This recipe is inspired by a cranberry quick bread which was one of my first introductions to baking while in college. One of my roommates baked it and introduced me to the routine of making recipes out of the Sunday NY Times Magazine, something that became a favorite activity in our off campus house. I am not sure her bread came from the Magazine, but regardless, she made me realize you could turn out good food in a kitchen the size of a telephone booth. For this reinvented iteration, I have used extra egg whites, creme fraiche and almond flour to lighten the batter into a cake, and I have topped it with a buttermilk glaze for a tangy but sweet topping. It's a one bowl situation, happily, and perfect for Thanksgiving either before, during, or after your meal. Truth be told, it's good any time. —navahfrost
1 8-inch round or square cake
unsalted butter at room temperature
1 3/4 cups
all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons
cranberries, fresh or frozen, chopped roughly
preheat oven to 350 and set rack in the middle of the oven. Line either an 8 inch round or square pan with parchment or foil, and spray and flour the surface to prevent sticking.
In a large bowl, either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter, creme fraiche and sugar. If you do this by hand, start with a sturdy whisk and make sure you get the mixture smooth with no lumps of butter. Add the egg, egg whites, almond extract and orange juice, mixing well to a smooth consistency. Add the salt, flour, almond flour, baking soda and baking powder, mixing just to the point where the batter comes together without any traces of flour showing. (Try not to over mix once you add the flour mixture because this can cause gluten development, which could make the cake tough.) Fold in the cranberries.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, checking with a cake tester to make sure it comes out clean. (give it a few extra minutes if the tester has anything sticky on it) Cool the cake in the pan for 15-20 minutes before turning it out onto a rack.
While the cake cools, mix the powdered sugar with the buttermilk, making a paste as you stir with a fork. Add the maple syrup, and stir to pourable consistency. If it's too thick to pour, you can add a tiny bit more buttermilk to thin it until it looks like it can be poured. It's more a glaze than a frosting so it should be poured over the cake and run down the sides.