Monthly Archives: January 2015

Dangerous Chocolate: Firecracker Bar from Chuao Chocolatier

In the words of the illustrious, Katy Perry, “baby you’re a firework, Come on, show ’em what you’re worth/Make ’em go, “Aah, aah, aah’/As you shoot across the sky-y-y.”

Yeah….

(I swear this connects.)

(Sorta.)

I was at The Fresh Market a few days ago and I was hungry for chocolate. So I found myself a nice, sensible dark chocolate bar to take home.

Then when I was checking out, I saw these fancy bars of chocolate by the register. They were in a basket and they looked intriguing. And they were a dollar off, so I just went for it. Cause I’m an adult who gets to make her own decisions.

Firecracker Chocolate via chuaochocolatier.com

Firecracker Chocolate via chuaochocolatier.com

What I bought was a bar of chocolate from Chuao Chocolatier. I’d never heard of them before, but they’re a Venezuelan chocolatier based in southern California. (In fact, they’re the first Venezuelan chocolatier in the US. So, there you go.) Their primary mission is to create “creating unusual, unexpected and delicious flavors.”

I like all those things.

So, I tried my chocolate bar: the Firecracker bar.

Made with sea salt, chipotle and popping candy.

…that’s right. Popping candy.

It’s beautiful dark chocolate, rich and just a little bit sweet. The sea salt balances the sweetness in the chocolate. There’s a bit of a little smoky burn from the chipotle. And then…the popping candy hits.

And it’s weird.

It’s fucking REAL weird.

But it’s not unpleasant. In fact, I rather liked it. It gives another dimension to the chocolate. The popping doesn’t add anything from a flavor perspective, but it’s a great experience. Like the movie just went from 2D to 3D. Just a final note as the chocolate finishes on your palate, which lends a bit of danger to your chocolate eating.

Will it a) explode and kill me or b) give me a nice sensation on the tongue? Perhaps one that will make me go “aah, aah, aah”?

The one weird thing about it is that all the squares appear to have words written on them. One set of little bricks I got said “lick, smile, flutter.” I don’t like my chocolate telling me what to do, alright? I’m going to lick whatever I want whenever I want.

Wait, that came out wrong.

Anyway, this chocolate will explode in your mouth. So put it in your mouth today.

Wait, that wasn’t better.

Help me out, Katy Perry.

Yeahhhh. Not better. But thanks for trying.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Year, New “Meat”: Spam and Kimchi Fried Rice

When it comes to food, I’m pretty much game for anything.

Except bananas. NEVER bananas.

But, I’d like to think I’d try most anything once.

I don’t want to eat bugs, but if I was visiting a culture where people eat bugs, I might eat a bug. But like, I wouldn’t eat a bug on Fear Factor (is that still on?) or just at my house or whatever. I’m not going to sit at home and watch Downton and eat a bowl of crickets.

via memegenerator.net (obviously)

via memegenerator.net (obviously)

So, to recap: I’d probably try almost anything, maybe a bug, but never bananas.

I saw this recipe for Spam and Kimchi Fried Rice on Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed has been doing this fun series where they have a chef come to their office and make breakfast. The latest chef contributor was Dale Talde.

For those who don’t know, Dale Talde is a Top Chef alum who was on my favorite two seasons (season 5 Chicago and season 8 All-Stars). He was a punk (season 5), but he really has a heart of gold (season 8).

I feel like we could be friends.  via Buzzfeed

I feel like we could be friends.
via Buzzfeed

 

Season 5 Dale…about to murk Antonia. via imdb.com

 

Dale always made really inventive food and was a pretty funny dude with a great laugh, second only to Tre Wilcox (season 3/season 8.) He also has a bunch of really killer restaurants in NYC. I’ve been to Pork Slope in Brooklyn and it was legit, especially since it combines my two favorite things: pork and puns.

Pork and Puns will be the name of my cookbook/comedy memoir, by the way.

So, when I saw this Spam and Kimchi fried rice recipe, I was excited. When two of my friends sent me the recipe, I knew I had to make it. It was time to try Spam.

I honestly did not know what to expect. But I thought, “if Dale Talde can eat Spam, I can eat some Spam too.”

