Cranberry Champagne Cocktail – for a Happy Thanksgiving toast

This easy and delicious Cranberry Champagne Cocktail, was created by my husband, to pair with the Cranberry Tiramisu that was served for our Halloween Italian Cooking Class/Pop Up Supper Club in Support of the Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry.

I was not planning to post this recipe because it is so simple. However, it turned out to be the favorite drink during the event. Many of my guests requested the recipe, so here it is.

Ingredients:

  • Your favorite Champagne or sparkling wine – here we used almond flavored sparkling wine from Messina Hof
  • Cranberry Fruit Wine – the one we used is from Texas South Wind vineyard and winery

Mixing The Drink:

  • Add Cranberry Fruit Wine to a champagne flute until it is filled 1/3 of the way
  • Top it off with Champagne or your favorite bubbly wine.

Its so simple. Feel free to use Cava, Prosecco or any other sparkling wine you like. My friend, Anissa, took some great pics during the event. Here are two of my favorites featuring the Cranberry Tiramisu paired with the Cranberry Champagne Cocktail.

Everyone at the event had such a great time. Most guests ended up staying till midnight. Unfortunately, Roy Blanco, who has attended my previous events was not able to attend this time because of a last minute scheduling conflict. However, he was generous enough to still make a donation despite missing the cooking class and pop up supper club.

I saved dessert for him and invited him to visit with us the next day. Here is a photo of Roy enjoying his Cranberry Tiramisu and Cranberry Champagne Cocktail.

I first met Roy 9 years ago when he helped me establish an account at our local credit union. He has been very supportive of me, and has encouraged me to pursue my cooking project to support the Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry. Roy has also served on the board of the food pantry for the last seven years.

On this day of Thanksgiving, I am very thankful for Roy’s support and encouragement. I am also thankful for the all the work Tresha Silva, the director of the food pantry, does on a daily basis. And Of Course, I am thankful to all who have attended my events, for their good will and contributions.

This time we were able to raise $1,175. All of the proceeds went to the Food Pantry’s Nibbles Backpack Program. This program provides weekend meals and snacks for children from low income families at Lost Pines Elementary, Red Rock Elementary, and Bastrop Intermediate schools. Especially during this time of crisis, the Nibbles Program provides food for children that may otherwise go hungry when school meals are not available. For every $10 donated, we feed a student for a whole weekend.

Again, my thanks to everyone who supported our community. Your help is greatly appreciated. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ™

Hope you are having a great Thanksgiving. ๐Ÿ’•

I have lots of photos, taken by guests at the last event. I will share them in a future post as soon as I get a chance.

Cranberry Tiramisu

Cranberry Tiramisu, is the dessert recipe I created for our up coming Halloween Italian Cooking Class/Pop Up Supper Club in Support of the Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry. It is a play on the classic coffee-flavored Italian Tiramisu. I used cranberry to fit the flavor profile of the the American holiday season. Using cranberry, also gave me a chance to support our local Texas South Wind Winery. They make a superb all cranberry fruit wine that sells out fast during the holiday season.

Ingredients: for 4 servings

This dessert has 3 components:

  1. The Cranberry Compote.
  2. The Cranberry Tiramisu Cream – an egg custard base with mascarpone cheese and whipped cream folded in.
  3. The cranberry wine soaked Savoiardi (Italian lady finger cookies.)

Each serving has 3 lady finger cookies, so we will need a total of 12. We will also need 8 ounces of mascarpone cheese that has been brought up to room temperature.

Ingredients for the Cranberry Compote:

  • 4 ounces of frozen cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons of cranberry wine

Making the Cranberry Compote:

Add all four of the above ingredients to a heavy duty stainless steel pan and place on a medium high flame.
Bring to a simmer
Cook for 10 minutes. The natural pectin in the cranberries will allow it to turn into a jam.
Transfer to a glass bowl. Allow it to cool to room temperature while you make the Cranberry Tiramisu Cream.

Ingredients for the Cranberry Tiramisu Custard Base:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel powder
  • 1 tablespoon of cranberry wine
  • 1 tablespoon of extra fine sugar

Making the Cranberry Tiramisu Custard Base:

Bring water to a simmer in the base of a double boiler pan. While the water is coming to a simmer whisk together the 4 egg yolks, sugar, fennel powder and cranberry wine.
Place the egg mixture on top of the simmering water and continue to whisk until it turns frothy and pale in color.
Transfer the cooked egg mixture to a glass container and let it cool to room temperature.

While the egg base is cooling make the whipped cream by whisking together a cup of heavy cream with a tablespoon of extra fine sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a teaspoon of fennel powder.

Once the egg base is cooled gently fold in the 8 ounces of room temperature mascarpone.

Assembling the Cranberry Tiramisu:

I used a rocks glass to serve the tiramisu. You can use any parfait glass that you like. Start by placing 3/4 cups of cranberry wine in the bottom of a glass dish. This cranberry wine will be used for soaking the lady fingers. Set up your assembly station as shown in the photo below.

ASSEMBLY SET UP: 12 lady fingers. Cranberry Compote. Cranberry Wine. Cranberry Tiramisu Cream.
Soak the lady finger cookies in the wine for 1 second on each side. The idea is to let the cookies absorb the wine without getting soggy in the center.
Add a dollop of Cranberry Tiramisu Cream to the bottom of the glass. Top with a teaspoon of Cranberry Compote.
Break the cranberry wine soaked lady fingers into thirds. Place 5 pieces up right in each glass.
Cover the cookies with a large dollop of Cranberry Tiramisu Cream and another teaspoon of Cranberry Compote.
Place 3 or 4 additional cookies pieces in each glass.
Cover with a layer of Cranberry Tiramisu Cream and place a cranberry in the center of each glass for garnish. It is best to make this dessert a day before serving. Refrigerate it overnight to allow the flavors to marry. It tastes great the next day. ๐Ÿ˜‹

For the feature photo, I used a pumpkin platter and 2 servings of Cranberry Tiramisu on it. I thought it made a cute Halloween presentation similar to the one I used for my Pork Piccata last week.

I usually place each Cranberry Tiramisu on a fancy plate for a pretty presentation.

I am very proud of the Cranberry Tiramisu. I was able to cut the sugar down by using fennel powder which gives the illusion of sweetness. I have used this trick before in other recipes such as my marinara sauce and my berry zabaglione. I also used Savoiardi cookies imported from Italy. They are organic, have higher quality flour, and less sugar than American made lady fingers.

When I did the test recipe, I invited a friend over to be my taste tester. It turned out so yummy that I just had to eat one myself. I tested my fasting blood sugar the next day and it was fine. I was so happy. ๐Ÿ˜Š

With this recipe, I have now posted all the recipes for my upcoming Halloween Italian Cooking Class/Pop Up Supper Club in Support of the Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry. I am now going to spend the next four days getting everything ready for the event. Wish me luck!