21 December 2010

cake slice bakers: cranberry cake

The first fresh cranberry I ever ate wasn't ripe. I did not know this. In my defence I'd never seen a fresh cranberry in the flesh let alone eaten one. Needless to say I was not impressed. My mouth went dry, my face must've puckered and I quickly surmised that cranberries were obviously like rhubarb in that they're inedible fresh and can only be eaten dried or cooked! Disappointed but not about to waste anything, I threw my bag of cranberries into the fridge and promptly forgot about them. About a month later they resurfaced (now ripe) and I was brave enough to discover the true taste of a ripe cranberry.

I don't know if anyone else out there has had a similar experience but in New Zealand fresh cranberries just aren't that common! Dried cranberries are very popular but the only way New Zealand home bakers can get their hands on fresh cranberries is by using bags of frozen berries (which I didn't know existed until about a month ago!).

Many of the Cake Slice Bakers (CSB) come from the Northern Hemisphere which means that a lot of the cakes we end up baking use produce that we Southern Hemisphere bakers can't get our hands on for another six months! This could've been a real problem when making this cake but because I'd discovered the awesomeness that is frozen cranberries, I was set to bake!

[Photo of top of cake supposed to go here but Blogger image adder is AGAIN playing up on me! Will add tomorrow]

Now, one word to describe this cake? Soft. Not a dry soft, not a fluffy soft, but a moist soft. It's like eating a compacted cloud of vanilla with bursts of tartness in every bite. The streusel topping added a nice little crunchy kick to the cake. I'd love to make it again but what with Christmas on the horizon, I just don't have the time.

I wanted to make this recipe exactly as written out and I'm so glad I (nearly) did. The only change I made was to use a 9inch pan instead of the recommended 10inch. I kept the batter amount the same which, along with the low cooking temperature (150C) ensured that the cake took forever* to cook.

A lovely cake from Lauren Chattman's book, Cake Keeper Cakes. My fellow CSBs' glorious creations can be found by going through here.

*Not actually forever. Don't be silly.


Emily said...

Hi Miri!

"Soft. Not a dry soft, not a fluffy soft, but a moist soft"

Above describes my cake too!

my cranberries were imported of course. none available locally in Malaysia.

Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

Love your description - "a compacted cloud of vanilla with bursts of tartness in every bite"!
And your photos look lovely too.

OvenDelights said...

Your right! Our cakes do look alike!
Loved this cake aswell!

Felice said...

I loved your description too. It perfectly described this cake. I loved the combination of the tart cranberries against the sweet vanilla cake.

Brownieville Girl said...

Beautifully written.

I totally concur with your thoughts on this cake (and on frozen cranberries too!)

Katie said...

Your cake looks wonderful. I love how your cranberries are so perfectly dotted throughout the whole cake. Have a great Christmas

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures! I was just now able to post mine due to some kitchen issues.

Merry Christmas!

Monica H said...

So glad you were able to get your hands on some cranberries to bake this cake. Yours turned out wonderful!

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