If you’ve never opened Spam before, it will bring back some memories of opening cat food for the neighbors cats while they’re on vacation. (The cats weren’t on vacation…the people were….was that clear?) It has a golden pop top situation and there’s some gelatinous meat juice around the Spam, which add to the cat food-ness. It’s fairly disgusting to behold. And touch. It absolutely does not feel like real meat.

But this dish? This dish is awesome. Honestly. It’s just awesome. There are a lot of steps, but it’s not hard. Get your mise en place in place. (Nailed it.) Then go to town. The Spam is essential and it’s great. I really and truly stand corrected. It brings a salty, porky, meat-like punch to the dish.

Don’t skip the kimchi. It adds some spicy funk to the party, which every party needs. Also, it’s a probiotic according to the jar! Think about that! But not too much cause ew!

So, do yourself a favor. Try something new today. Buy yourself a can of Spam and make yourself some Spam and Kimchi Fried Rice. It’s what Dale Talde would do.

God Bless Spam and God Bless the USA.

Spam and Kimchi Fried Rice by Dale Talde from Buzzfeed

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the fried rice:

  • 1 1/2 cups white jasmine rice, uncooked
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 12-ounce container Spam, diced in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced in 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup Kimchi, strained, thinly sliced, liquid reserved
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced in 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon Korean chili flakes (red pepper flake can be substituted)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (optional)

For the fried eggs:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 eggs
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

To make the rice: First, rinse the rice by pouring it into a medium pot or bowl, covering it with cold water, then draining it in a fine mesh strainer, shaking the rice to get as much water off as possible. Then, in a medium sauce pot, combine the 2 cups of rice with 2 cups of cold water. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat all the way down to low, cover, and let the rice cook, covered, for 23 minutes. Then, turn the heat off but DO NOT UNCOVER THE RICE. Let it sit, covered, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, uncover it, fluff it with a fork, and set it aside in the pot while you prepare the other fried rice ingredients.

Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. While the oil heats, crack the 2 eggs into a medium bowl and beat them together with a fork until the yolk and white are thoroughly combined. Add the beaten egg to the hot skillet all at once, then use a spoon or spatula to constantly move the egg around the skillet, When the egg is fully cooked but not browned, about 30 seconds, slide it out of the skillet and onto a plate, and set it aside.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat, then add the remaining tablespoon of canola oil and the cubed spam. Cook the spam, stirring occasionally, until it’s golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes.

Add the diced onion and minced garlic, stir everything together, and continue to cook over medium high heat just until the onion has started to soften, about 2 minutes more. Make sure to stir often, so that the garlic doesn’t burn.

Add the chili flakes, sesame oil, kimchi, and butter, then stir everything together and cook for about a minute, just to heat the kimchi. By now, the mixture may have started to stick to the skillet. Add the reserved kimchi liquid (about 1/3 cup) and stir to deglaze the skillet (the liquid will release all the stuff that’s stuck to the bottom).

Add the cooked rice, stir, then add the cooked egg, sliced scallions, and fish sauce(optional). Stir thoroughly so that the egg is in bite-sized pieces and everything is evenly distributed throughout the rice. Turn the heat to low to keep the rice warm while you fry the eggs, stirring every minute or so to keep the rice from sticking.

To make the eggs, melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. (If you don’t have a large nonstick skillet, use a small nonstick skillet and work in two batches.) When the butter is melted, crack the eggs into the skillet. Try to keep them separate but if the whites touch, that’s OK.

Season with salt and pepper, then let the eggs cook over medium-low heat until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, 3-4 minutes.

Divide the fried rice evenly among four plates or bowls, then top each portion with a fried egg. Serve immediately.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sadvertising: Baskin-Robbins Best Food Ad of 2014?

My close personal friends at Bon Appetit have named this Baskin-Robbin’s ad the best food advertisement of 2014.

Well, Bon Appetit, you just unknowingly combined two of my favorite things: ice cream and wall-to-wall VO. 

Noooo, I’m kidding. Advertising and food.

As many of you know, in my real life, I’m a producer of TV commercials and video content at an advertising agency. And as all of you know (probably more than you want to), I love food. So, this post was kind of right up my alley.

But…best food ad of 2014? For real?

Listen, I think it’s visually striking. But there’s a real lack of concept here. Beauty shots of ice cream with an announcer talking for a full :15 seconds about Cappuccino Blast customization. Not something I’d really remember or would ever want to go and watch again.

