The recipe isn’t mine, but I’m sure it will become a favorite holiday treat for my family.  I found it on Pinterest from a site called Simply Recipes.  The blog poster’s directions were easy to follow, and the pictures were yummiful (yummy + beautiful).  The orange-ish pound cake pairs deliciously with the tart cranberry topping.  I’m posting today to give a few hints on how I produced my own yummiful cranberry upside down cake, despite having a tendency toward crapsmanship in my cooking.

1.  The recipe calls for one 9″ round cake pan that is at least 2″ tall.  Despite Dan the Man being a pastry chef, no 9″ pans were found in all our kitchen stuff.  Since I was doubling the recipe anyway, I used an 8″ round and a 10″ round.  Worked like a charm!

2.  Because I was doubling the recipe, I knew that chances were high that I would forget to double one ingredient, thus crapping it all up.  So I used a cooking standard used by professional chefs everywhere — mise en place (meeze on ploss).  Mise en place is a French term meaning “putting in place.”  In the cooking world, this translates to having all materials ready and ingredients measured before beginning to prepare the food.  This allowed me to double check my doubled ingredients before I even began to light the stove and turn on the mixer.

3.  I’d neglected to buy oranges for the orange zest used in the original recipe (see, I had to crap something up), but I substituted orange extract in its place.  I could have done without either and the cake would have been delicious, but I’ll use orange zest next time I make this.

4.  I used Dan the Man’s Kitchenaid stand mixer to mix everything, and my usual tendency is to fill the air with a cloud of flour once I try to mix in the dry ingredients.  But I used one of Dan’s tricks this time.  Pulse the mixer — on, off, on, off, on, off — until the flour begins to incorporate.

5.  I doubled the cinnamon and added a hefty pinch of nutmeg.

6.  Next time, I’ll add about a cup of toasted chopped walnuts to the topping.


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