Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me! Mini Cranberry Upside-Downers and Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes

Today is my birthday, so I thought I would share 2 mini desserts that I tried recently. They both come from Dorie Greenspans- Baking:from my home to yours and I took both of them to a recent gathering. The Cranberry Upside Downer was supposed to be a 8-inch round, but I made it in a muffin tin, so the servings would be smaller and I got 14 mini-cakes. I also used my mini-bundt cake pan for the Milk Chocolate Bundt cakes and got 15 of them. So, if you need a mini treat, try one of these. Merry Christmas Eve to everyone and Happy Birthday to Me!

Mini Cranberry Upside Downer by Dorie Greenspan
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup minus 2 TBSP sugar
zest of 2 oranges
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
2 cups cranberries-fresh or frozen(if frozen, do not thaw)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 whole milk
1/3 cup red currant jelly, for glazing the cake
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350F.
Put a 8X2 inch round cake pan on a baking sheet.Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Melt 6 TBSP of the butter in a small saucepan. Sprinkle in 6 TBSP of the sugar and the zest of 1 orange and cook, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil. Pour this evenly over the bottom of the cake pan, then scatter over the nuts and top with the cranberries, smoothing the layer and pressing it down gently with your fingertips. Set aside.
Working with a stand mixer, preferabley fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the remaining stick of butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and continue to beat until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Pour in the vanilla and zest of 1 orange. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the batter. Mix in the milk, then the rest of the dry ingredients.
Spoon the batter over the cranberries and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove it from the oven and run a blunt knife between the sides of the pan and the cake. Carefully turn the cake out onto a serving platter. If any of the berries stick to the pan-as they might-just scrape them off with a table knife and return them to the cake.
Warm the jelly in a small saucepan over low heat, or do this in a microwave oven.
Gently brush the glaze over the hot cake.

3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
7 oz premium-quality milk chocolate, melted and cooled
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used semi-sweet)
2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 6-mold mini bundt pan.
Make the swirl by tossing the nuts, cocoa and sugar together in a small bowl.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the egg and beat for 1 minute more, then beat in the vanilla. Don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled-it will smooth out soon. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the flour mixture, mixing only until it is incorporated. Add the milk, and when it is blended into the batter, add the remaining flour mixture, again mixing just to incorporate. Finally, add the melted chocolate and mix to blend.
Fill each of the mini Bundt molds with a little batter, then divide the swirl ingredients evenly among the molds and top off the Bundts with the remaining batter.
Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the cakes to rest for 5 minutes, then invert them onto the rack and let them cool to room temperature.
To make the glaze, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of water or in a microwave oven. Stir in the corn syrup. Using a small offset metal spatula or knife, spread the shiny glaze over the tops of the Bundts.

Coming up next- Craving Ellie and Barefoot Bloggers


steph- whisk/spoon said...

happy birthday!! these look great! (they are both things i was hoping someone would pick for twd, actually!)

Steph said...

Happy birthday!! I really like the cranberry upside downer. I want to make a cranberry dessert so badly, but I'm afraid no one will eat it, just like if I make pumpkin pie. I think I'm definitely missing mini bundt pans, which I will be getting for sure!

Prudy said...

Hey Birthday Girl! Hope you're having a great day. I made those mini chocolate bundt cakes; oh yumma yumma. I've had such a good time getting to know you this year. Thanks for being my blogging buddy! I'm so looking forward to meeting someday! Merry Christmas!

The Food Librarian said...

Happy Happy Happy Birthday! You know I'm crazy about birthdays!!! Celebrate all year!!

What's for Supper? said...

Happy Birthday to you!!

Happy Birthday to you!!

Merry Christmas too.

Aggie said...

Oh Mary Ann...Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas!! Hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy the holiday with your family!!

Alexa said...

I am a December baby too... Happy birthday my dear Mary Ann! Enjoy!
Merry Christmas!

Just Us said...

Happy Birthday! Looks delicious!

Di said...

Happy birthday! Both of those look yummy!

Pamela said...

Hey! Hope you had a wonderful birthday and very Merry Christmas!

#1SAHM said...

happy birthday! Hope it was a good one! : )

LyB said...

Both those desserts look delicious! Happy Birthday ad Happy Holidays! :)

Sophie said...

Mini treats are the best :), they're so cute too! I hope you had a lovely birthday, it falls on the perfect day :).

Julius said...

Looks delicious!

Happy Holidays :)

~ Julius
from Occasional Baker

TeaLady said...

A Christmas Baby!!! Happy Happy B'day. I have a friend with the same. She said it was the pits growing up. She is 83 now. Hope yours was wonderful.

BTW These look wonderful!!!

Stefany said...

I was flipping through BFMYTY and decided to make this, but I *love* your idea to make them in the muffin tin! I am taking them to work, so portioned cakes is always better than one big one. Thanks for the idea!