Sunday, December 11, 2011
Holiday Food Gifts: Cranberry Almond Cake
The hardest part in this home-made gift is selecting the baking pan to give as a gift along with the cake. Once you buy that, all you have to to is bake a cake in it, tie a pretty bow around it an resist the urge to eat it!
Cranberry Almond Cake
1 1/2 cup all purpose four
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. table salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature plus more for the pan
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
Zest of 1 orange
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen cranberries, picked through, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds + 1/2 cup more for topping
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a loaf pan:
9 x 5 x 3 or a 9 x 13 pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, stopping the mixer to scrape the bowl after each addition. Incorporate the vanilla, the orange juice and the orange zest. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches. Beat at medium speed until the batter is smooth, about 20 seconds. Fold in the cranberries and almonds with a rubber spatula.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with a spatula. Top the batter with almond slivers. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool.
A few moments after the cake comes out of the oven. Use a clean, damp cloth to pass along the rim and inside edge of the baking dish to removes traces of butter or bits of dough. It’s easier to do this when the baking dish is still warm but be careful not to burn any fingers in the process.
Once the cranberry almond cake is completely cooled adorn it with a festive ribbon.