Cedges Eats

Cedges Bakes – Easy Cranberry and Shortbread ‘Cheesecake’

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As I said in this post, this recipe was first published on the Women’s Institute MyWI page as the dessert for the ‘Menu of the Month January 2018‘.

Every year I have a little Christmas Eve panic which involves purchasing another jar of cranberry sauce or jelly, despite the fact that I likely already have two jars in the cupboard. I do use it as a year round condiment so its never wasted but I relished (pun intended) trying to come up with a recipe to use it in an entirely different way. This is a cross between an unbaked cheesecake and a layered trifle type dessert. There is no cooking involved (unless you want to make your shortbread from scratch) and it’s a fab dessert to make ahead of time and take out of the fridge to serve with minimum fuss.

I would stick to using a more basic type of cranberry sauce, the very fancy kind with port and other additions are going to add a slightly odd tang to proceedings. A hint of citrus such as lemon or orange would however be welcome.

This is a great way to use up Christmas shortbreads but nearly any other biscuit would work for the base and the garnish. I am a massive fan of a gingernut. I would reduce or omit the butter for the base if using a cream filled biscuit.

For an extra texture you could include a layer of a complementary flavoured jelly – strawberry, orange or lemon perhaps. Just make sure it is fully set before adding the cheesecake layer.

For a lighter dessert, use reduced fat cream cheese but expect the finished dessert to be a little looser.

Ensure all the ingredients are room temperature before starting to mix.

Serves 4


100g Shortbread or other biscuit
25g Butter
100g White Chocolate, melted and cooled
300g Cream Cheese
225g Cranberry Sauce
15g Icing Sugar, sieved
½ Lemon, juiced and zested
Extra Biscuits for garnish

Put 100g Shortbread in a sandwich bag and smash with a rolling pin until crumb-like. Alternatively, use a food processor although this does only take seconds.

Mix the 25g Butter which has been melted into the shortbread crumbs.

Divide the biscuit crumbs between 4 serving glasses. I used martini glasses but any glass tumbler or drinking glass would work too.

Press the biscuit base down with your fingers – it doesn’t need to be terribly solid.

Combine the melted 100g White Chocolate, 300g Cream Cheese and 175g Cranberry Sauce until well combined.

Divide the cream cheese mixture between the 4 glasses, spreading the mix to the sides of the glass.

Take 50g Cranberry Sauce and warm ever so slightly with 15g Icing Sugar and juice of ½ a Lemon. I gave mine 10 seconds in the microwave just to loosen it up a little.

Top each of the desserts with a quarter of the sweetened sauce and refrigerate – they only need 15 minutes or they can be left covered for a day or two.

Garnish with any Extra Biscuits and the zest of ½ a Lemon before serving.

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