Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

Just because you are a coeliac, it doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy the same variety of foods as everyone else. With gluten-free flour readily available these days, there are plenty of pastry dishes that can be easily made - although those that depend on the gluten for elasticity can be a problem. But here's a flour-free cake recipe, courtesy of my mum, developed from an ancient Marks & Spencer recipe. What binds this cake, apart from the eggs, is a large quantity of a product now rarely used in Britain because of its post-war poverty connotations - condensed milk. You'd expect it to make the result sickly sweet, but not at all. The result is soft, crumbly, mouth-watering and perfectly balanced.


400g mincemeat
400g mixed dried fruit
100g mixed chopped nuts
200g crushed cornflakes
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 large tin condensed milk
5ml mixed spice*
5ml baking powder

* Mixed spice (pudding spice or sweet spice) is sold as a ground spice mixture in Britain and comprises the following in approximate ratios: cinnamon (35%), nutmeg (20%), allspice (20%), clove (10%), coriander seed (10%), and ginger (5%).


It couldn't get much simpler. Grease a 25cm round cake tin and line the base with grease-proof paper. Pour all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly. This requires a good degree of strength and considerable patience! Turn the mixture into the cake tin and level off. Bake for 2 hours in an oven at 150ºC (gas mark 2). Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning onto a rack to cool fully.