If I can make a small tweak to my friends from Bon Appetit, I may say that this is the most effective food advertising of 2014. After viewing the spot, they measured the desire that people had for Baskin-Robbins. Corporate adver-lingo quote: “Baskin-Robbins excels in its ability to drive consumer Desire.” WOOO.

But does efficiency translate to quality? In the advertising world, there are many awards for creativity (Cannes! One Show!), but there is a separate award that measures a campaign’s effectiveness (The Effies). From an industry standard, there appears to be a delineation. 

If I had to tell you the best food ad of 2014, it would be this.

Because this is the best ad of every year forever amen.

But seriously, folks.

So often, food advertising is focused on driving people in store/restaurant. These ads rely on relatively unappealing product shots to entice people in for $12.99 or $9.99 or $0.99. Thus, creating a blah ad with blah food.

In my opinion (cause this is my blog and everything is my opinion. YOU’RE WELCOME.), I think that the best food ads of 2014 actually give something to the viewer. Something new. Something sad. Something happy. But SOMETHING, as well as showing beautiful food

In no particular order, here are my favorite food ads from 2014:

Mel’s Mini-Mini Mart from Oreo

Now, in full disclosure, Oreo is a client at my agency. I don’t work on them directly, but they seem to be pretty rad. I do eat my fair share of Oreos, so you know, I’m pretty much ready whenever they want to work together. (THOSE MINT OREOS, THO.)

I love this spot. I think it’s charming, it’s clever, it’s illustrative of the product’s key benefits (they’re mini! great for snacking! all fit in your hand!) and the cookies look great. I want to eat them all. 

Newcastle Super Bowl 2014

This was hands down my favorite (non) Super Bowl ad this year.

Firstly, Anna Kendrick has become one of my favorite actresses. She’s talented and funny as the day is long. And, she did a quirky video for Kate Spade, and I was kind of obsessed with it. Newcastle gets points for casting.

Secondly, Newcastle really went for it here. It was a wink and a nudge to the industry in both content and tone (their website had animatics and focus group footage, which can’t be funny to too many people…) It’s nice to see something so tongue-in-cheek from a beer advertiser. They aren’t usually known for their subtlety. 

Meet Me at Starbucks

I tend to like the funny stuff. But this is an emotional piece from Starbucks that speaks to their global reach in a way that makes them seem small and intimate. Personal even. It’s touching, at times funny, but very sweet. And major points for technical/production difficulty.

McDonald’s Minimalist Out of Home

I admit fully that every link I’ve posted thus far has been 1+ minutes. So, for my final food ad of 2014, I give you the simplest of all. The out-of-home/billboards that were done in Paris for McDonald’s. McDonald’s food is iconic, so why not let the icon speak for itself. This is powerful yet simple and incredibly clean. I’ve never wanted a Big Mac more.

via Adweek

via Adweek

So, those are my best food ads of 2014.

Am I a food or advertising expert? Nah. I’ve got tons to learn about both.

But I’ve been doing them both for awhile (30 years of eating and going strong! 8 years of advertising and going strong!) So enjoy the opinions of a professional advertiser and an amateur eater. (I’m going to maintain my amateur status so I can eat in the Olympics.)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to find myself a Big Mac.  

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Point/Counterpoint: Cadbury Creme Eggs

And now, for a MyFakeFoodBlog classic: Point/Counterpoint.

Point: I love the Internet.

It brings me so much joy. Because my life would’ve been incomplete without Thug Life Jeremy Renner.

Counterpoint: I hate the Internet.

I hate seeing the weird links that distant Facebook friends like. Or friends of friends. Some of them are weird. The links and the people. (Thanks, Madeline.)

The best/worst part of the Internet is its immediacy. It’s amazing to know what’s happening right this second around the world, particularly when it has to do with pandas/cats/baby pandas/baby cats. That’s my kind of international news.

Early this week, the Internet blew up because of some changes to Cadbury Creme Eggs. Basically, the price of cacao is going up so Cadbury has changed their chocolate recipe and is also including one less egg in their 6-pack. (That’s a 5-pack now people.) But, the price remains the same. It’s because I took two college level Econ classes that I explained that to you. (Note: I took the same class twice. I did not pass the first time.)

via MarketingMagazine

via MarketingMagazine

I first saw this on Grubstreet. And then my BFF Laura wrote an impassioned post on Facebook about it. Then I saw articles on Huff Po, CNN, The Guardian. Those last two are actual news sources. That cover actual news stories.

