People might not know this about me but I used to live I England! Yes dahling! I did my masters in the University of Bath while living in Bristol. A 20km distance between the two, which, in rural Ireland would mean a 20 minute drive. But, unbeknownst to my 2014 self, England is a lot more built up that Ireland – there is a lot of traffic! It was not a 20 minute drive – but no regrets – Bristol is so much cooler than Bath. It was my first year being fully vegan and I was in the perfect city. I worked in an independent health shop called Better Foods and they stocked the best of local and organic vegetables and fruit, as well as a huge array of health foods, and products all ethically sourced. To be fair – I suited the place down to the ground! I was Irish Amy, and the co-founder of Nourish Me and the maker of the fabulous vegan Christmas cake featured in this blog post, was the store’s Scottish Amy!
Scottish Amy was a fine baker in the Better Foods deli and she has developed this talent into her own vegan food pop-up, along with pal Sophie If you’re based in Bristol I highly recommend following their Nourish Me Facebook page to keep up to date on which markets they’ll be at next!
Nourish Me sell healthy and wholesome plant-based food made from scratch with ethically sourced and often organic ingredients.
And, the pièce de résistance this Christmas – is their sugar-free, gluten-free vegan Christmas cake!
Amy sent me over one of the mini Christmas cakes for me to try (yes – they deliver Christmas cakes!!!). I was so excited as it was going to be my first Christmas themed bite to eat this year – I love Christmas but only from December 1st – so the time was right.
As much as I love cake, I don’t care for it as much as when I have a suitable beverage to enjoy it with. So I racked my brain and thought “What is as Christmassy as Christmas cake but in liquid form?” Hmm.
But real baileys is made from the breast milk of a bovine mammal – not so Christmassy. So I took to Google and learned how to make my own. It’s surprisingly simple and I’ll explain how to make it further down.
This combo of handmade vegan Christmas cake and vegan baileys was like something out of a perfect Christmas greeting card. No exaggeration: Amy’s Christmas cakes are to-die-for. Not like the traditional tart and alcohol-laden Christmas cake, it’s naturally sweet with the figs and it’s deliciously moist from being soaked in orange juice.
The cutest thing is that there is a little description card with the delivery that explains that you can “feed” your cake with whiskey or other drink to give it that pungent alco taste that is more associated with traditional Christmas cake! So it’s very adaptable – you can have it sweet, or alcoholic!
They come in a few different sizes so if you want to impress your family with a the perfect guilt-free festive treat for Christmas day you can order the appropriate size. They’d also be a fab present for the vegan in your life who might feel left out during the traditional Christmas dinner at Granny’s house.
I love this idea, I love the concept of this business and I wish Amy and Sophie all the success in the world. I feel this Christmas cake idea is unique but there must definitely be a gap in the market for it – veganism is the fastest growing social movement in the world today and this movement needs Christmas cake.
For the “Baileys” recipe I took inspiration from this Oh She Glow’s recipe. Here are the exact ingredients I used though:
- 1 can of light coconut milk
- 2 cups of organic soya milk (any plantbased milk will do)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 175 ml coffee (I just used instant but if you have fancy coffee maybe use slightly less)
- 2 tbsp brown dark brown sugar (feel free to use any kind of dark sugar…)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
- 240 ml whiskey
I like things to be sweet so I used brown sugar and maple syrup, but it’s completely up to you what kind of sweeteners you use and how much of them you use.
- Heat the soya milk up in a sauce pan and simmer it until it starts to bubble away and thicken up.
- Add the coconut milk to the pan and whisk the too together and let both simmer away for around 10 – 15 minutes on a low to medium heat. You want them to blend together and thicken slightly.
- Add the sugar and vanilla essence and maple syrup (if using).
- Whisk everything together and take it off the heat.
- While the baileys is cooling make your coffee.
- Whisk the coffee into the mix.
- After is cools strain it through a sieve into a glass jar or other container and store in the fridge.
- Serve over ice and enjoy with your Christmas cake from Nourish Me.
As I was writing this post my (coeliac) mum came into me and said: “Amy, you know that Christmas cake, we should probably order another one.”