the appetizer:

Chocolate Cakes: 50 Great Cakes for Every Occasion by Elinor Klivans, includes recipes like S'mores Cake; Spicy Cranberry and White Chocolate Cake; and Chinese Five-Spice Chocolate Chiffon Cake.


Spicy Cranberry
and White Chocolate Cake

Makes 12 servings

Spicy Cranberry and White Chocolate Cake


Black pepper gives this cake a subtle kick. It is a cake of contrasts—the colorful, tart cranberries dot the pale cake drizzled with sweet white chocolate. The cake is a good choice for making ahead and freezing or, since it stores well, for gift giving.

Mixing time 20 minutes
Baking 350 degrees F (180 degrees C/gas mark 4) for about 65 minutes

Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C/gas mark 4). Butter the bottom, sides, and center tube of a 9-1/2- or 10-in (24- or 25-cm) tube pan with sides at least 3-3/4 in (9.5 cm) high. Line the bottom with parchment (baking) paper and butter the paper.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper into a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until fluffy, thick, and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. On low speed, mix in the oil and vanilla until blended. Mix in the flour mixture just until it is incorporated. Mix in the sour cream until no white streaks remain. Stir in the cranberries and the 6 oz (170 g) coarsely chopped white chocolate. Scrape the batter into the pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs clinging to it, about 65 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around the sides and center tube to loosen the cake. Invert the cake onto the wire rack. Carefully remove the paper and discard it. Place a wire rack on the bottom of the cake and turn the cake so that it is top up. Cool completely. Transfer the cake to a serving plate.

Put the 2 oz (55 g) white chocolate in a heatproof bowl (or the top of a double boiler) and place it over, but not touching, barely simmering water in a saucepan (or the bottom of the double boiler). Stir constantly until the white chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. Use a small spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the cake, letting some drizzle down the sides. Serve at room temperature.

The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.


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This page created October 2010