First of all, this only applies to the UK. So, all Americans who care, please unclench.

Also, and here’s my rull question.

Who.

Actually.

Really.

Truly.

Cares.

SERIOUSLY.

Besides Laura (who I love more than air) (seriously, she introduced me to my other BFF, Borthany Norvak) (who will forgive me for speaking my opinion) who actually cares.

Bethany & Borthany

Bethany & Borthany

 

Seriously. Who cares.

Cadbury Creme Eggs are the same as Peeps to me. Something you eat once a year and go “oh, yeah, I remember why I don’t eat these all year: because these are gross.”

Seriously. I am all for some novelty candy.

But let’s seriously take stock of this.

Candy corns?

Via wikipedia

via Wikipedia

Kinda gross. That dude you’re ashamed you made out with.

Mellowcreme pumpkin candy?

Via thecandylandstore

via thecandylandstore

The hotter version of candy corns. So, hot and gross. That dude you were initially proud you made out with (Good pull!) but then you he gave you a cold sore.

Marshmallow Peeps?

Via sodahead

via sodahead

That dude you think you should make out with, so you try it every year, and every year you go, “NOPE. WHY DIDN’T I REMEMBER THIS FROM LAST YEAR.”

Candy Hearts?

Via thesinglepartyofone

via thesinglepartyofone

That dude who tries to make out with you and you immediately have to make out with someone else to cleanse your palette.

Jellybeans?

via Candywarehouse. Obviously.

via Candywarehouse. Obviously.

via Wikipedia

via Wikipedia

A set of twins. One is hot (Jelly Belly) and one is not (Brach’s). You make out with the hot one sober and the ugly one drunk.

Brach’s Christmas Tree Nougat?

via CandyWarehouse (obviously again)

via CandyWarehouse (obviously again)

A really good looking guy who doesn’t know he’s good looking. You made out with him once, but you don’t know his name and you can’t find him again. (Obviously I love this candy. I have unrequited love for this candy.)

How does this relate to Cadbury Creme Eggs? Only tangentially. Which goes back to my original point:

I love the internet.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Year, New You: Fake Cleanse

I’m doing a cleanse!

Sorta!

Listen, I’m never going to be a juice cleanse person. Cause this sounds terrible. (But I’m obsessed with the way she wrote it…)

I like my juice next to a plate of bacon and eggs, where it belongs.

Thanks, fineartamerica, for this cheesy breakfast picture. (Actual cheese not pictured.)

Thanks, fineartamerica, for this cheesy breakfast picture. (Actual cheese not pictured.)

But, at the end of the year, I was overindulging a bit more than I was just plain indulging. So I figured I needed to hit the reset button. That’s when I saw that Bon Appetit magazine is doing it’s annual Food Lover’s Cleanse.

Now, I’ve very recently been gifted with a subscription to Bon Appetit for my birdday (Ally is the BEST!) so I paid extra attention.

It seems that Bon Appetit has been doing this Food Lover’s Cleanse for a few years now. What it is is this:

  • Guidelines for healthy eating
    • Nothing on this list will surprise you. None of it surprised me. But it’s a basic reminder to increase your water, increase your vegetables and cut back on alcohol and sweets. What did surprise me (pleasantly!) is that they don’t want you to calorie count. They’re just about conscious eating. Conscious uncoupling with some bad habits and consciously coupling with better ones as is relates to what you eat. Sounds fair to me.
  • Recipes for their 2 week cleanse
    • From January 2-15, they have recipes every day to give you a lovely roadmap of how to do this cleanse. They provide you with the shopping list for two shopping trips that cover all the foodstuffs.
  • Daily Inspiration
    • Every day, BA posts the daily menu and a little write up. Affirmation + blog + instruction.

There are so many things that I love about this. It’s Bon Appetit, these people love food. They live for food. They “share life through the lens of food.” (Is there any other lens, really?)

So, they’re focusing on healthy eating practices that don’t cut out the things you love (dessert! snacks! some booze!) but includes things you do love (dessert! snacks! some booze!)

