Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Love is in the Air

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake, a perfect Valentine's treat
It's hard to believe that January is over already. Of course, I find myself saying that every year. Is it me, or does time seem to go faster when you get older?

Now that it is the beginning of February, it's time to start looking forward to Valentine's Day. Yes, I said looking forward to. I know many people seem to feel the opposite of love towards this holiday, but regardless of whether or not I've had a Valentine, I've usually enjoyed it for the sweet treats that seem to magically appear in my home, whether I'm baking them, or someone's giving them to me. (Last year, Chris surprised me with some Bakeshop cupcakes, and yes, I still remember them. See, sweets are powerful things.)

So if you need something sweet for your sweetie, this Cranberry Upside-Down Cake is a festive and delicious choice. I loved how the cranberries and sugar caramelized during baking and oozed into the batter.  Put it together with the cake and you've got yourself a very tasty treat. While this is a pretty dessert, I think it would also be a nice dish to serve at breakfast or brunch. Enjoy!

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
(Courtesy of Everyday Food Great Food Fast)

8 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 3/4 cups cranberries (fresh, not canned)
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, with a rack in the center. Rub the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round cake pan with 2 T. of the butter. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sugar with the cinnamon and allspice. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan; arrange the cranberries in a single layer on top.

With an electric mixer, cream the remaining 6 T. butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until well combined. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, until well combined.

Spoon the batter over the cranberries in the pan, and smooth the top. Place the pan on a baking sheet; bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake; invert onto a rimmed platter. Serve with whipped cream on the side, if desired.

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