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Friday, November 28, 2014

Foodie Friday: Cranberry Ginger Upside-Down Cake

It has been a seriously long time since I posted any thing up here for a 'Foodie Friday' and this week I  thought that the turning of the seasons and all the upcoming Christmas preparations would be the perfect time to change all that!

If cranberries are something that are relegated to your Thanksgiving table then its time to change that too! Bring the Cranberries to the front and center of your holiday dessert table with this delicious Cranberry Ginger Upside-Down Cake!

One of my favorite fruits are cranberries so I was really excited to find and get to try this recipe. I was happy to find this recipe really works- the cake is dense and moist with a tender crumb, the top layer of cranberries is bright and flavorful without being overpowering or soggy, and the cranberry jam that sandwiches in between the layers is sticky and sweet and richly red- the whole thing just begs to be eaten! Top it off with a dollop of freshly whipped ginger cream and you have a sure winner!

This recipe was originally found over on Food52's blog but I thought the instructions were very poorly written and confusing so I will be sharing my rewritten version here instead. I hope you enjoy both the process and the final product as much as me and my family did!

Cranberry Ginger Upside-Down Cake

For the jam filling

1 cup cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 T. fresh grated ginger
1/2 cup raspberry jam or preserves

In a small heavy bottomed saucepan combine all the ingredients
and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir frequently. When mixture boils the berries will begin to pop their skins, and the mixture will gradually thicken. Once the berries are all fairly mashed and the mixture is thick remove from the heat and add the raspberry jam. Stir to combine and set aside in the fridge for later.

For the cake

2 cups AP flour (all-purpose)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

6 T. sugar
6 T. water
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts
3 T. candied ginger, chopped fine

1 cup butter, soft
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla
2/3 cup whole milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease (with crisco) and flour two 9 inch round baking tins and set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and set to the side.

Combine the 6 tablespoons each of sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil stirring constantly. When the mixture boils remove it from the heat and pour it evenly over the bottom of one of the prepared cake pans being careful not to touch the hot mixture and to spread it all the way to the edges. Sprinkle the sugar syrup evenly with the cranberries, then the nuts and ginger and smooth as necessary. Set aside.

In a stand mixer or with a hand beater mix the 1 cup of butter with the brown sugar. Beat this on medium speed for 3 minutes, the mixture will be light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla.
Reduce speed and add 1/2 of the dry ingredients mixing until just combined. Add the milk and beat till combined and then add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix till just combined. The batter will be thick.

Spoon about half of the cake batter over the top of the prepared cranberries and nuts pan and half into the second plain cake pan. The pan with the cranberries will take a bit less  batter as it has fruit in it already, just add this to the other pan, they don't have to be exactly even. Smooth the tops with a spatula and then give the pans a firm couple of taps on the counter top to settle the batter down into the pans.

Bake for 40 minutes carefully rotating the pans halfway through so they bake evenly. Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, (remember though that the cranberry pan will be wetter so test the plain cake first). When the cakes come out of the oven, use a blunt knife to loosen the sides of both cakes. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. After that time loosen the cakes again and turn out the plain cake onto the cooling rack. Invert the cranberry cake onto a plate and leave the pan in place for another 10 minutes before removing.  Cool both cakes to room temperature.

Assemble the cake by arranging the plain cake on a cake plate. Cover well with the cranberry-raspberry jam pushing it just to the edges (there should be a bit of jam leftover). With both hands, or two large spatulas carefully lift the cranberry cake off of its plate and on to the top of the jam layer with the cranberries facing up.

For the ginger cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla
1/2 tsp. powdered ginger

Combine the cream, powdered sugar, vanilla, and ginger in a mixing bowl and whip for 3-4 minutes until medium peaks form. Taste and check the strength of the ginger- add more to suit your tastes. Serve dollops of cream with slices of the cake.