Thursday, February 2, 2012
Cranberry Valentine - To The Brink of Disaster and Back Again
I love Wende and Harry Devlin's Cranberry series, mainly because I fell in love with the authors' work as a child. Their Old Black Witch is the first book I remember reading with a recipe at the back, and I was hooked on the concept from then on.
I've enjoyed rediscovering the Devlins' work with my children, and have been pleasantly surprised to find they like the books, too. Even though the stories appear old fashioned, and not the sort the children usually pick, the characters have a timeless appeal, and a charm that has drawn them in. Not to mention the fact, that each and every story in the series has a recipe at the back.
Cranberry Valentine, which we read yesterday, for instance, includes a recipe for "Cranberry Upside-Down Cake". You can view the recipe through the "Look Inside" feature at Amazon.com (I am an Amazon associate, but am not being paid for this link), just type "cake" in the "Search Inside This Book" box. However, I really recommend you check the entire book out, it's quickly become my second favorite in the series, right behind Cranberry Thanksgiving.
The younger girls assisted me with the recipe, filling the pan with butter...
...chopped nuts (the recipe calls for walnuts, but we used pecans)...
...sugar (quite a lot of sugar)...
...and a cake mix.
I cut the recipe in half, because I wasn't sure if the children would like it, or not, and I didn't want to waste too many cranberries or nuts, if they didn't like it, so we only needed half the batter from a cake mix.
I reduced the baking time slightly, from the 40 to 50 minutes recommended in the book, to 35 minutes, because of the smaller size of our cake. Checking the cake with a toothpick, it appeared to be done, but after I flipped it out onto a plate (the younger children were very impressed with this process)...
...it became immediately evident, that the cake was not done.
I still hated to waste the cranberries and nuts, so I decided to flip the entire thing back into a clean, and greased pan, and bake it for another 15 minutes. Even the older children were watching by this point.
Amazingly enough, it worked, which is a good thing, because the cake is delicious. I practically had to fight the Man of the House off with a broom, for the children to each get a piece. Next time, we won't cut the recipe in half.
It's great to be a homeschooler.
Linked with Watcha Making Wednesday at The Ramblings and Adventures of a S.A.H.M.