These snowflakes taste just like Christmas pudding but are waaaaaayyyyy easier and packed with natural sugars and gorgeous plant power! When combined with our warm Cashew Brandy Sauce, this makes for the perfect Xmas sweet thang.
I always loved snowballs, normally chucking them at my sister. Also snowmen (or women) maybe one day we’ll make a boozy snow human! YUM! We are visiting Jane’s Ma and Pa in sensational Stafford and it’s 14oC! These sweeties will probably be as close as we get to snowflakes this year.
Here we have little explosions of tastiness, super rich and with a massive kick of brandy, chocolate and pecans to get you right into that festive cheer. Everyone will LOVE them (guaranteed). They can be made well in advance and keep nicely.
The warm sauce elevates these into the realms of dessert. Quantity wise, have a play. Thin out with water and add a touch of vanilla extract. Make to your taste. Its a little like custard but dare I say it…..even better (contentious behaviour there). Having said that, custard would be lovely with these.
They are part of our lighter, nutritious, simple Christmas this year. These little snowflakes are easily made gluten-free, technically they are ‘sugar-free’ (refined that is) and are of course, full power plant-based, vegan happy.
MERRY CHRISTMAS Y”ALL!!!!!XXXxxxxxxxx
Use any combo of dried fruits, all welcome. We are not massive fans of that ‘dried mixed fruit’ stuff you can buy, they’re a little too dry. We used whole dried fruits that are relatively inexpensive.
Not into the booze aspect. That’s very cool. Just up the juice quantity.
You don’t necessarily need a blender for this. You can mash the fruit mix up with a potato masher. Jane’s Mum’s blender wasn’t doing it for us here, so we mashed it up.
The Bits – Makes 15 little snowflakes
1 handful of each, dried apricot, dried pear/ apple, dried dates, dried figs (all roughly chopped)
2 handfuls raisins
4 tbs brandy
3 tbs apple juice or orange juice
1 orange (zest)
1 1/2 inch fresh ginger (finely grated)
1 teas ground cinnamon
2 teas mixed spice
1/4 teas ground cloves
2 teas vanilla extract
4 handfuls oats or gluten-free oats
4 handfuls pecans (broken up with hands)
125g dark vegan chocolate
2-3 tbs maple syrup (optional)
2 handfuls desiccated or grated fresh coconut
Cashew Brandy Sauce (varies depending on numbers)
Soak the dried fruit, spices, vanilla and orange zest for at least two hours in the brandy and juice. Longer is better.
Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl above gently simmering water. Leave to cool for 15 minutes.
In a food processor/ blender, add the oats and blitz until they resemble a coarse flour. Add the dried fruit mix and pulse until the mix is broken down but still chunky.
Scrape out into a large bowl, add the chocolate and pecans. Combine well with a trusty wooden spoon/ spatula. Taste and stir in maple syrup if you’d like it sweeter.
Scatter the coconut over a plate and with slighty wet hands (prevents too much sticking) grab a squash ball sized lump of the mix and roll between your hands into nice even balls.
Place in the coconut and roll gently. Now pop them onto your display plate.
These snowflakes will keep well in a sealed container, but look best when freshly rolled.
For an extra special dessert, gently warm up enough cashew butter in a small saucepan and add maple syrup, vanilla extract and brandy until you love it! One tablespoon at a time is best. Thin with a touch of water or soya milk if needed.
Spoon your sauce onto a plate and pop two or three snowflakes on top. They are also amazing as they are.
A word on ‘sugarfree’-ness. Not all sugar is the same! Sugar in dried fruits like these are in a natural solution of all kinds of things; anti-oxidants, minerals, micro-nutrients most of which are beneficial to the body and really help out the immune system. Dried fruit is packed with goodness and the ideal winter snack and fruit sugar should not be lumbered in there with refined, cane, beet, corn sugars etc. Fruit sugars (not loads of course) are way cool with us.
PS – Dried fruit is also very high in fibre, which is an all-time superhero for our bodies.