Sunday, March 13, 2011

Not Your Everyday Birthday Cake

HWNSNBP had a birthday this week and I promised him a cake.  Actually I promised him a cake that I first made for Christmas this year - Giada's Cranberry Cornmeal Cake

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for the pan
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the pan
1/2 cup yellow fine cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup orange zest (from 2 large oranges)
3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350º.  Butter and flour a 9" cake pan (or you could use a muffin pan).

Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and orange zest.

Set aside 3 tbsp. of this mixture in a small bowl.  Add the chopped cranberries and toss together to coat.

Use the paddle attachment on a stand mixer to cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

Beat in the vanilla and then add the eggs, one at a time.

Fold in the cranberries with a spatula.

Put batter in cakepan and level the top. 

Now here is the tricky part.  It says to bake for 40 minutes.  I have had to leave it in the oven for almost twice as long.  Check often with a toothpick to see if it's done. 

Today my cake is very moist I think because I only had extra large eggs in the house and did not take that into account when I was adding them.  I probably should have cut back with one egg or added more flour.  But it still came out and tasted delicious.

The recipe says to serve with walnut sauce and shows the cake dusted with confectioner's sugar but you really don't need to do either of those things.

The first time I tried this recipe it came out perfectly - just needed the extra baking time.  The second time I tried it was on Christmas Eve.  I put it together and got it in the oven just before I started frying the pierogi's.  The buzzer went off and I tested it once and then forgot about it - for over an hour while I finished frying the pierogi's and the fish.  That one came out more like a large biscotti. We attempted to eat it, well at least the center of it, but it was beyond hope - even though everyone said it tasted good.

HWNSNBP loves it.

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