For the finale I wanted something that screamed Christmas but wasn’t something traditional. Again, it also had to be something I could prep beforehand and set aside. This produced all of the “Wows” I could have wished for when I brought it out at the end of the meal. Even my dad was tempted to eat some and the man hates desserts! I have to say it was delicious! Despite the fact that it’s made of cream and sugar it’s actually a very light dessert. The perfect end to a gluttinous meal!
250g fresh cranberries
200g caster sugar + 3 tbsp
400ml double cream
1 egg white, beathn until frothy
– Put most of the cranberries in a small pan with 150g of the sugar. Keep back 16 or so for the garnish.
– Cook the cranberries in the pan with a lid on until the sugar melts and bubbles. Cook for ~10 minutes until the cranberries are soft. They will pop, do not scream like a girl (ahem) when they do so.
– Use a spoon to mash them up once they are cooked.
– Set aside to cool.
– Whilst they are cooling take a large mixing bowl and pour 200ml of the cream and the remaining 50g sugar into it.
– Use a hand mixer to beat until the cream forms soft peaks.
– Stir the remaining 200ml cream into the cranberries until a wonderful pink colour.
– Tip this pink mixture on top of the whipped cream.
– Stir through only a few times to acheive a marbled effect.
– Spoon into four cocktail glasses.
– To garnish take the remaining cranberries and dip them in the egg white.
– Put the 3 tbsp sugar on a plate and drop the cranberries onto the sugar. Roll around until evenly coated in sugar.
– Set aside to set.
– Once hard, plce a few cranberries on each dessert.
– Chill until ready to serve.
I found this recipe over on Joy of Baking and knew it was just perfect for what I wanted. It was very simple to prepare as it’s essentially a muffin mixture and it would keep very well for a week, in fact getting better over the week, so perfect for posting for Christmas presents. It also looks so very Christmassy!
I wanted to use rectangular foil ‘takeout’ containers so as to ship and transport it easily and these were smaller than the 9″x5″x3″ tin the recipe called for so I doubled the recipe thinking may be I’d get 3 out of it, nope, got 4! Yum, one spare! It’s a really interesting flavour too, you have the sharpness of the cranberries with hints of fruity and nuttiness. The crust also forms this delicious sugary crunch. A surefire winner this one. My test subjects of my mum’s office were begging for the recipe!
Makes 2 8″ x4″x3″ ‘loaf tins’
460g plain flour
700g golden caster sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
zest of 1 orange
1 large egg
56g butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g fresh cranberries (Dried if fresh not available)
90g mixed peel (I used whole preserved orange peels chopped up)
60g chopped mixed nuts
– Heat your oven to gas mark 4 and grease your tins.
– In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest.
– In a large jug mix together the butter, vanilla and milk.
– Mix the two together and stir well to combine. (Doesn’t matter if there are some lumps in there.)
– Add the fruits and nuts and stir through.
– Pour into the tins and bake at the top of the oven for 1 hour. Cover the top with foil if it gets too brown.
– Test with a skewer to see if it’s done then remove from the oven and cool completely.
– Wrap in foil to store for up to a week.