I wanted to do this cleanse. But I struggled as a household of one to figure out how to buy all the food and not waste all the leftovers. Many of the recipes serve 4 (sometimes 8) and I didn’t want to be wasteful.

But I’m so in love with the principles, I might marry them.

So, for the first two weeks of 2015, I’m trying to be a bit more mindful about what I’m eating. Cut back on the booze. Increase the veg. Hopefully, it’ll feel good. Hopefully, the principles will carry on beyond the first two weeks.

But let’s not get carried away…

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Welcome 2015: New Year’s Beach

Happy New Year, people.

It’s 2015 and apparently the millennium was 15 years ago. So, there’s that. Fortunately, the Willennium is still going strong and will never, ever end.)

4117PYF1RAL

I was lucky enough to ring in New Year at the beach in North Carolina with friends old and new. It was my second trip to Southport/Oak Island with Anna and Kevin and we BALLED SO HARD.*

*As you all know, ‘balled so hard’ means cooking, eating at restaurants, baking, drinking a few beers, watching movies and antiquing. Wait, what do other people mean when they ball so hard?

Anna is one of my favorite people to cook and eat with because she’s up for anything. (One of the many reasons I love her!) We threw together a delicious feast for New Year’s Eve dinner where everything was so perfect because we’re really amazing cooks and we’re great at everything forever.

If my sarcasm wasn’t coming through there, well, it should’ve been.

We DID throw together a delicious feast for New Year’s Eve. Kevin and his brother-in-law, Marty, grilled some pork tenderloins and shrimp. Anna and I concentrated on making some amazing copycat Red Lobster Cheddar Bay biscuits. I wasn’t going to go to Red Lobster anytime soon, and now, I’ll never need to go again!

Seriously though, the last time I was at a Red Lobster was after the softball Final Four my sophomore year of high school. We’d just lost in the semifinals and we were in the middle of nowhere Florida and the only place to eat was Red Lobster. My dad ordered a baked potato and there was a cockroach BAKED INTO HIS POTATO. He alerted the server, who alerted the manager, who promptly came over and gave my dad some Red Lobster Bucks as an apology. My dad left the Red Lobster Bucks as a tip because THEY DID NOT COMP HIS MEAL. Absurd.

But their biscuits are bomb as hell.

In addition to our biscuits, Anna made some lovely bacon brussels sprouts. And she and I collaborated on a really terrible cake. We had the idea to do a tres leches cakes (that’s three milks, y’all). We found a relatively unfussy recipe from FoodNetwork.com. I won’t go into details, but basically, it overcooked on the outside and didn’t bake AT ALL in the middle. We followed instructions! It was gross.

Redemption came two days later when we made an improvised Cranberry Cake out of ingredients we had in the pantry. We made them as cupcakes, which made us feel like we had the God given right to eat as many of them as possible.

As I mentioned, we BALLED SO HARD by eating at some of the local restaurants. WHAT?!!? WE ARE SO GD RICH WE ARE BASICALLY OPRAH!!!!

The food at the beach is really fun. Obviously a generalization, but it is unpretentious and focused on simple food with big flavor. These three places are terrific and should not be missed on a trip to Southport/Oak Island.

  • Terry’s Barbecue: This is a relatively new barbecue joint and it is the real deal. The chef/owner, Terry, is classically trained and spent years in big city catering. His retirement plan was to open up this tiny barbecue joint and do what he loved. We took it to go, since there isn’t a dining room yet (next spring, they say!) The pulled pork is excellent, served with an North Carolina vinegar sauce as well as a thick, sweet sauce, but the ribs? The ribs are the star of the show. They were smoky and falling off the bone. Go to Terry’s. Don’t tell him I sent you because he does not know who I am.

    Dat barbecue, tho.

  • Loco Jo’s Grill: A trip to the beach isn’t complete until you’ve had Loco Jo’s. It doesn’t make sense to have fish tacos on a menu with shrimp egg rolls, but it’s delicious and somehow all works together. I would’ve taken pictures of my food, but I was too busy eating it. Sue me.
  • Fat Andy’s: This is a wonderful example of food executed perfectly in a no-frills environment. It’s a cash-only place on the side of the road with picnic tables outside. Ain’t nobody got time for indoor seating. This burger was absolutely delicious. Every component was super fresh, served alongside the crispiest fries I’ve ever eaten. Fulton appreciated the fries as much as we did.

