Turn your kitchen into a place of warmth and festive spirit. This loaf combines the best of things that start with the letter ‘c': chocolate, cranberries, and citrus.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Yield: One 9 x 5 inch (22 x 12 centimetre) loaf
For the Loaf:
- 281 g / 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
- 8 g / 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 4 g / 1 tsp ground ginger
- 3 g / 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 g / 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 76 g / 1/3 cup Mirage margarine, melted and cooled slightly
- 133 g / 2/3 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 large eggs
- 153 g / 2/3 cup sour cream, full fat
- 10 g / 2 tbsp lemon zest
- 10 g / 2 tbsp orange zest
- 15 ml / 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 99 g / 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 60 g / 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 90 g / 1/2 cup white chocolate chips/chunks, divided
For the Topping:
- 115 g / 1/2 cup full-fat cream cheese, softened
- 12 g / 1 tbsp sour cream
- 5 ml / 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 240 g / 2 cup icing sugar, unsifted
- 10 g / 1 tbsp dried cranberries
- 45 g / 1/4 cup white chocolate chips or chunks, melted
- 7 g / 1 1/2 tsp Mirage margarine
- 10 ml / 2 tsp heavy cream
- 5 g / 1 1/2 tsp icing sugar
- Orange and/or lemon zest (optional)
For the Loaf:
- Preheat oven to 350℉ (180℃). Grease and line the bottom and longer sides of a 9 x 5 inch (22 x 12 centimetre) loaf pan with parchment paper. Grease the paper and flour entire pan.
- In a large bowl, sift together 2 cups (250 grams) of the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and ground ginger.
- In a small bowl, toss fresh or frozen cranberries with the remainder of the flour. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl that is microwave-safe, melt Mirage margarine. Set aside to cool.
- Once slightly cooled, whisk in brown sugar, eggs, sour cream, zests, and vanilla extract.
- Pour contents into dry ingredients. With a spatula, fold in the wet ingredients. After a few strokes, add the fresh or frozen cranberries, dried cranberries, and white chocolate. Fold in with as few strokes as possible; overmixing will cause the loaf to be tough.
- Transfer batter into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth top with spatula.
- Place into preheated oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean with a few moist crumbs attached to it. Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes before lifting loaf out of pan; cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
For the Topping:
- In a medium bowl, with a hand-held mixer, blend softened cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add sour cream and vanilla extract, mix until fully incorporated into the cheese.
- Sift in icing sugar in batches, being sure to stir into the cheese before sifting in more. Repeat process until all sugar is blended in. If a thinner or thicker consistency is desired, add more sour cream or icing sugar, respectively.
- Spread cream cheese onto top of the cooled loaf.
- Sprinkle dried cranberries over the top of the cream cheese. If needed, gently pat fruit into the topping.
- Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan filled with about 1 inch (2.5 centimetre) of water to a boil. Turn heat off. Place white chocolate chips or white chocolate that has been chopped finely and Mirage margarine in a heat-proof bowl. Place bowl over hot water (make sure bottom of bowl does not touch the water) Gently melt chocolate and Mirage margarine together. Slowly stir contents together until completely melted and combined. While still over bain marie, add cream, and icing sugar to white chocolate mixture. Gently stir together.
- Place melted chocolate into a piping bag or plastic resealable bag. Snip off a tiny portion of the tip of the piping bag or corner of the resealable plastic bag. Drizzle melted chocolate over the cream cheese and cranberries (alternatively, you can drizzle melted chocolate over the loaf with a spoon).
- Zest an orange and/or lemon over the top of the loaf (optional).
- Roughly chop dried cranberries and also toss with the 1/4 cup (32 grams) of flour before adding them into the batter for more dispersion of cranberry bits in loaf. Tossing fresh or frozen cranberries and chopped dried cranberries in flour aids in dispersion and helps fruit from sinking to the bottom of the loaf.
- White chocolate scorches easily. Use gentle and low heat to melt.
- Substitute semisweet or dark chocolate for the white chocolate for visual and flavour contrast.
- A stand mixer with paddle attachment can be used for making the cream cheese topping.