Friday, December 23, 2005

Baking for Christmas: a cranberry upside down cake

Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess is probably one of my most cherished cookbooks – though having acquired a number of delicious books recently, it has quite a few competitors. I’ve already written about the delicious yet simple Chocolate & Orange Cake and delicate Pistachio Macaro(o)ns, and I’ve tried her recipes for Norwegian Cinnamon Buns, Nigellan Flatbread, Snickerdoodles – some once, some more often. A South African friend of mine swears by Granny Boyd’s Biscuits, also in the book. Another favourite of mine in that book is the Cranberry Upside Down Cake.

I tried the cake some 2 years ago. Although I remember it tasted lovely, it was slightly sad looking affair. I had used one of those cheap square cake tins, which obviously did not distribute the heat evenly and burnt half of my cranberries. Judge yourself:

Determined to give it another go, I bought a Silverwood tarte tatin dish in early December. I still had some cranberries left since I made a cranberry orange loaf few weeks ago, and the rest of the ingredients are typical store cupboard stuff anyway.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake
(Jõhvika pahupidikook)

Cranberry layer:
4 Tbsp butter
150 ml sugar
200 ml cranberries

200 ml self-rising flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
125 ml sugar
125 ml butter, cubed
2 large eggs
50-100 ml milk

You start by melting the butter on the hob. Add the sugar and stir, until sugar has dissolved. Now stir in cranberries and mix, until cranberries are covered with a lovely glossy sugar and butter mixture.

Now mix the batter ingredients and pour over the cranberries. Nigella uses a food processor - then you need much less milk. I rely on muscle power, so I mixed the dry ingredients, chopped in the butter and then added the eggs and milk.

Bake in the middle of 180˚C oven for about 30 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and well risen. Can you see the pink hue of cranberries at the edge of the cake?

Cover the tray with a serving plate and flip the tatin dish around – carefully, so you wouldn’t burn yourself!

Serve. Isn't it pretty and oh so Christmassy in colour!?

UPDATE: Gracianne of the French-language Un dimanche a la Campagne baked this cake in March 2006.


K and S said...

looks great!!

Kalyn Denny said...

Just lovely.

Joycelyn said...

hi pille, what a fabulously christmassy cake! it really is very pretty; an sure it tastes even better than it looks, if that's possible!

Niki said...

I'm with you - it's probably near the top of my favourite books. Even just reading it feels so comforting. My friend made the Granny Boyd biscuits last Christmas and they were fantastic. You wouldn't think so from looking at the austerity of the ingredients, but theyr'e a great example of something being greater than the sum of their parts.
I've been wanting to make the schneken for ages, plus the lahmakoun and other yeasted things, now I've overcome my yeast issues.

Anonymous said...

Yes, pretty and oh so Christmasy! If I can get all the ingredients, I may try it.

Merry Christmas and a splendid 2006!


banonym said...

WUW! THE Best looking cranberry cake! Merry Xmas from San Francisco!! Have you tried to add Mastic to your cooking?

Anonymous said...

I have been wanting to try this one too! A non-existance of cranberries here is the only thing holding me back :) Your's turned out beautiful! Merry Christmas to you Pille...hope you had a wonderful season! :)

Anonymous said...

Pille, I hope you are having a wonderful time - your cake looks delicious, I love the colour, it's really beautiful.

Journal Actif said...

Hello Pille,
Yest an other delicious looking cake... :-)
I love its look. I make a (not so original) pineaple/caramel upside-down cake. A cranberries cake is a great idea at this time of year.
I'm in the process of brainstorming the buffet menu for New-Year's eve... This cake sounds great for the occasion.
Happy Holidays !

Pille said...

Kat&Satoshi and Kalyn - thanks!

J - I really liked the Christmassy red of this cake, and it was very tasty, too.

Niki - we have a similar taste in cookbooks:) There are many other recipes I've bookmarked in there, just have to find the time to try them. The Turkish 'pizza' is at the top of my list too. I should probably try 3 different recipes at once (Nigella's, Casa Moro's and the one in Claudia Roden's Arabesque) and have my Turkish flatmates testify which one is most authentic:)

Paz - I'm sure you can get most of the ingredients in NY, and a tatin dish would be helpful as well (thou not essential!)

Anthi - greetings to SF! So your Greek journey is over for this time? I haven't used mastic in my cooking yet, but have a small packet in my cupboard and will definitely use it for tsoureki come Easter. Thanks for reminding me!

Joey - sorry to hear you can't find cranberries for this in your part of the world:(

Keiko - thanks, I did have a great time with my family and friends.

Zoubida - I haven't tried pineapple upside down cake, and a caramelly version sounds delicious. Any chance of a recipe?

Anonymous said...

I tried to make this today after seeing your lovely pictures of it. Unfortunately, I did not have much luck -- i didn't have any self-rising flour and so tried the baking powder/flour combination. The cake didn't rise at all, plus got stuck to the bottom of the pan and wouldn't come off during the flipping process. It was not so much a cake or even a pancake but what i would refer to in our mothertongue as a 'plönn.'

Anonymous said...

Une belle recette, miam!!