When I did my post for the Cake Slice Bakers last week, I mentioned that I had wanted to make a Cranberry Upside Down Cake but couldn't find any fresh cranberries in any of the major supermarkets... apparently they are "only available in December as there isn't the demand". Why that might be when we can get out of season stuff like strawberries and asparagus in December I really don't understand (I feel I should add I never have the slightest desire to eat either of those in December, but I digress). Anyway, the very next day I was in our farm shop and lo and behold they had fresh cranberries sitting there in their chiller cabinet. So being very demanding, I bought them!
Except for cranberry sauce I've never really used fresh cranberries that much, possibly because they are not available for most of the year so I had no idea what this would turn out like. It was such a simple cake to put together, that I could see it being overlooked as something too plain to bother with but I can honestly say was one of the nicest cakes I've ever tasted and I would have no hesitation serving this on a special occasion. Slightly tart but not mouth wincingly so, with an almost equal combination of fruity topping and vanilla scented cake.
We had it for pudding last night, served at room temperature with a dollop of cold vanilla cream and it was exquisite. The boys both had second helpings but there is just enough for another slice each tonight... I can't wait! There were a couple of changes made to the original recipe. My bag of cranberries only yielded 3 cups not 4, I was short on milk so used half milk and half sour cream which I just happened to have... and I completely forgot to add the grated orange rind but it was hard to see how this cake could be any better so I'm not sure how important these little tweeks were. What follows is my version of the recipe. I did use a loose bottomed tin because I don't have any other sort of 9" (23cm) tin but there was some leakage so I would suggest not using a loose bottomed tin if possible. You will also notice I have stuck to the original cup & imperial measurements because I made it in a hurry before I went to work yesterday so didn't have time to convert them. Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to buy any remaining bags of cranberries I can find to pop them in the freezer. And do make this cake... everyone neeeds a slice of this in their lives!
Cranberry Upside Down Cake
Ingredients (all at room temperature) :
- 3-4 cups fresh cranberries
- 5 oz unsalted butter (soft)
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons golden caster sugar
- 1 1/4 cups sifted plain flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup redcurrant jelly (I didn't have this so used some homemade apple and sloe jelly that was lurking in the fridge - I think any jelly would work)
- Preheat the oven to 180 deg C (160 fan), 350 deg F, Gas no. 4
- Wash the cranberries, discarding any stalks and lay to dry on a tea towel
- Use 2 oz of the butter to lightly grease the sides of a 9" round cake tin, spreading the remaining butter in an even layer over the base of the tin (I used my fingers!)
- Sprinkle half a cup plus the 2 tablespoons of sugar over the butter and then add the cranberries on top of the sugar.
- Sift together the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Using a hand mixer, beat the remaining butter until soft and gradually beat in the egg and vanilla. Then on a low speed add the flour in three batches alternating with the milk/sour cream.
- Pour the cake batter over the cranberries, smoothing the top.
- Bake for 1 hour (although mine was cooked after about 50 mins)
- Cool on a rack for 20 minutes, although after 10 minutes run a small sharp knife around the cake to release the sides.
- Meanwhile heat the jelly in a small pan until it melts and comes to the boil.
- After 20 minutes cover the cake tin with a large flat plate then holding them firmly together turn them over releasing the cake.
- Pour the melted jelly over the top of the cake, spreading it to the edge and leave it to cool completely.
- Serve at room temperature with either cold whipped cream (with a little sugar and vanilla added) or vanilla ice cream.