Saturday, 21 November 2015

Sugared Cranberries Cake Topper



Hi Guys! I don't usually post to the blog on Saturday, but it's been awhile since my last post (Chris and I have been traveling) and today I want to share this fun and easy weekend baking project that's perfect for the upcoming holidays! I love this time of year; my favourite part of the holiday season is all the build up and anticipation. Every year I enjoy making gifts for family, baking cookies, decorating the tree and sending out handmade Christmas cards. This year I'm planning a number of posts for the blog, all of which are part of a series that I'm going to call 'the handmade holiday'. I'll be posting tutorials on homemade greeting cards, tree ornaments and of course, handmade gifts. 

So to start the holiday goodies off right, here is my recipe for sparkling cranberries. We made these cranberry confections for the dessert table at our winter wedding, and it was nice to make them again almost three years later. They are a festive treat, incorporating seasonal produce and a little bit of holiday sparkle. Here's how to make them:

Ingredients

1 package fresh cranberries, washed                        
1 cup sugar                                                         
1 cup water                                                               
1 cup superfine sugar for coating                             

Look for superfine sugar at your local grocery store; most shops will carry at least one brand. If you can't find superfine, regular caster sugar (table sugar) also works quite well for the coating.

Directions

Begin by making a simple syrup (bring one part water and one part sugar to a boil over med/high heat in order to dissolve the sugar into the water). One cup water to one cup sugar should make plenty of simple syrup. Take the syrup off the heat and let cool slightly (it should still be warm when poured over the berries, just not boiling hot). Pour over the cranberries, cover, and place in the fridge for eight to ten hours or overnight.

Next, pour the berries into a strainer to remove the excess simple syrup. Pour a small amount of super fine sugar into a shallow bowl and toss the cranberries one by one. Discard the sugar if it becomes too wet, and replace with fresh superfine sugar. Coat all berries and leave them out on a cookie sheet to dry. 

When the berries are dry (about an hour), you may pour them into a bowl or container and store for a few days. They are best left out at room temperature, unless you are in a very humid climate. In that case, try storing them in the fridge.

 The finished berries make a wonderful candy; they are both tart and sweet, and they sort of pop in your mouth. I used my batch of berries to top a spice cake with cream cheese frosting. Overall, it made for a wonderful wintery treat.
  

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