are not too soggy.
Line the bottom of your serving dish with the coffee dipped fingers and spread a thick layer the cream mix over the top.
Repeat with a layer of fingers, finishing off with the rest of the cream on top. Put in to the fridge to chill for a couple of hours minimum.
When ready to serve, dust the top with cocoa powder and After Eight halves.
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