Monday, November 14, 2011

Spiced Cranberry Bundt Cake

So I posted this once already today.  And then I was trying to fix some of the settings.  And I deleted it.  Not cool.  So here we go again.  I will do my best to remember what I had typed before.  UGH!

So I have a slight addiction to the recipe slideshows on Epicurious.  I spend a lot of time browsing.  And getting hungry.  And convincing myself that I absolutely HAVE to make SOMETHING.  I was intrigued by this recipe because not only did it have the spices you would expect to find - vanilla, cinnamon and ginger - it also had Chinese five spice.  I was curious about baking with almond flour, having never used it before.  I was also looking for a different type of holiday dessert and I am pretty sure this cake will be making a reappearance.  It is delicious!

In my earlier post that I deleted I gave you the whole back story on the adventure to find the Bundt pan and the almond meal.  At this point I really just want to get the recipe up so you can make this for yourself!  So just a quick note - go directly to the natural foods store to find the almond flour.  It may be listed as almond meal and I think Bob's Red Mill will be the easiest to find.  It is pretty expensive so you may want to have some other recipes that use almond flour on hand since it is simply finely ground nuts and you wouldn't want to spend the money and then have it go rancid.  Be sure to store it in the freezer.

And now on to the recipe!  First things first - get your tunes cranking.  And I do mean cranking, you will be using a mixer so you want to be sure you can hear your tunes over the mixer.  My choice - Horse Feathers.  It was a folk music morning.

I adapted the recipe from Epicurious - it was from Bon Apetit, November 2008 - I swapped out the dried cranberries for all fresh (frozen) cranberries and used whole fat Greek yogurt because that was what I had on hand.

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup almond flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
2 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup (lightly packed) light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt (I used The Greek Gods Artemis - green container)
1 cup sliced almonds - toasted
1 3/4 cups halved fresh or frozen cranberries (do not thaw) *the frozen ones are a little tricky to cut so if you have fresh ones on hand you may prefer to use those*

2/3 cup powdered sugar
4 teaspoons (about) orange juice

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Whisk first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add both sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract, then Greek-style yogurt. Add dry ingredients; beat just until blended. Fold in almonds and cranberries. **To toast the almonds you can just pour them onto a cookie sheet and let them hang out in the oven while it is preheating.  Be sure to pay attention though, they can go from golden to burnt very quickly.  And burnt almonds smell terrible.  5 to 10 minutes should do it.**  Transfer batter to prepared Bundt pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes.

Cool cake in pan 10 minutes. Turn cake out onto rack and cool completely.  The waiting was the worst part for me.  The cake has to be completely cool before you pour the icing on or it will just soak into the cake.  Which isn't a bad thing taste wise but it looks a little prettier with the shiny icing dripping down the sides.  I decided to take the dog for a walk while the cake was cooling.  So that I would stop staring at it and thinking of how nice it would taste with a cup of coffee.  So I walked the dog and when we came back the house smelled like Christmas.  It had smelled like Christmas the whole time the cake was baking but it was a really nice scent to walk in to.

On to the icing!

I have a mini food processor, it's called the Chopper - I think.  Writing that just made me laugh.  My Dad used to have a hockey move called the "CHOPPAH," we are from Maine after all.  Right, back to the icing.  You could make the icing by wisking the orange juice and the sugar together, slowly, by hand.  I wanted to eat that cake right away.  So I dumped the sugar and the orange juice right into the mini processor and hit the on button.  Done.  30 seconds.  No lumps!  Pour the icing over the top of your cake, let it sit for just a minute or two to set up and then dig in.  You will be really glad that you did.

The cake is super moist and really delicious.  All of the flavors really do work perfectly together.  I am pretty sure I know what I am bringing to Thanksgiving AND Christmas!

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