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 (

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


wheresmymind said...

Yum....I HEART cranberries...and with white chocolate..*melt*

Anonymous said...

that looks simply divine! with a cup of tea and a book!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link. It really looks delicious. Will have to try this one with the rest of my cranberries!

lissielouwho said...

I am just wondering, why wrap this in foil and leave set for a few days? I would think it would get hard. I think this looks lovely, want to make it, but just need to know why we let it set. :) I hope someone can help. Thanks.

JB said...

The original recipe called for this wrapping technique, I don't know why. I've made two loaves at the same time, eaten one directly out of the oven, and wrapped and frozen the other one and they both tasted exactly the same. I don't think that it needs to be wrapped. A bit of warning though, this bread is extremely dense, brick-like dense, not light and moist. If you try I hope you like it. I usually cut a piece and put it in the toaster oven, and then the whote chocolate begins to melt slightly and it's just great.

Julie said...

I'm always so bad at leaving comments on recipes, but I just have to here. I made this last year around Christmas time in the midst of a quick-bread baking spree, and it was by far my most successful and popular. So this year I was despairing in having lost the recipe, and I'm so glad that I was able to find it again. I'm in the school of the more chocolate the merrier, so I've often been quite liberal in the application of the white chocolate chips, but even as written, it's delicious. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe.

JB said...

Oh Julie I'm so glad that you like it, and thanks for leaving a comment, I love to hear that people have success with the recipes I post.

chefkulp said...

I doubled this recipe and it made 4loaves (in 2-lb. aluminum loaf pans). All together, 10 loaves for friends and neighbors! Added 1/4 cup grapefruit/clementine juice (fresh squeezed) and the zest of 1 lime to each doubled batch. The lime added the green to complete the red, white, green holiday trio! ;)

Anonymous said...

Is this recipe meant for two loaves? The recipe states that it makes one, but with 4 cups of flour, I was wondering.

JB said...

anon - i know it seems absurd, but i did just get one loaf out of it, a very dense heavy loaf - try breaking it p and adding more leavening agents and see if you can get two loaves from it.