I love butter cakes. And somehow baking a cake seems more like real baking than baking cookies or even baking a pie. That feeling is probably something I developed when we were Heavenly Cake Bakers, and a cake came out of my oven once a week. Now I never know what's going to emerge.
Because I noticed all the frozen cranberries when I was looking for frozen sour cherries, it didn't occur to me that other people's supermarkets weren't similarly prepared for people making cranberry upside down cakes in spring. Cranberries freeze very well and defrost without leaving puddles of liquid, so I think there was no real difference in flavor.
I bought a white silicone spatula just for such caramelizing occasions. The mixture starts out so light and lemony-looking that it's hard to believe it's really going to caramelize in just a few minutes.
But it does. I actually think mine got a little darker and thicker than it should have. I seem to have the best luck when I take the caramel off the heat when it's about 10 degrees lower than specified. Maybe my thermometer is off or maybe my pan holds the heat too well or maybe I don't move quickly enough--whatever the reason, the caramel ended up so dark that if I'd put the pan on the baking stone I think I'd have had blackened berry upside-down cake.
Ha. I just realized that I was using my old recipe that says to cook the caramel until it's "deep amber" in color, and the final draft says until it's "light amber." I just hate to use my good cookbook to cook, but I may have to give in. "
I had some raspberries that might not have lasted another 24 hours, so I mixed them in with the pretty red cranberries. Raspberries that are soft to start with sort of bake down to mush. When the cake was flipped over, there were no discernible raspberries.
I wonder why people like to eat cookie dough, but don't have a hankering for cake batter. I'd be happy to eat this, but I guess I'd rather have it as cake, especially since the cake layer seemed a little thin anyhow.
I LOVE it that Rose warns us that the cake will come out of the oven with "what appear to be many hillocks." Only Rose would use the word "hillocks," even though it's the perfect word.
I held my breath when I pulled to cake pan off the cake, but almost all of the fruit stayed with the cake and not with the pan. I do see discernible raspberries in the photograph, which makes me wonder why I didn't notice them in real life. Maybe it's an optical illusion, like the black and blue or gold and white dress.
Here it is with the raspberry glaze brushed on. I see another raspberry.
I will confess that I didn't make the meringue, even though it was Italian, and that nationality is usually enough to tempt me, but it looked like it would taste like regular meringue, which is too sweet and too airy for my taste, although I'll tolerate it on a lemon meringue pie for obvious reasons. I put the rest of the jar of seedless raspberry preserves in it, but it wasn't quite enough, so I added a little sugar too. Adding seedless preserves to whipping cream is genius. I notice that we'll do it again next week, except that it won't be cheating to do it. And it will also be strawberry.
You can see that the whipped cream barely has a pink tinge, but the raspberry meringue has only one tablespoon of preserves, so it probably doesn't get very pink either. The strawberry jam has 1/4 cup of jam, so it should be pretty and pink.
After I tasted the cake, I immediately sent half of it to our neighbors because I didn't want to have it around the house or I'd have to try to do 20,000 steps on my FitBit. If you do 20,000 steps, when do you have time to sit down and relax? Oh, I suppose that may be the point.