Nov 1, 2012

Cranberry cake with caramel-almond sauce

There is a crunchy crust on top, the cake is delicate and sweet, the sauce makes is all better. The outside is brown, the inside is yellow with red cranberries here and there. This dessert is exquisite, the sauce makes the cake look and taste refined.

And how easy was that? I call it "one bowl cake". All goes into one bowl, your mixer does the rest. The sauce, you cook on the stove top with the minimum watching over. And the result is amazing. We just had some, it's quite rich, perfect for the season.

In fact, this is a Christmas recipe by Giada De Laurentiis. I saw it a couple of days ago. I bought some dry cranberries on the market especially for the cake.

Giada added zest from two oranges. I don't have oranges at the moment, so I used orange extract (I researched the proportions of the substitution and cut the amount in half).

And Mrs. De Laurentiis used cornmeal, which is hard to find here. I happened to have just enough. I make my cornmeal by blending corn grits. But I researched that too, and you can substitute cornmeal with regular flour. Cornmeal gives the color and a little more rough texture.

I cut the sauce amount in half, and I think I got plenty. The sauce recipe called for walnuts, but I have so many almonds in my pantry, I need to use these first. Walnuts, almonds, all good. The cake is good without the sauce too, but not as good. It's worth trying out even if your kids won't touch it.

Just remember to take your butter out of the fridge an hour before. Then your mixer out of the cabinet and let it go! You will be surprised.

Recipe adapted from Foodnetwork


1 1/2 (180 g) stick butter at room temperature plus extra for the baking form
1 1/4 cup (250 g) sugar
1 cup (120 g) flour plus extra for dusting the form
1/2 cup (80 g) yellow fine cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon orange extract
3/4 cup dry cranberries, chopped in 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
2 eggs

carmel-almond sauce

3/4 cup (200 ml) heavy cream (whipping)
1/2 cup (110 g) brown sugar
2 tablespoons (30 g) butter
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 teaspoon fine salt


Preheat the oven 180 C/355 F. Butter and dust with flour 9 inch (23 cm) baking form.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.

In a small bowl, mix the cranberries with 2 tablespoons of flour (taken from the 1 cup).

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with sugar till light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the orange and vanilla extract. With the mixer on medium speed, add egg yolks and eggs, one at the time. Gradually add the flour mixture. With a rubber spatula, fold in the cranberries

Transfer the batter into the ready form. Put it in the hot oven for about 40 minutes, on static function, till the top is brown and the toothpick from the middle comes out clean. Let it cool in the form for 20 minutes. Take it out of the form and cool it completely on a cooling rack.

to prepare the sauce

In a medium saucepan, heat on medium-high cream, butter and sugar, till boiling, stirring constantly. Lower the heat, and let it simmer for 25 minutes. The sauce will thicken. Add the almonds and salt. Let it cool to room temperature.

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