December 03, 2007

Magazine Monday makes tempting holiday treats

Edible gifts were a hit in the office last year, so I'm going that route again. And recipes like this turn my indulgence in miniature bundt pans into an investment.

I've got cranberries from my CSA delivery, and I've picked up several packages of almond paste for a project I'll tackle later this month. So this looked like a logical contribution to this week's Magazine Monday:

Cranberry & Almond Bundt Cakes
adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine Issue #61 (Holiday Baking 2003)

1 cup all-purpose flour (more for dusting the pan)
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature (more for lubricating the pan)
7 ounces (2/3 cup) almond paste (not marzipan)
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups fresh cranberries, picked through, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour a 10- or 12-cup bundt pan (or twelve 1-cup mini bundt pans). Tap out any excess flour.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With a stand mixer using the paddle attachment beat the butter and almond paste in a large bowl on medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, stopping the mixer to scrape the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Stop the mixer at least one last time to scrape the bowl and then beat at medium speed until the batter is smooth, about 20 seconds. Fold in the almonds and cranberries with a rubber spatula.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan (or pans), spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula. Run a knife through the batter to eliminate any air pockets. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes (about 20 minutes for mini cakes). Set the pan on a rack to cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack, remove the pan, and let the cake cool completely. If you’re making the cake ahead, wrap it while still barely warm. Serve at room temperature dusting the top with confectioner's sugar, if you like.

A year ago today I turned to the internets for recipe inspiration.

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Peabody said...

I keep forgetting about Magazine Monday! Your cake sounds like a keeper.