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Monday, November 7, 2011

Cranberry Buttermilk Cake w. Maple Cream

It's an odd thought but I often think about how I'm glad I wasn't born in the covered wagon or let's sail across the Atlantic to American kind of days. For some reason, maybe it's the cranberries and simple ingredients, this cake reminds me of something the "residents" of Plimoth Plantation would suggest we third graders try on one of our million field trips to their homestead. Except this cake is delicious and was made in a heated house using a gas oven. Oh lucky me.

Cranberry Buttermilk Cake
slightly adapted from Super Natural Every Day

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 cup fine-grain natural cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled a little
Grated zest of 3 lemons
3/4 cup cranberries, sliced in half
3 tablespoons large-grain raw sugar or turbinado sugar

Maple Whipped Cream
combine cold cream and maple syrup, whip until soft peaks form
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons real maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 400 F with a rack in the top third of the oven. Butter and flour an 11-inch round tart/quiche pan, or line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Alternatively, you can make this cake in a 9 by 13-inch rectangular baking dish; just keep a close eye on it near the end of the baking time.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, fine-grain sugar, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. Whisk in the melted (but not hot) butter and the lemon zest. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir briefly, until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, pushing it out toward the edges a bit. Scatter the cranberries across the top, then sprinkle with the large-grain sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cake has set. I'd suggest testing it at 15 minutes then again at 20 as you don't want to overbake this cake - it'll end up on the dry side. A toothpick to the center should come out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature with maple cream and a sprig of mint.

This beauty may even inspire little people to quickly learn the word "CAKE!". By the end of the day, it was on lock down hidden under a plate on the back counter in fear of cranberry-buttermilk cake-toddler-intoxication.


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