Tag Archives: cranberries

Cranberry Creme Fraiche Cake with Almond

Who knew cranberries and almonds taste so yummy together? I used my leftover Thanksgiving cranberry compote to make this festively pink Bundt cake. I saw the recipe at The Kitchn and knew I had to make it – anything with creme fraiche!

The cake is pretty dense – not your airy, light cake, but more substantial and with nice texture combinations from the sliced almonds that bake into the cranberries and cake batter.

My favorite part, by far, was the glaze. Served at a recent dinner party, everybody agreed it was lovely!

Adapted from The Kitchn…

Cranberry Creme Fraiche Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus melted butter for greasing the pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup crème fraîche (usually one small tub)
  • 1 1/2 c. whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • Cranberry Glaze (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the inside of a 10-cup Bundt pan with the melted butter and dust it lightly with flour (note: using melted butter is so much easier than trying to get softened butter in those Bundt crevices!).

Whisk the flour with the baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with the sugar on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture (in three increments) alternately with the crème fraîche (in two increments), beginning and ending with the flour and beating after each addition until just combined.

Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Swirl half the cranberry sauce over the batter. Pour the remaining batter over the cranberry sauce, and then swirl the remaining cranberry sauce over the batter. Sprinkle the almonds over the top. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until golden brown on top.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto the rack and let it cool completely. Transfer the cake to a serving plate and drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake. The cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Cranberry Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon cranberry juice (reserved from making the cranberry sauce)

Mix the confectioners’ sugar, almond extract, and cranberry juice in a small bowl until smooth (I added some orange juice to loosen it up a bit).

Pretty in pink!

A tasty way to use my last Thanksgiving leftovers, eh? Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Baked Goat Cheese Salad

Baked (or, more often, fried) goat cheese salads are something I frequently order at restaurants, but never pulled off correctly at home. I usually tried to pan-fry the disks of lemony goat cheese, which resulted in them falling apart and burning in places. Then I looked through one of my old Cooks Illustrated magazines and found their perfect recipe for baked goat cheese salad.

Aha, you have to freeze the goat cheese before baking (or frying) it. And I must say that the baking method is much easier, less mess and more tasty than anything fried on your stove top (or Fry Daddy).

I adapted the recipe based on what I had at home and used a salad dressing I had left over from this recipe. I added dried cranberries and some pumpkin seeds that Grant had roasted with sesame and soy. Quite a tasty combination!

Baked Goat Cheese Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c. plain bread crumbs
  • 1 T chopped fresh thyme
  • Black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 4-5 oz. goat cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T dijon mustard
  • Salad mix (arugula is preferable)
  • Your favorite vinaigrette dressing
  • 1/4 c. roasted pumpkin seeds (or any seed or nut you like)
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries (or other fruit)
  • EVOO

Preheat oven to 475.

Cut goat cheese into 1/4-inch disks and roll disks into balls. Set aside. Whisk eggs with dijon in a small bowl. Set aside. Mix bread crumbs with thyme, large pinch of salt and 10 cracks of black pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

Drop cheese balls into egg, then roll in bread crumbs. Flatten balls into disks, then place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cheese balls. Place prepared goat cheese in freezer for 30 min. (I only did it for like 15 min., and it worked fine)

When goat cheese is cold and firm, brush all over with olive oil and bake until crust is lightly golden brown and cheese is slightly soft, 7-9 min.

Meanwhile, toss salad mix with vinaigrette and sprinkle seeds and cranberries all over.

When cheese is done, delicately remove to paper towels, then place on top of salad. The crust will be thin and crisp, perfectly holding the soft cheese inside. I love the lemony thyme flavoring the cheese.

This was a deliciously light Friday dinner for us, perfect after a week of eating heavy foods.

Enjoy as a meal or as a great starter salad when you have company over. The goat cheese keeps well and you can just pan-fry it to heat it up the next day. Best served warm, of course, so the cheese can spread all over the salad.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo