Cranberry Delights – BFI #3

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I had a brilliant idea last night, and i savored it in my mind, let it roll around, worked out the recipe slowly in my head, adjusting the ingredients to and fro until I had it perfect.

Which is when I began Brilliant Failed Idea #3.

I imagined a spongy childhood-memory-invoking cake (yes, I just read Swann’s Way), not very sweet, baked in a small pool of cranberry juice, which would seep up into the dough and add a lovely light touch of red as well as just a hint of flavor. Then roll the whole thing in a heated sauce of sugar and honey, which would harden into a thin brittle crust.

Ayep. Aim high, my friend. Fall low. This is what life is made of.

The result was a cupcake tough texture, no flavor of cranberry, and the sauce remained sticky and moist — but mostly flavorless.

I started with the red sauce (in retrospect, perhaps I should have used 100% cranberry juice AFTER baking?):

  • 1/3 cup frozen cranberries
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp sugar

In small min-muffin tins I put one teaspoon apiece.

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Then the muffin batter:

mix:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp gluten

mix seperately:

  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

I combined these wet and the dry ingredients with each other well. Then I poured a wee bit in each cup and baked it at 375 for 8 minutes. I removed them (with aid of a toothpick, not easy) and put them on parchment paper.

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Prepare sugar mix:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp water

I brought it to a boil, and then dropped the “muffins” in one at a time, and then with two forks I would flip it over and then take it out and let it stick (forever irremovable) to the parchment paper (sigh). I let it sit, but alas, the “crust” remained squishy and not crust-like.

In this first end, the result was staggeringly bland. In a last ditch effort, I tried adding two spoonfulls of the cranberry sauce on top of each one and broiled them for 3 minutes. This burnt the hell out of the parchment paper but DID add the benefit of allowing me to get them OFF the parchment paper when still warm (and onto a greased plate). Otherwise, it only gave them a tad bit of color (now they didn’t look merely like lumps of hamburger, but instead, lumps of hamburger with a dab of purplish ketchup). And I still couldn’t hardly taste the cranberries.

There is so much wrong with this recipe that I think it might be best to start from scratch if I want to re-approach it.

IMG_9232Bleaghhhhhh!!!

3 comments to Cranberry Delights – BFI #3

  • War Pig

    I LOVE reading about gaffes in the kitchen, as I make so many of them myself.

    Here is a good way to make a hard, candy shell. I found it looking for a way to make cinnamon-flavored, crackle-glazed tangerine sections (bad idea).

    http://www.ehow.com/print/how_4870300_make-hard-candy-shell.html

    The candy thermometer is essential. You likely did not get yours hot enough.

    PS: You can also grease even parchment paper with a little cooking spray. I do when making chocolate haystacks or glazed strawberries, or when working with spun sugar. But when I make spun sugar decorations, I also put old newspapers everywhere (especially the floor) as that stuff is the absolute devil to get off ungreased surfaces.

  • Joal

    The baking soda needs some acid to work. Try 2tsp cream of tartar. Or maybe lemon juice.

    Normally I would cream the sugar with butter to incorporate more air, but I guess that is not an option…

    Finally, did you consider putting the cranberry sauce inside the
    muffins? Bit of batter in a cup shape, then sauce, then more batter to cover.

    I hope you get it working, it sounds promising.

  • @War_Pig, thanks for the link and the sagacious advice as ever! I must try this. :)

    @Joal, hm, for some reason I thought the sugar activated it. Thanks! Awesome to know. I may very well try this again, even more disasterously! :)