Before I found out that I was coeliac I LOVED the occasional slice of Stollen (I’m a sucker for marzipan in cakes). It’s been a decade since I’ve eaten stollen. Most commercial gluten-free ones are loaded with energy-sapping ingredients like sugar, corn, vegetables oil and emulsifiers. So this year I went on the hunt for a decent GF recipe.
I made this last week by slightly adapting the lovely www.rosielovestea.com recipe by Cindy Jarvis (hope you don’t mind, Cindy, your photo was better than mine so I borrowed it!). A few changes like avoiding palm shortening and sugar-laden marzipan and adjusting the oven temperature to the traditional 160C for fan oven. It’s big and gorgeous but nonetheless two of us demolished in over 5 days.
Get your fancy flours in and your marzipan made in advance. I didn’t. So the whole thing became a bit of a production on the day.
Prep time: 90 mins Cook time: 1 hour
300g Bobs Red Mill Paleo Flour or make your own easy flour blend by mixing 2 cups almond flour (or finely ground almonds), 1 cup arrowroot powder, ½ cup coconut flour and ½ cup tapioca flour)
240g (1 cup) tinned coconut whipping cream (Biona and Amaizin are toxin-free)
50g coconut oil at room temperature (use butter if you’re not dairy-free)
2 large eggs
2 tbs of Honey/agave/maple Syrup
2 tbs grated lemon zest
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract (PS “vanilla essence” contains gluten!)
Pinch of salt
55g flaked almonds
225g marzipan – for recipe see https://www.annacollins.ie/almond-paste-marzipan/
1 cup of no added sugar jam (Follain/St Dalfour raspberry is good) or home-made raspberry chia jam like this one https://www.annacollins.ie/10-minute-chia-seed-jam-raspberry-strawberry-blueberry-or/
Optional (for a glistening snow-like effect on top):
1 tbs melted coconut oil + 2 tablespoons of arrowroot Powder
In a food processor, combine coconut whipping cream, 50g coconut oil, eggs & vanilla extract.
Next, add paleo flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until well combined and pastry-like. You want it firm enough it will hold its shape when you roll it out and roll up with the fillings inside. If your dough is too runny, sprinkle a little more flour in.
Add the lemon zest, sultanas and flaked almonds and gently combine.
Turn out onto a plate or bowl, cover and place in the fridge for around 1 hour
Preheat oven to 175C/fan 160C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.While the oven is heating, take the dough from the fridge. Between two pieces of parchment paper, roll out the dough to roughly 1/2 inch thick.
Cut the marzipan into 3 pieces, roll into sausage shapes and lay evenly on the dough.
Spoon out the jam in between the marzipan pieces.
Carefully roll up the dough, tuck in the edges and gently place onto your baking sheet. Put in the oven for 60 minutes. Keep an eye on your stollen so that it doesn’t brown too quickly. If this is the case, cover with foil for the remaining time.
The stollen will be ready when golden brown and an inserted skewer will come out clean.
Melt your 1 tbs coconut oil, brush over the top and then dust with arrowroot powder for a glistening snowy effect.
Leave too cool completely (overnight preferably) before cutting into and serving.
Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
Why this is better for you: OK so you know that raw nuts are better for you than cooked. And that most of our food should be vegetables and some fruit. But sometimes you just WANT CAKE! Because this is high protein (almonds) and sugar-free so won’t derail blood sugar and immunity like sugar and refined flours do.
This is a FANTASTIC cranberry sauce and I normally don’t like cranberry sauce. The original is FULL of sugar, which you’ll know from my many social media posts and newsletters, lowers your immunity and makes you inflamed. So here I swap it for xylitol or erhtyritol. This will keep in the fridge for a week or the freezer for a month. If you want to make this more than a week in advance without freezing, sterilize your jars and lids by boiling for a few minutes. Lift out carefully and place on a (not cold!) surface. Pour the cranberry sauce in while hot and put on the lids.
1 cup (230ml) port
6 cups cranberries
1/2-1 1/2 cups erythritol (such as Dr Coys stevia erylite) or xylitol from health shops – add 1/2 cup initially and if you want more sweetness once the cranberries have popped, add more.
2 tablespoons finely chopped or finely grated orange zest (approx 2 medium oranges, organic if possible)
Splash of cointreau (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whole Spices Try 6 star anise, mace, 8 cloves, 1 blade of mace (or 1/2 teaspoon ground), 1 cinnamon stick
A pinch of ground nutmeg
If there is any one of the spices you don’t like leave out, but the mace and star anise are non negotiable
1.Large pot, add port and (if using) cointreau and bring to the boil.
2.Add cranberries and let cook, stir till they begin to pop, add 1/2 cup erythritol/xylitol, salt, preferred spices and orange zest.
3.Stir till erythritol/xylitol dissolves, cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. More cooking releases more pectin which helps set the sauce.
4.Give it a big stir and leave to cool then into jamjars and away you go.
Why this is better for you: Cutting the sugar helps your body take a break from its inflammatory and immunity-upsetting effects. Sugar causes your lymphocytes (infection-fighting white blood cells) to become lethargic for several hours. that means your immune defences are down. Did you know that cranberries feed a friendly bacteria in your gut called akkermansia mucinophilia. This clever little creature trims and helps maintain the healthy mucus layer inside you, helping bowel health. And bowel health is essential for EVERYTHING – from getting into remission from autoimmune conditions, to getting improved digestive health, skin, immunity and even mental health. Spices are a powerhouse of antioxidant power – they help reduce inflamation AND lower disease-causing microorganisms inside your gut and systemically.
I love this and so does everyone that tries it. It’s a really useful recipe: make a batch, cut or roughly break it up and keep it in the freezer. It can be served from frozen, which makes it wonderfully chewy and a little like a chocolate ice cream bar, and is a brilliant standby for when you have unexpected guests. It may taste decadent, but the ingredients are all very nutritious, the dark chocolate included. This recipe comes from Patrick Holford’s The 10 Secrets of 100% Health Cookbook.
200g dark chocolate, minimum 70% and ideally 85% cocoa solids, broken in to chunks
125g rough unsweetened gluten-free oatcakes (or normal unsweetened Nairn’s rough oatcakes if you are not gluten-sensitive)
50g goji berries
50g Brazil nuts, roughly chopped
50g pumpkin seeds
4 tsp ground mixed seeds (grind your own blend of flax, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin or use Linwoods milled mixed seeds)
2 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
50g hazelnut butter or unsalted no-added-sugar peanut butter – or make your own by grinding the raw nuts finely and mixing in a little extra virgin nut seed or avocado oil (or at a pinch, light olive oil) to make into a spreadable paste.
1. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally, in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
2. Put the oatcakes into a mixing bowl and crumble into small pieces. Stir in the goji berries, nuts, seeds and spices.
3. Stir the nut butter into the melted chocolate and mix until fairly smooth. Stir the chocolate mixture into the remaining ingredients, making sure the ingredients are evenly coated.
4. Spread the mixture over a baking sheet and put in the fridge or freezer to chill and harden. Break into shards or cut into rough pieces when set, ready to serve.
Why this is good for you: These crunchies are packed with raw nuts and seeds, a precious source of raw omega 6 oils. These oils are important for healthy skin, digestion, energy, mood and immunity. Most people have lots of cooked or refined omega 6 oils in their diets and these interfere with your body’s ability to use the good (raw) ones. Raw nuts and seeds and good quality (over 70%) dark chocolate are a good source of magnesium. Magnesium helps you feel chilled out and happy. It also helps your liver function more effectively. Good news after the Christmas excess…