Christmas morning was, for the most part, just like any other. After sleeping in, we booted up the espresso machine, fed the dog and started on the last night’s dishes. And because there was no formal agenda, I did what I normally do – wiggle the computer mouse, browse through my Google Reader and look for brunch ideas.
Enter Debra’s post at Smith Bites on cranberry vanilla coffee cake. What struck me as special about this recipe was that it incorporated fresh vanilla beans. And since we’ve been making and storing vanilla sugar all year (by saving scraps of vanilla pods and throwing them into a bag of granulated sugar), we thought Christmas morning was a good time to tap into our supply.
And ya know what? This cake was a delicious, seasonally relevant way to start the day, and paired wonderfully with our morning lattes. Thank you, Debra!
We’re off to do some more fun things in the kitchen, like griddling English muffins, roasting lamb chops and baking lasagna.
Hope you’re staying warm in this last week of 2010!
- We only had extra large eggs in the refrigerator, so we used one egg and one egg white.
- Since we didn’t have any whole milk, we used a combination of heavy cream and 2% milk.
Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake
~ Serves 8 ~
~ Ingredients ~
- § ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- § 1 ¾ cups sugar
- 1 ½ cups granulated vanilla sugar
- 2 cups fresh cranberries (6 ounces)
- 350g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated vanilla sugar
- Optional: Powdered sugar for garnish
~ Preparation ~
Preparation Time: 2 hours
- Preheat oven to 375˚F with rack in middle. Generously butter a 9- by 2-inch round cake pan. Line bottom with a round of parchment paper and butter parchment and sides of pan.
- Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into a food processor with tip of a paring knife (reserve pod for another use if desired). Add sugar and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl.
- Pulse cranberries with 1/3 cup vanilla sugar in processor until finely chopped (d0 not puree).
- Whisk together 2 cups all-purpose flour, baking powder, and kosher salt.
- Beat together 1 stick butter and 1 cup vanilla sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down side and bottom of bowl. Reduce speed to low and mix in flour and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour, until just combined.
- Spread half of the batter in the pan, creating a shallow bowl of batter with batter going up ¼” higher at edges. Spoon cranberries into the bowl, leaving a ½-inch border around edge. Top with remaining batter and smooth top. (I used my fingers to press the batter on top of the cranberries.)
- Blend remaining ¼ cup vanilla sugar with remaining tablespoon each of butter and flour using your fingertips. Crumble over top of cake.
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted into cake (and not cranberry filling) comes out clean and side begins to pull away from pan, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 30 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely crumb side up.
- Optional: Garnish top with powdered sugar.
Nutrition content per serving: 412 calories, 68g carbs, 5g protein, 14g fat, 1.5g fiber
Cost per serving: $0.64
Source: Gourmet, December 2008 via Epicurious. Contextually modified as noted by Rustic Garden Bistro