Helen Tzouganatos' Christmas recipes

Olive Oil Christmas Cake
Olive Oil Christmas Cake

Olive Oil Christmas Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 min

Serves: 12

INGREDIENTS

Cake

  • 150g medjool dates, chopped

  • 150g dried figs, chopped

  • 150g raisins

  • 150g currants

  • 250 ml cognac

  • 325g or 2 1/2 cups plain gluten free flour

  • 1 tbs baking powder

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp allspice

  • 350ml light olive oil

  • 3 eggs

  • Zest and juice of 1 orange

  • 150g toasted slivered almonds

Royal Icing

  • 250g pure icing sugar, sifted

  • 1 egg white

  • 2 tsp lemon juice

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 20cm square cake tin and line base with baking paper.

  2. Combine dates, figs, raisins, currants and cognac in a saucepan and gently simmer for 3 minutes. Set aside to cool completely so the fruit can soak up the alcohol.

  3. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice to a mixing bowl. Blend on a low speed for a few seconds to combine dry ingredients.

  4. Add oil, eggs, orange zest and juice, almonds and fruit and gently mix until combined.

  5. Spoon batter into tin and bake for 40 min or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Place cake on a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

  6. To make the icing, beat the egg white, icing and lemon juice together in mixer until a paste is formed. Pour over cake immediately before the icing sets.

  7. To make the royal icing beat the egg white, icing and lemon juice in Thermomix 5 sec/speed 7. Pour over cake immediately before the icing sets.

Mastiha Shortbread Stars
Mastiha Shortbread Stars

Mastiha Shortbread Stars

Prep: 10 min

Cook: 35-40 min

Makes 25 stars

INGREDIENTS:

  • 200g softened butter, chopped

  • 165g or 3/4 cup caster sugar

  • 195g or 1 1/2 cups plain gluten free flour

  • 90g or 3/4 cup sweet rice flour

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 3/4 tsp ground mastiha

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 160C. Line a baking tray with baking paper or prepare a silicone mat.

  2. Put all ingredients in mixer and beat until dough is formed.

  3. Roll out dough between two sheets of baking paper until 1 cm thick. Use a star cookie cutter to cut shortbread or slice into rectangular fingers.

  4. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until lightly browned.

  5. Remove from oven and cool on tray.

Tips: Mastiha can be purchased from European delis, gourmet grocers and online.

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