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Monday, December 22, 2008

Cranberry Cake to Celebrate the Beginning of a New Year

I want to dedicate a cake to you. To celebrate the end of a year and the beginning of a new one. You deserve it. It has been tough lately. But it will get better, right?! It has to.

I usually don’t fuss over a change of digit when a year ends, but this year it feels a bit different. I’ve been blogging since July and I Love it. The blog grew nicely thanks to you, so here is another reason to give you a cake! (As if I need an excuse to bake a cake). It is simple to make, inexpensive but festive, and makes a perfect cake for the holiday served with whipped cream, or for an after holiday or weekend brunch, served with whipped cream!

Speaking of whipped cream… We have beautiful snow outside. It’s been out there in the past week and our street looks like this.

Our backyard looks like this.

We’ve been kind of stuck at home in the past few days. It’s snowing here like never before. The snow is about 15 inches deep. Some roads are closed, some businesses are closed, schools are closed which means that the kids are at home and need to be entertained and fed 24/7, as well as Mr. Husband. We’ve been doing all kinds of cooking projects here to keep ourselves busy and happy. (All the recipes will be posted next year.)

Onion Quiche

Lamb shanks with Whole Wheat Couscous, Beans, and Garbanzo Beans

We made so many desserts and treats (Marshmallows, nut cookies, doughnuts, cheesecake) that my son suggested that I start a dessert blog.

Very cool idea, but, no, I’m not going to do that. I already have too many blogs on my hands (this one which is also published at the Seattle P-I, this one: Good Food & Bad Food, also published on the Seattle P-I, and at some point I thought of starting a salad blog, but I have to think about it. Would you be interested in a salad blog?)
So no, no dessert blog, but I do plan on buying a new camera and taking some photography classes, and I hope I can show you better photos. I’m so excited about that!!!

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake*
From Martha Stewart
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
(I also added orange zest - N.)
1 3/4 cups cranberries
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center. Rub the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round cake pan with 2 tablespoons butter. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar with the cinnamon and allspice (and orange zest, if using - N). Sprinkle mixture evenly over bottom of pan; arrange cranberries in a single layer on top.

With an electric mixer, cream remaining 6 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat until well combined. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, until well combined.

Spoon batter over cranberries in pan, and smooth top. Place pan on a baking sheet; bake cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes (I added an extra 20 minutes to the baking time - N.). Let cool on a wire rack for 20minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake; invert onto a rimmed platter.
For the whipped cream, click strawberry shortcake.

*A warning: Your baked cake is not going to look that bright red! I expected it to look that bright red, like the photo in the book/link, so I was a bit disappointed when I saw that it is actually a bit brownish-red in real life. That’s just the color of cooked cranberries. But, it is a very good cake, easy to make, and festive enough. Don’t forget the whipped cream!

I wish you ALL a very wonderfully happy New Year!!!!!

I am going to spend some time with my family and will be back in January.



Sunny said...

I've made cranberry bread before, but upside down cake sounds even better! Enjoy the snow and your time off with family! :)

Nate-n-Annie said...

That lamb shank looks excellent.

Hope you guys in PNW can get out from under all that bad weather soon. I bet the kids are going stir-crazy in the house!

Anonymous said...

The cake looks great, but I'm more interested in that lamb-couscous-beans bowl. Can you share the recipe? I'd make it right now if I knew how!

Thanks :)

Lori Lynn said...

Lovely cake!
And I am jealous of the winter wonderland photos (I live in LA).
Wishing you a wonderful 2009!
Lori Lynn

Cakespy said...

Oh my...these desserts are speaking to me! You know they are! :-)

Joie de vivre said...

Happy New Year!

miri said...

That cake looks so beautiful and delicious, as does the onion quiche! I wish you and your loved ones a great 2009, Nurit.