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

White chocolates with almond meal cream filling (trick them up for Halloween)

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I tried some filling with almond meal to see if it worked, and it did.  I had some moulds with little ghosts and pumpkins and other gross looking things for Halloween, so thought I would make them look a bit wierd for Halloween and this was the result.  I used about half a block of white chocolate for this recipe – it should be enough for about twelve medium sized moulded chocolates.

100g good quality white chocolate, plus a small amount of white chocolate buttons for tempering,

For the filling:

50g white chocolate buttons;

50 ml cream;

1 tbsp finely ground almond meal.

I described the procedure to temper chocolate in relation to the salted caramel chocolates.  That was milk chocolate however, the temperatures required for dark and milk chocolate are different for dark chocolate, you need to melt the chocolate and get it to 40-50 and then bring it down to 32-33 before you try to mould it.  For white chocolate, it is 40-45 degrees then 28-30.

Temper the white chocolate and cover the bases of the mould (whatever you choose to use) and then set aside somewhere cool to set – maybe the fridge for a little while.  While it is setting make the filling.  Put the white chocolate buttons and the cream into a heatproof bowl or jug, and heat in 30 second bursts, shaking between times, until the chocolate is starting to melt.  You will only do this two or three times, you don’t want to boil the cream, stir it well and the chocolate should melt in the hot cream.  Stir the almond meal in, and then set aside to cool.  Spoon into the moulds and leave to cool and set a little.  Then reheat the white chocolate that was left over from the mould, and cover the bases, scraping off any excess.  Leave to cool.

Raspberry clouds in “white” chocolate cases

Ok, I admit I didn’t know what to call this.  I found these “white chocolate” buttons that had been coloured in the supermarket.  There was pink, and yellow.  I bought them and then put them in the pantry thinking that sooner or later I would think up something to do with them.  I suspect that the white “chocolate” was more like compounded chocolate – but you get the idea.  If you have the proper colouring (powder, not liquid) you could always colour some good quality white chocolate yourself.  But I wanted to practice with my moulds, so I made this anyway.  I got four (plus a bit of “cloud” left over that I put in a separate ramekin).  The cloud was very light and frothy, and when eaten with the syrup, was almost sherbety.

This is best eaten on the day it is made, the cloud will melt away if you leave it in the fridge too long.

White chocolate and raspberry clouds in cases

White chocolate and raspberry clouds in cases

You will need four moulds that have a capacity of about 2/3 cup each.  I used silicon so I could peel them away when set.

200g coloured chocolate;

150g frozen raspberries;

2 egg whites;

2 tbs sugar;

1 tbs Cointreau.

 

Melt half of the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water.  This is the “bain marie method” as below:

Melting chocolate over a "bain marie"

Melting chocolate over a “bain marie”

Spread the chocolate in the moulds, and put in the freezer while you melt the second half.  When the chocolate is melted, allow to cool for about 30 seconds before spreading around the mould, the first layer will slightly melt again, so you can “merge” the two without the first layer completely melting.  I did this in two batches because the moulds are so large, if you try to melt the chocolate in one batch you will just end up with a puddle in the bottom of your mould, instead of it clinging to the sides as well.  Place in the fridge to finish setting.

In the mould

In the mould

Put the frozen raspberries, sugar and Cointrea in a small pan and bring to the boil.  At the same time, put the egg whites on to whip.  It should only take a couple of minutes for the raspberries to break down in the sugar/Cointreau mixture, when this happens, pour through a sieve into a bowl, ideally you want some raspberry sauce, and some raspberry flesh.  Once the egg whites are really stiff (you should be able to turn the bowl upside down and nothing falls out) gently fold the raspberry flesh (which should have cooled a little by now) through, and spoon into the moulds.  If you have any left over, put in a ramekin and you can eat this separately.

The cloud is already set when you spoon it in, I just leave it in the fridge for about half an hour to harden up a little.

When ready to serve, demould the cases and upturn on a serving plate.  When you are eating this, you hit the case with your spoon and crack through to a cloudy inner.

Put the sauce in a small jug, and pour this over as you serve.  The combination of the sauce with the cloud is what makes it taste sherbety, without the sauce it can be a bit bland.

White chocolate crackles – gluten free

I thought for Christmas I would rework an old childhood favourite – and as I bought a big bag of those red, green and white buttons, I have to keep coming up with ideas to use them, before I just dig my hand in the jar and make a pig of myself.  My recipe made 15.  If you want to use the whole block of copha, you will get 30 (I wanted to keep some for some other ideas I have rolling around).

Yesterday was an extreme weather event in Melbourne, and we lost power for several hours.  I thought I was very clever making something that didn’t use electricity but of course we didn’t have power to run the router, so no internet and I couldn’t post the results, D’OH!

White chocolate crackles

White chocolate crackles

2 cups gluten free rice bubbles

1 cup gluten free chocolate buttons

125g copha (hard white vegetable shortening)

1 cup white chocolate buttons, or chopped up white chocolate

1/4 cup coconut

1/4 cup gluten free icing sugar

 

Put 15 little patty case papers (smaller than cup cake papers) on a tray and set aside.

Put the rice bubbles, buttons, coconut and icing sugar in a large bowl.  In a small saucepan, melt together the copha and white chocolate, pour into the rice bubble mix and stir until well combined.  Spoon mixture into the cases, place the tray in your fridge to set.

 

Done.  If you want to make the traditional chocolate crackles, the recipe is on the copha wrapper.

Triple chocolate mousse

This is lovely and refreshing, rich without being too heavy.  You can either do it with “bookended” milk chocolate mousse, or with dark, white and milk.  I did the latter, but as the berry sauce covers most of the bottom you really can’t see it.  I am not a great photographer, but it was REALLY yummy.

Triple Chocolate Mousse

Triple Chocolate Mousse

 

200g dark chocolate, cut into pieces or use melts

250g white chocolate, cut into pieces or use melts

250g milk chocolate, cut into pieces or use melts

3/4 cup milk

2 tsp powdered gelatine

900ml thickened cream

125g mixed berries

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp water

 

You will need a large mould – about 7 cups.  I used a silicone bundt mould – I like silicon because you can unmould easier.  If you don’t have silicone, line your mould with plastic wrap. (And don’t let your other half near the mould at unmoulding time, as a bit of rough handling does not go well!)

Melt the dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave – use 30 second bursts twice, shaking each time the microwave finishes.  The last time, try about 20 seconds and stir vigorously.  If the chocolate doesn’t beat smoothly, try just a few more seconds, not too long or it will sieze.  Once it is smooth, leave it to cool a little.  Put 1/4 cup of the milk in a microwave safe jug and heat for 15 seconds.  Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of gelatine over the milk, and mix vigorously until dissolved.  Leave aside for a few minutes.

Beat all the cream in a mixer until soft peaks form.  Mix the milk & gelatine mixture into the chocolate.  Once the cream is ready and the chocolate has cooled a little, spoon 1/3 of the beaten cream into the chocolate and fold gently.  Once combined, pour into the mould and put in the fridge for an hour.  Put the unused cream in the fridge also.

 

Repeat the process with the white chocolate, however use 1 tsp of gelatine in this layer, as it is in the middle you want it to set well to separate the two chocolate mousses.  Put everything back in the fridge for an hour.

Repeat the process with the milk chocolate and remaining milk, gelatine and cream.  Put in the fridge for at least four hours, preferably overnight.

 

When ready to serve, combine the berries, sugar and water in a small pot and boil until the berries are breaking up and a little of the water has evaporated.  Let cool for a couple of minutes, then spoon the berries over the top and pour the liquid all around.