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.
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.
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.
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.
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?