Cran-Raspberry Upside-Down Cake

Cran-Raspberry Upside-Down Cake
Cran-Raspberry Upside-Down Cake

Here we are at Week 18 already. This week it’s what Marie calls a “quick and easy” cake. It was easier than most of the recipes that we’ve done for the Bake Along but I wouldn’t necessarily say it was that quick. Maybe I’m just a slow baker. The Cran-Raspberry Upside-Down Cake gave some of the Alpha Bakers a little bit of trouble in that they couldn’t find fresh cranberries but I actually planned ahead for once and bought a bunch of fresh cranberries at Thanksgiving and froze them. That’s an accomplishment for me! I really like cranberries especially in breads but I never thought of putting them on a cake. Of course Rose would though. If you have Rose’s award winning book, The Baking Bible, you will probably notice that my cake is not near as red as hers. I mean my cranberry top isn’t as red. Another one of those recipes that doesn’t quite turn out like the book and when that happens, I can’t stop myself from trying to figure out why.

First thing to do was melt some butter and sugar to caramelize it and then put the mixture in a prepared cake pan along with the cranberries.

Boiling Butter and Sugar
Boiling Butter and Sugar
Caramel
Caramel
Cranberries and Caramel
Cranberries and Caramel

I tried to neat putting the cranberries in the pan since they will be on top. The caramel was kind of different than regular caramel, kind of hard and sticky at the same time. The batter was really easy to put together and once that was mixed, in the cake pan it went on top of the cranberries. It was a thick batter and was sort of spreadable.

Ready to Baakeee!!
Ready to Baakeee!!

Into the oven on top of a baking stone for about 40 minutes. After the first 30 minutes, Rose suggested to put a foil tent on top to keep it from browning too much. Silly me, I didn’t really make a tent but just threw a piece of foil on top of the pan. Oops, it stuck to the cake so I fixed that pretty quick even though I knew you couldn’t see that part of the cake later. You can kind of see where the foil messed up the cake in the picture.

Done
Done

After the cake sat on the cooling rack, it was time to invert and see the results of the bake. Fingers crossed, I flipped it onto the coolest cake stand that my friend Jenifer gave me. It didn’t really land on it quite in the center though.

Upside-Down
Upside-Down

After I took the parchment off of the cake, my heart sank. It was SO DARK on top. What the hell happened? The last step was to put a raspberry glaze on top. I couldn’t find seedless raspberry preserves so I used preserves with seeds and strained them through a sieve. I thought maybe after putting the gaze on it would be a bit more red but no dice. Crap. Why is it so dark? The only thing I could figure out was that the cake didn’t need to be baked on the baking stone. Also, my cranberries kind of sunk into the cake and there weren’t a lot sitting on the top.

When it cooled enough, I tasted it and wasn’t really thrilled with it although I did like the outside crunchy part of the cake. I tried a piece the next day and kind of like it a little bit more, but still not so much. The only reason I would make this cake again is to see if my theory of the baking stone is correct. Otherwise, I don’t think I’d make it again. Oh well, on to Week 19.

It is the Strawberry Shortcake Genoise. Oh boy, another cake. Where in the hell did I put my FitBit?

 

10 Comments

  1. I did the same thing with the foil. “Tent? Why should I bother making a tent?” I said to myself. The reason became obvious. I would really have been bummed if the top part of the cake had been visible.

  2. Looks good to me! And I bet it tasted good. We forget there’s things called food stylists and professional photographers that are part of a professional book team. Look under acknowledgements in the front of the book. It takes a village….

    • Vicki, I think at the end of the day, the food stylist and photographer should be true to the color and texture. We really rely on these shots to help guide us through the recipes. My guess is that the Rose’s pic is accurate to how she baked it. My guess only.

  3. Our cakes look almost identical, but the crumb on yours looks better! I had the same general feeling as you did–that I won’t make it again, but now we know. Maybe it would taste better at Christmas time? Dunno. Great pics Glori!

  4. It may not look like the book picture, but it still looks good.. and since I worked around food stylist.. you would not believe the tricks they do to take those pretty pictures – so don’t knock yourself down about it.

  5. Your caramel looks darker than mine but yet yours didn’t burnt. Maybe my oven stone was too hot?

  6. Your cake is beautiful. It is disappointing when you don’t feel crazy about the results, isn’t it? But you can always look forward to the next cake!

  7. Your cake looks perfect! About the caramel, I had the same problem. I think its best to let it reach a light amber color rather than the recommended temperature since 325F makes it pretty dark and sticky. It is also makes for a bitter topping. I also left the baking stone out and found a better result with just the baking sheet. I feel that you and I had overall the same experience from the caramel to the foil, but I figure it will be upside down so no one will notice! The cake tastes good and it did well after my third try…:-) great post Glori.

  8. Hmmmm, I was just admiring your caramel, and the evenness of the proportions and the jewel tones of the glazing when what to my wondrous eyes should appear: the opposite of my thoughts! Girl, it look fab! Like our other critiques our own are the most flawed – take a look around. On the other hand, be proud of what you did. I love my color and it it was about like yours. I took it off just below 350, prob a little too long bec it was just showing a nasty side of itself by sending a wisp of smoke so I whipped it off in a hurry. I know not to tease it like that. Fortunately I like it amber. I didn’t like it that some of the glazing began oozing down the sides. Okay, for the most part it was even across the top. In a photo shoot I would have pared them off, but this isn’t a photo shoot. I think that the meringue or some whipped cream or even ice cream would have cut the tartness, but I just didn’t bother. I served it Sunday dessert at my place, along with the Red Velvet Rose, and The Bostini. It really was lovely with the crumb and the glazed top.
    So now will you let yourself alone? LOL! xx

  9. it’s always a bummer when a baked good isn’t to your liking, but at least in this group there’s always something new right around the corner! hopefully the next cake will be more to your liking.

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