Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cranberry-Cherry-Chocolate Chunk Cake

I wonder if others share my affinity for cranberries in baked goods. Fresh cranberries, not dried. I love the tangy, bright flavor nested in sweet cake next t0 smooth chocolate. This cake sports not only cranberries, but cherries too.

It's a pretty easy cake when you need a cake and don't have time to wait for the layers to cool and make frosting. Like when the dinner rush at the restaurant starts in an hour and there's no dessert in the case. It tastes best slightly warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Cranberry-Cherry-Chocolate Cake, inspired by the Bittersweet Chocolate Pear Cake, found on Smitten Kitchen

1 cup AP flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
3 eggs, room temp (let sit in hot water for a few minutes)
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped cranberries
1 cup chopped cherries (I used frozen for both fruits)
3/4-1 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottom of a 9-in springform pan with parchment.

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together. Using a mixing with the paddle attachment, whip the eggs until pale and thick. This will take 5 plus minutes.

While the whipping action is happening, brown the butter. Cut the stick into pieces and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally (more often towards the end) until the butter turns brown and smells nutty. The butter will continue cooking after you turn off the heat, so don't wait too long to take it off. You can always dip the bottom of the pan in cool water to stop the cooking process if it's getting too dark.

Add the sugar to the eggs while whipping, whip a couple more minutes then turn to low. Alternate adding the flour and butter to the egg mixture. Mix until just barely combined- don't over mix. Watch out for butter pockets in the bottom of the bowl.

Pour into the spring form pan, and sprinkle the top with the chocolate, cranberries and cherries, alternating to ensure even distribution. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, anywhere from 30-50 minutes.

Let cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve.

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