Monday, April 20, 2009
Cranberry and Cornmeal Cake with Caramel-Walnut Topping Sauce
Yield: 1 (8-inch round cake)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup cake flour, plus extra for dusting the pan
1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons orange zest (from 2 large oranges)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the pan
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 cups Caramel-Walnut Sauce, recipe follows
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.
Place the cranberries in a sieve set over a medium bowl. Spoon the flour over the cranberries and sieve the flour into the bowl. Set the flour-dusted cranberries aside.
Mix together the cornmeal, baking powder, and orange zest with the flour. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the egg yolks and whole eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce the speed to low and add the orange juice. Add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Fold in the cranberries.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake until the cake is golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool. (The cake can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight in a plastic container.)
Remove the cake from the pan. Cut the cake into wedges and drizzle with the Caramel-Walnut Sauce
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, optional
For the Caramel-Walnut Topping Sauce: In a medium saucepan, mix together the cream, brown sugar, and butter over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture thickens, about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in the walnuts and sea salt, if using. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.