Hello, and I hope you had a fantastic Christmas! Still got some leftover cheese and cranberry sauce to use up? Same here. So yesterday I came up with these cheese and cranberry rolls to use up mine. They’re a great vegetarian alternative to sausage rolls that are low-carb/keto and free of added sugar, artificial sweeteners, wheat and gluten.
I hate wasting food, plus I think one of the best bits of Christmas cooking is the opportunity all the Boxing Day leftovers present for creatively throwing things together and seeing what you come up with.
So these Cheese and Cranberry Rolls are a quick and dirty unplanned recipe I made up yesterday when wondering what to do with my Christmas leftovers. And I thought I would share them with you as a cheeky blog post.
This recipe effectively combines two recipes that I’ve published before – cranberry sauce (Nigella’s recipe, low-carbified by me!), and low-carb ‘fat head’ dough (you can use the almond flour-based recipe I used for pizza crust, or the coconut flour-based recipe I’ve given below here. It’s up to your preference, and what ingredients you’ve got access to).
Xanthan gum – easily available these days in supermarket baking and/or ‘free from’ aisles, and online – is included in the dough ingredients below, but is not essential. It just helps the dough to be a better consistency and easier to work with.
And you can play around with what cheeses you use too. Crumbly cheeses, – such as English Wensleydale, Cheshire, and (blue or white) Stilton – or Greek Feta, will work best texture-wise. I think the flavours of these also work better with cranberry, although you could also use harder cheeses which have been grated if you prefer.
Use one cheese, or a combination, according to your preference, and what you’ve still got hanging about from your Christmas cheeseboard. When making your choice, bear in mind that the milder the cheese you use, the more the cranberry sauce will dominate in the overall flavour of the rolls.
For the rolls pictured here that I made yesterday I used Wensleydale. As I reflect – now we’re very near the end of 2017 – on those who’ve passed away this year, call it my tribute to Peter Sallis.
These taste great fresh from the oven (although be warned – leave them a good ten minutes to cool, because the cranberry sauce is molten hot at first and will burn your tongue!). It was mid-afternoon yesterday when playing around in the kitchen led me to making these, after which they were a lovely warm snack with a cup of tea. And then this morning I had a couple cold with coffee for breakfast and they were delightful. Personally I preferred them cold as I found the flavours to be more distinctive.
Nutrition: Regular Cheese & Cranberry Rolls vs: Low-Carb Cheese & Cranberry Rolls
My low-carb cheese and cranberry rolls come in at 210 kcal and 3g of carbs each, saving 19g of carbs and 67 kcal over the same recipe if made with store-bought cranberry sauce and puff pastry that will include sugar and flour. There’s 2x as much protein, and 4x more fibre in the low-carb version, and unusually they also contain less fat than in the high-carb version.
|Per Serving (1/10th of the recipe)||Regular Cheese & Cranberry Rolls* (same recipe made with shop-bought cranberry sauce & puff pastry)||Low-Carb Cheese & Cranberry Rolls*|
|Net Carbs (i.e. minus: fibre counted separately, & polyols in erythritol)||22g||3g|
* Figures calculated using verified product information on the MyFitnessPal database. Both recipes calculated using Wensleydale cheese.
Recipe for Low-Carb Cheese & Cranberry Rolls
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 20-25 mins
For the dough
- 270g (2 + ½ cups) Mozzarella cheese, grated
- 85g (3/8 of a cup) full-fat cream cheese e.g. Philadelphia
- 2 eggs
- 45g (3 tbsp) coconut flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp erythritol icing/confectioner’s sugar substitute (e.g. Sukrin in UK; Swerve in US)
- 1 tsp xanthan gum (optional, but improves consistency for handling the dough)
For the filling
- 150g low-carb cranberry sauce (or other cranberry sauce, but that will increase the carb count)
- 150g cheese, crumbled (crumbly cheese such as Stilton, Wensleydale or Cheshire work best for both texture and flavour pairing with the cranberry – although you could use grated hard cheese)
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C Fan/375°F/Gas 5
- Make the fat head dough. Put the mozzarella and cream cheeses into a large saucepan over a low heat and stir constantly until they have melted and melded together (you can also perform this step by microwaving for a minute or two, although I find the hob method works better).
- Withdraw the pan from the heat and leave for just a couple of minutes for the heat to recede a little. Then add the eggs and stir well.
- Add the coconut flour, baking powder, erythritol, and xanthan gum powder (if using), and mix well until all is combined.
- With damp hands, pick up the dough and knead it until it forms a ball.
- Place the ball of dough on a large sheet of baking parchment and place another sheet the same size on top.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough until it’s a rough rectangle shape about ½ centimetre thick (i.e. the dough will be quite thin, but you don’t want it paper-thin, as then it is difficult to peel it off the baking parchment while still raw).
- Carefully peel away the top layer of baking parchment and discard. With a sharp knife, neaten up your rectangle of dough. You can do this simply by cutting off the rough edges, or alternatively, use the knife to push them inwards (which will create a bit of a lip around the dough rectangle in places, but that’s fine).
- Divide the dough in half lengthwise with your sharp knife. Spread half the cranberry sauce just off centre lengthwise along one piece of dough, and then do the same on the other piece of dough.
- Divide the crumbled cheese in two, and sprinkle half on top of the cranberry sauce on one piece of dough. Repeat with the remaining cheese and the other piece of dough.
- Carefully peeling the dough from the baking parchment with the aid of your sharp knife, fold the lengthwise edges together over the filling until they form a roll. Pinch the edges together firmly, and roll them inwards slightly to make sure the filling is secure. Repeat with the second piece of dough so that you have two rolls.
- Carefully lift the baking parchment, with the rolls still on it, directly on to a baking tray. Make diagonal slashes about 3 cms/¼ inch apart to allow steam to escape.
- Place in the middle of the preheated oven for 20-25 mins until golden brown.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave for 5 mins so the rolls are cool enough to handle. Then flip over the rolls and slowly and carefully peel away the baking parchment from the bottom.
- Leave the rolls to cool on a wire cooling rack for at least 10 minutes to allow the molten hot cranberry sauce to cool down.
- Finally, cut each of the two long rolls into 5 widthwise, so that you end up with 10 individual rolls in total. You can then enjoy them warm, but they are also delicious served cold.