Every year we like to host lots of people over Christmas. Our flat lends itself to the festivities with our enormous homemade dining table, red walls and views over the frozen canals of Manchester. It's also a great opportunity to show our nearest and dearest that eating vegan and gluten free is anything other than boring.
The last couple of years I haven't wanted to add extra work to the stress of hosting and have settled for a shop-bought nut roast or just extra veg and potatoes. The longer I am vegan though, the more I want to show off that delicious food can be cruelty free.
This year I decided to make a V/GF centrepiece that I thought everyone could try...
Better still, the flavour combinations are on parr with any fine dining eatery I've eaten in. A lot of talent has gone into designing the seasonal, locally sourced and ever-changing menu; with amuse bouche to welcome diners into the art of chef's art of cooking, and pre-desserts to cleanse the pallet and make way for new exciting flavours.
Traditionally in a carrot cake recipe you would add raisins, but I'm not a huge fan of them so swap them for dates, this gives the whole cake a sweeter, fudgier taste and it keeps it really moist. I topped mine with extra walnuts and raspberries which help cut through any sticky sweetness left by the dates and syrup with that fruity sharpness and the earthy walnuts.