Thursday, January 27, 2011

Baking Sunday: Cranberry Cake

I have made this recipe several times. First time - perfection! Once I overbaked by like 5 minutes - turned out too hard around the edges. Last Sunday, it was mushy cake. From my past experience with the overbaking, I took it out after 45 minutes, tested with a tooth pick - looked alright. After it cooled a bit, I cut it and it looked like the middle was completely uncooked! By this time, of course, the oven cooled down. Preheated, stuck it in the oven again. 10 minutes - nope. 20 - nope. 30 - NOPE! I decided that there is no way it wasn't heating through, so I just took it out. It was definitely cooked through by now, the batter just remained too moist. Or something. It didn't rise. I was pretty pissed.

That up there is my trusty mixer - it was $30 at Walmart and has 7 speeds. Also, it matches my mixing bowl.

I suspect it was because my oven was not hot enough. I'm definitely investing in an oven thermometer. Goddamn oven! Oh well, here's how it went. Just to be clear, I stand by the recipe, it's delicious when it turns out. And even this time, I couldn't help but snag a few thin slices on the go.

Cranberry Cake
Makes 1 10" round or a 9x13 cake

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into chunks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon kirsch (optional)
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of milk
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups cranberries, thawed if frozen(1 bag)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan or a 10" pan.

2. Beat eggs and sugar together for 5-7 minutes with a mixer; the eggs will increase in volume quite a bit, streaming into ribbons when you lift the beaters. They will also turn pale yellow.

3. Add butter and extracts and beat for 2 minutes. Add the milk and salt and mix for another 30 seconds.

4. Stir in flour and fold in cranberries. Pour into greased pan.

5. Bake 45-50 minutes for a 9x13, or a little over an hour for the springform. You may need to tent the cake with foil in the last 15 minutes or so to keep the top from browning. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

Notes: This cake should be pretty easy to make. The batter gets very thick once you add the flour. Also, it's very sweet, so don't skimp on the sour cranberries! I never had to tent the cake with foil - it looks relatively pale even by the end of baking. I read in the comments of the recipe that some had problems with the cranberries rising to the top, and the answer was to powder them with some flour before folding them into the batter.

One of my 2.5 cups of cranberries didn't have time to thaw - maybe that played a factor as well. I'm gonna try again soon, hopefully it turns out next time.

The Verdict: Nick still liked it a lot. Had it with Neapolitan ice cream. I know, right, ice cream AND cake? I'm awesome.

Please, don't let my failure discourage you! Do try out this recipe, you likely won't be disappointed. Just make sure to thaw you cranberries, and have your oven at 350F!

Take care,

Original Recipe: Vanilla Garlic - Cranberry Cake
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