Thursday, November 30, 2006
Cranberry White Chocolate Quick Bead
I bought a big bag of cranberries right before Thanksgiving. I thought that I was going to make something with it for the holiday, but I just never got around to it. I'm glad I didn't, because it afforded me the opportunity to make this awesome sweet and tart bread. I adapted this recipe from a Joy of Baking recipe.
I became interested in cooking with cranberries this summer when I spent a weekend at my aunt's house in Pidgeon Bay. If you are wondering where pidgeon bay is, it is far, far, far, up in bumbfuck Maine. However, the 6 hour ride is worth it because it is just so beautiful up there. When we went it happened to be the height of wild Maine blueberry season, and when walking in my aunt's front yard, which consists of a rocky spread of land leading directly to the water, her whole front yard was covered in blueberry and cranberry vines. I went out in the morning and picked blueberries and cranberries and put them in my cereal. How cool is that.
Many people think that cranberries are grown in water, or in bogs, which is a common misconception. The American Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is a low-growing, vining, woody perennial plant with small, alternate, oval leaves. The plant produces horizontal stems or runners up to 6 feet (2 m) long. Short vertical branches 2 to 8 inches (5 to 20 cm) in height, called uprights, grow from buds on the runners and produce both vegetative and fruit buds. Each fruit bud may contain as many as seven flowers. (The Cranberry Institute (www.cranberryinstitute.org)
This particular bread is great - the matching of the tart from the cranberry with the smooth sweet of the white chocolate is a great mixture. Also, it just looks so festive, with it's white and red.
4 cups (460 grams) sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup (200 grams) white granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Zest of one orange or lemon (optional)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) (56 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) milk
1 cup (120 grams) fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 cup white chocolate chips
Butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable, a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). (Note: if you are using a dark colored pan reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C).)
In a large bowl whisk together the sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. In a separate bowl whisk together the beaten egg, melted butter, vanilla extract and milk. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix in the fruit and nuts. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Wrap in aluminum foil and store for a few days before serving. It can be frozen.
Makes one - 9x5 inch loaf
Posted by JB at 8:11 AM