Sticky cranberry white Christmas cheesecake – gluten free

For those of you who remember that kids’ party stalwart – the Chocolate Crackle – here is one adaptation all dressed up for Christmas!  I made it in a large round springform cake tine (around 24cm) as I wanted the base to be thin – the white chocolate and copha set quite hard and if it was too thick you would never get through it.  This is a lovely, oozy mixture, you will get your fingers messy, when eating it, so keep those napkins handy!  If you want it less sticky, dial back the amount of lemon juice you add, but you will need some to offset the sweetness of the white chocolate and condensed milk.

Sticky cranberry white Christmas cheesecake

 

Base:

125g copha (solidified white vegetable fat);

100g white chocolate;

2 cups gluten free puffed rice.

 

Filling:

395g tin condensed milk;

225g block cream cheese;

1 tbs lemon juice;

170g dried cranberries.

 

To decorate:

Gluten free red chocolate balls and spearmint leaves.

 

Method:

Spray the springform pan with olive oil, lightly and set aside.

Cut the copha into smaller cubes (as it takes longer to melt than the chocolate does) and combine in a heatproof bowl with the white chocolate.  Microwave on high for 30 second bursts, shaking the bowl in between bursts, and stirring the mixture as it melts.  Once melted, stir to combine, add the puffed rice and mix vigorously.  It doesn’t matter if you crush some of the rice.  Press into the springform pan and put in the fridge while you prepare the topping.

Cut the cream cheese into chunks, and mix or blend with the condensed milk.  Add the lemon juice and mix until smooth.  Fold through the cranberries.  Spoon over the base, and allow to set at least four hours.  Decorate when ready to serve.

 

You can either cut this into squares for finger food (sticky) or into small wedges so that it can be eaten with a spoon.  It is less messy to eat with a spoon, but the base is more resistant to a spoon than to teeth, so it ends up being easier to pick up in your fingers and take a bite anyway.

It may be messy, but it is very tasty!

The whole slice

Cranberry and Pistachio cupcakes

Another slight variation on a basic buttercake recipe.  With Christmas just around the corner, more red and green!  You should get around 9 to 10 cupcakes.

Cranberry and pistachio cupcakes

Cranberry and pistachio cupcakes

 

125 grams butter;

1/2 cup caster sugar;

1 egg, beaten;

1 1/2 cups sr flour (I used gluten free which does cause the cake to ‘crack’ more than regular flour, but it was still ok and now suitable for the coeliac in my house);

Up to 1 cup of cream – add to mixture a bit at a time until the batter is thick and of a spoonable consistency;

1/4 cup dried cranberries;

1/4 cup roughly chopped pistachios.

Cream the butter and sugar, gradually add the beaten egg, mixing all the time.  Add cranberries and pistachios and mix.  Add flour and cream alternately.

Pour into cupcake moulds or papers, and bake in a 170 C fan forced oven (or 180 regular) for about 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Let it cool in the tin for a few minutes before putting on a rack to cool.

White chocolate, cranberry & pistachio bark – gluten free. Ideal for picnics – Melbourne Cup anyone?

This is so easy to make and is ideal to take on a picnic so long as you can keep it cold (or it will melt).

The secret to a good white chocolate bark is to use a good quality white chocolate, and to add something for a bit of tartness to offset the sweetness of the white chocolate – hence the cranberry.  You need to use dried fruits because a fresh berry would be too liquid and would change the chemical balance of the chocolate.

White chocolate, cranberry & pistachio bark

White chocolate, cranberry & pistachio bark

225g white chocolate, either use good quality melts or break up a block of eating chocolate

1/4 cup each of chopped pistachios and chopped dried cranberries

Put a sheet of baking paper on a flat baking tray.

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave in 30 second bursts, shaking bowl after each time.  After the third burst, take bowl out and stir until melted and smooth.  Mix in the fruit & nuts.

Pour onto the baking paper, forming a rectangle. The chocolate should be about 3-4 ml thick.

Put in the fridge to set, when set cup up into pieces and enjoy.  If you pack some into an insulated container so it doesn’t melt, it will transport very well for the finishing touch to a picnic.