So I know I said my Gingerbread Linzertorte post was the last for this year, but I bought some cranberries for the first time ever a couple of days ago, and got inspired to make not only one, but two really easy Christmas desserts using cranberries - White Chocolate Dipped Cranberries, and Cranberry Cheesecake Pots! Both of these desserts scream Christmas.
The white chocolate dipped cranberries are the easy peasiest to make, they really just speak for themselves. I'm not going to even type the recipe out per se, as all it requires is melting white chocolate in a medium sized bowl (Hersheys White Chocolate Chips are great for this), dipping your washed and dried cranberries into the melted chocolate (or just dousing them all in like I did), removing them all carefully with a spoon one by one, and then placing them onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Place them in the fridge to harden, and ten minutes later you have the most addictive little chocolate covered berries!
If you have more time you could stick each cranberry onto the end of a toothpick for better ease of dipping, and sprinkle some edible gold sequins (mine were from Wilton) to make them look even more special.
What I love is how the white chocolate sweetened the effect of the sour tart cranberries as, if you have tried cranberries on their own, you will know how pretty sharp tasting they are! But dipped in chocolate they make a great snack to keep in a bowl on the coffee table, or just anywhere around the house if you have got guests over for the holidays. And really for a first timer like myself eating cranberries, I could not stop popping them into my mouth like popcorn!
If you still have some cranberries to spare after making your cranberry turkey sauce (and dipping them in white chocolate!), why not try these cranberry cheesecake pots? This recipe is basically a re-working of my Blueberry Cheesecake Pots, but I increased the amount of sugar in the cranberry sauce (to combat the sourness!), as well as adding a little water. Otherwise the rest is all the same. And honestly, even this recipe took me all of half an hour to make. The cranberry sauce is delightfully sweet and jammy against the cool creamy mascarpone, and of course its a no-bake! As with the blueberry cheesecake pots, I just used whatever biscuits I had lying around - in this case golden oreos!
So there you have it. If you are looking for ways to sweeten your cranberries, without serving them with the Christmas turkey, I hope these two ideas inspire you to use them in a different way!
Cranberry Cheesecake Pots
Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food
Fills four glasses, or eight mini glasses
4 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp water
6-8 digestive biscuits (depending on how much biscuit base you like)
2 tbsps melted butter
250g tub of mascarpone
4 tbsp heavy cream
4 tbsp icing sugar
1 lemon, zested and juiced.
1. Cook the cranberries with the caster sugar and water for about five to ten minutes, on low heat. Stir occasionally until a syrup has formed and the cranberries have popped. Leave to cool.
2. In a processor, blend the biscuits together with the melted butter till fine.
3. Line the bottom of your glasses with a layer of the biscuit mixture and chill for ten minutes.
4. Meanwhile, mix the mascarpone, cream, icing sugar, lemon zest and juice together in a bowl.
5. Alternate layers of cheesecake and blueberry mix in each glass and serve immediately or keep in the fridge till ready to serve.