IMG_3343 FullSizeRender

At any rate, my first trip back to North Carolina was a great one. It was wonderful to spend time with Anna and Kevin and meet Anna’s sister, Susan, and her husband, Marty. I was also really lucky that my other friend Anna happened to be in town as well. I got to spend one morning hanging out with the Annas drinking bloody Marys and comparing Serial theories. Even more random, I ran into one of my theatre professors at a coffee shop.

2014 was a year of a lot of change for me. It’s been exciting and hard and scary and wonderful and sad, sometimes all at the same time. But it seems that fate was reminding me at the end of the year that even though I’ve physically left my friends, my friends haven’t left me. Sappy though that may sound.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled balling: 2015 style.

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits from Damn Delicious

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
For the topping:
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper, if using.In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together buttermilk and butter. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist. Gently fold in cheese.

Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, scoop the batter evenly onto the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. For the topping, whisk together butter, parsley and garlic powder in a small bowl. Working one at a time, brush the tops of the biscuits with the butter mixture.

Serve immediately. Leave no biscuit behind.

Better than the original because you don't have to go into a Red Lobster to eat them!

Better than the original because you don’t have to go into a Red Lobster to eat them!

Cranberry Cake from The Kitchn

Makes one 10-inch springform cake. Alternately: Four 4-cup loaves or 24 to 30 cupcakes.
Ingredients:
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed and softened at room temperature for 1 hour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups cranberries (12-ounce bag)

Optional pecan topping | This topping is optional, but should not be dismissed.

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, unroasted

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 10-inch springform pan (or a collection of smaller pans. This make 10 to 12 cups of batter.)

Use a stand mixer or hand beaters to beat the eggs and sugar until very smooth and increased in volume. If using a stand mixer, beat on medium speed for 4 to 7 minutes, using the whip attachment. If using hand beaters, beat on high speed for 6 to 8 minutes. The egg and sugar mixture will double in volume and turn very pale yellow, leaving ribbons on top of the batter when you lift the beaters.

Beat in the butter, vanilla, and almond extract, if using. Beat for 2 minutes or until the butter is smoothly incorporated.

Use a spatula to fold in the flour, salt, and cranberries. The batter will be quite thick. Spread gently into the prepared pan.

To prepare the optional pecan topping, heat the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sugar and stir. Add the pecans and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring, until the butter and sugar mixture is shiny and smooth and the nuts are well-coated with the butter and sugar. Spread over the cake batter.

Bake 60 to 80 minutes for the springform. For smaller pans, start checking after 30 minutes, but expect small loaves to take at least 40 minutes. Tent the cake with foil in the last 30 minutes of baking to keep the top from browning (this is especially important for the pecan topping).

Cool for 20 minutes then run a knife around the inside edge of the pan and remove the cake. Cool for an hour before serving.

The cake keeps and freezes well. To store, wrap the fully cooled cake tightly in plastic wrap and leave in a dry, cool place for up to 1 week.

To freeze, wrap the fully cooled cake in plastic wrap and then foil. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature, still wrapped.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
curiouser & curiouser

a collection of the delicious & delightful

Food and Brew Review

Triad restaurants and farms and craft beer! Oh my!

Motherhood - WHAT?!

Making it through motherhoodhood with the grace of a camel on ice skates

costablancamama

A Spanish Adventure - raising kids and giving birth in Spain

PornBurger

Burger Perverts Welcome

NC | NY

bringing a little bit of the south to the city

Erin Lesica

Real Food. Fake Blog.

The Crafty Cook Nook

Preserving Food, Stories, and Place

Justin Timberlake Does Things

Real Food. Fake Blog.

Feed Me Phoebe

{ health, hedonism & all the delicious things in between }

pancussion

Real Food. Fake Blog.

The Frenemy.

Real Food. Fake Blog.

THE KIDS ARE RELATIVELY OKAY

Real Food. Fake Blog.

Curious And Curiouser

I Find the World Curious

POPSUGAR Food

Real Food. Fake Blog.

This American Wife

Real Food. Fake Blog.

Eat, Live, Run

Real Food. Fake Blog.

So Delushious !

personal random ramblings from a girl who loves bacon and can't be fat.

Seasoned to Taste

I'm just a girl with an appetite.