Cranberry Caramalised White Chocolate Cake

 Christmas dinners and all its preparations can sometimes feel endlessly complicated, and I am happy to share recipe as a very cool and easy thing that still looks magnificent.
This cake is made within 15 minutes and doesn’t require more than some kneading (admittedly annoying, yes, but manageable), and a little stirring followed with some time in the oven.
Your place will smell great and the result is stunning (modesty has been left after I made the conclusion that I actually managed to bake a cake in between the holidays and travels around, hah!).
Plus, not unimportant, this beauty will happily make it through some travel, a plus in my book considering that Christmas includes a lot of schlepping to dinner parties or family.

This cake is a lot like the Chocolate Fig Cake I made last October, with the difference that it is completely in season and has a real Christmassy color palette to it (hmmm hmmm;)). I used to think that cranberries were too tart to use on their own in baking, or that they would simply be too firm without boiling down into a sauce. That changed after making Rachel Allen’s upside down cranberry cake (definitely worth a google, but sadly not that transportable as the pink spots on the inside of my bag still confirm after last winter’s christmas party), which is the inspiration for this cake.

The ingredients are really simple and all comes together fairly easy. There is a sweet buttercrust dough, white chocolate, orange juice, vanilla and fresh cranberries.

When you heat white chocolate, regardless of the quality of it, it magically turns into a really sticky and bronzed caramel. This ‘genius’ recipe describes the process really well and I have just taken this to my advantage. The chocolate makes a juicy and sweet basis for the tart cranberries.

I’m positively hoping this one will reach Wuppertal (!) undamaged tonight, in case I manage not to drop it or to sit on it in the train that is off course.

Cranberry Caramalised White Chocolate Cake

Simple dough

  • 125 gram butter, softened
  • 125 grams sugar
  • 1/2 egg
  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 3 grams of salt
  • 5 grams of baking powder
  • optionally 15 grams of water (depending on the flour)

Chocolate filling

  • 100 grams of white chocolate, broken in pieces*
  • 100 grams of full-fat Greek yoghurt*
  • juice of one large sweet orange
  • a good pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla essence
  • 250 grams of fresh or frozen cranberries to scatter on top

Knead the ingredients into a supple
dough. You can refrigerate the dough, but I use it directly with
consistent good results. There is no need to roll this dough out, I
simply push it into the tart form. Buttering the form is not necessary
as I find that the pieces will come out easily. You might however want
to use baking paper to avoid any trouble.
My tip is to double or quadruple the recipe and to freeze it in portions in sandwich bags, just to make sure you will be able to make any kind of cake super fast by simply defrosting a portion of dough.
Make the chocolate filling by heating the orange juice until really hot. Pour this over the chocolate pieces. It
might be enough to melt the chocolate, in case that isn’t enough I would
suggest you to shortly microwave or warm it au bain marie. Mix it until
the mixture looks glossy, then add the salt, vanilla extract and yoghurt.
Without pre-baking the dough, pour in the chocolate filling. Scatter the cranberries on top of the chocolate filling. Even if you are using frozen cranberries, there is no need to defrost. Bake for 40 minutes in a moderately hot
oven on 180 degrees Celsius, but keep a close eye as the temperatures
and times might vary.

*I have amended this recipe in hindsight, as the first outcome (with 250 grams of white chocolate) came out too sweet. The addition of Greek yoghurt tones all down and makes this cake just as festive, but a little better on the palate. It’s all about acknowledging flaws. 😉

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