Thursday, January 15, 2009

91. Cranberry Coffee Cake (p. 643)

This is the last of the posts about "things I cooked when my family came over for a holiday brunch."

This recipe* is a basic sweet, tender cake with a surprise inside. Rather than distributing whole cranberries throughout the batter as you might expect, this cake has two layers of sweetend chopped cranberries in between layers of cake batter.

First, I put some fresh cranberries and sugar in the food processor and whizzed it until the berries were very finely chopped (but not pureed). I put the berries in a sieve to drain while I made the cake batter. Then I spread about a third of the batter into a loaf pan, next I spread half of the cranberries on top of that, followed by another layer of batter, berries and more batter.

I baked the cake for the full cooking time and tested it with a toothpick, which came out clean. I suppose that I should know better by now, but, I believed that it was fully cooked. I let it cool and sliced it. Darn! The middle layer of batter was totally uncooked. The same thing happened to Teena when she made this coffee cake. She suspected that the frozen cranberries she used gave off too much liquid, preventing the center from cooking. Well, I used fresh berries and got the same result. Maybe the cranberries make a heat-proof zone in the center of the cake. Kind of like a Bermuda Triangle of temperature?

Well, I served the coffee cake to my family anyway. They have to love me even if I serve them raw coffee cake, right? The cooked part was delicious: the cake was light and sweet and the cranberries were tart and bright. It was really pretty, too. The bright red stripes in the center of the cake and the covering of powdered sugar "snow" gave it a really nice holiday look.

Date Cooked: December 13, 2008
Degree of Difficulty: Medium
Rating: B-

* This recipe isn't on epicurious.com.

1 comment:

SusanME said...

Hey, I didn't notice until you said something.