On Being Inspired

June 11, 2012

Cranberry Upside Down Cake | At Down Under | Viviane Perenyi

The couple of times, I've seen fresh and local cranberries here, I've been hesitant to buy them. Unsure I'd like them and mostly how to cook them -I know, that might sound odd to you if you're a North American reader. A week ago, I overcome my indecision and grabbed a bag full of these ruby berries. For several days, they sited in the fridge before I spot a recipe in one of the books I've been offered recently. Books which have been a great source of inspiration, I should say. Such a good feeling, to be inspired. When enthusiasm, willingness and idea collide. A positive mindset that triggers action and prompted me for example, to go and stroll in the streets, camera in hands... And an outcome I might share with you on a later stage.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake | At Down Under | Viviane Perenyi

But for now let's go back in the kitchen, where the cranberries have been lovingly baked into an upside down cake, from an original recipe of La Tartine Gourmande Recipes for an Inspired Life.

The book, a faithful version of Béa's beautiful blog, is indeed visually inspiring and well put together with personal stories and anecdotes that I've enjoyed reading. As described, the cake is moist and gave to Paprika and I our very first taste of cranberry. Baked with ingredients from my pantry, I've made slight changes that give a subtle and pleasant coconut flavour to the original recipe.

Cranberries and Upside Down Cake | At Down Under | Viviane Perenyi </br> Upside Down Cranberry Cake Makes one 9-inch round cake

Adapted from the book La Tartine Gourmande Recipes for an Inspired Life (My changes included between brackets)

For the cranberry topping 1 tbsp/ 14g / 1/2 oz butter 3 cups/ 300g / 10 1/2 oz fresh cranberries 2 tbsp blond cane sugar

For the cake batter 1/2 cup plain whole yogurt ( 70ml coconut milk + 70ml yogurt) 1/2 cup/ 100g / 3 1/2 oz blond cane sugar 1/3 cup olive oil (5tbsp+1tsp) 1 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped out 1/4 tsp saffron threads (none) 3 large eggs 1/2 cup/ 60g / 2 oz quinoa flour or millet flour (45g coconut flour) 1/2 cup/ 90g / 3 oz brown rice flower (105g) 1/3 cup/ 40g / 1 1/2 oz almond meal (desiccated coconut) 2 tbsp cornstarch 2 tsp baking powder (none) 1/2 tsp baking soda (1 1/2 tsp) Pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Cut a round piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the sides and bottom of the cake mold. Butter the cake mold and line it with the parchment paper; set aside. To prepare the cranberry topping: In a pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the cranberries and sugar and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until the cranberries soften slightly. Transfer the cranberries to the cake mold, spreading them to cover the bottom entirely. To prepare the cake batter: In a large bowl, beat the yogurt (and coconut milk) with the sugar. Stir in the olive oil, vanilla seeds, saffron and eggs. In a separate bowl, combine the quinoa (coconut) and brown rice flours, the almond meal (desiccated coconut), cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix thoroughly, taking care not to overwork the batter. Pour the batter over the cranberries, place in the oven, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the blade of a knife inserted in the cake comes out dry. Carefully flip the cake onto a plate and let cool slightly before removing the parchment paper. Serve with plain yogurt or whipped cream.

This is my entry to Sweet NZ hosted this month by Shirleen of Sugar and Spice

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Les quelques fois où j'ai vu des canneberges fraîches et locales ici en Nouvelle Zélande, j'ai souvent hésité à les acheter. Incertaine que leur goût me plaise et plus important que je sache les préparer. Il y a une semaine de cela, j'ai dépassé mon indécision et j'ai attrapé un paquet plein de ces baies couleur rubis. Pendant plusieurs jours, elles sont restées dans le frigo avant que je ne repère une recette dans un des livres qui m'ont été offerts récemment. Livres qui je dois le dire, sont une grande source d'inspiration. Une bien bonne sensation que d'être inspirée. Lorsque l'enthousiasme, la volonté et les idées se rencontrent. Un état d'esprit positif qui déclenche l'action et m'a poussé, par exemple, à parcourir les rues de la ville, appareil photo en main... Résultat que je partagerai sans doute avec vous dans un futur proche.

Mais pour l'instant, retournons en cuisine, où les canneberges ont été cuites avec amour dans un gâteau renversé, recette originale tirée du livre La Tartine Gourmande Recipes for an Inspired Life. Le livre, une fidèle version du joli blog de Béa est en effet, visuellement inspirant et bien ficelé avec des histoires personnelles et anecdotes que j'ai pris plaisir à lire. Comme décrit, le gâteau est moelleux et a donné à Paprika et moi même notre tout premier goût des canneberges. Préparé avec les ingrédients de mon placard, j'ai fait quelques changements qui ont donné une saveur subtile et plaisante de coco à la recette originale.


It’s great to be inspired by a new ingredient. I feel like I’m constantly being inspired. To the point of being overwhelmed. There’s so much to do, to taste, to cook and only so little time. I constantly add to lists of things I’d like to try and sadly, it gets longer rather than shorter. Your cranberry cake looks amazing. Well done first timer! Bunny Eats Design

Jessica Cox, thank you ! I do like the combination of flours too. They give character to the cake. Leaf, thank you ! Allesistgut, a slice and a cup of tea and you have a happy girl ! Girlinafoodfrenzy, thank you. Béa’s work has always been an inspiration to me. And speaking about cranberries, like most berries they are so photogenic. Dimitra, efkaristo ! Sara, thank you. Ceciliag, they grow them now in the South Island it seems. Thank you for your kind words. Sherijkennedyriverside, thank you, that’s the best compliment ! El Oso con Botas, thanks ! Thyme, oh I would trade a slice of my cranberry cake for one of your pineapple cake ! Peasepudding, I think it’s often prepared on a savory way, which I should try next time. Vanille

Delicious looking! It’s make me hungry :) i can’t wait to eat this! Rotisserie Chicken Rub

OMG this is gorgeous. What a great pictures. First time to your site and loving it. Am so happy to find your blog. I cant wait to try this one:) Will keep coming:) Nina http://thefoodielovers.com Nina

Stunning photos! Sara

You must be thrilled with the outcome, i am growing cranberries here. It took me a long time to warm to them though. Being from NZ I had never even seen them before i came here to the US. This is such a beautiful cake and sensational images.. thank you.. c.. ceciliag

Well the only kind of cranberries we get in these parts are dried. I am planning my yearly trip to the US next month and I think I’ll try this with blue berries that will be in season. I will change up some of the flours though as they are not necessarily pantry items for me :) So good to visit. Cynthia

A fabulous cake! So delicious looking. I love Béa’s work. A great inspiration indeed. Cheers, Rosa Rosa May (@RosasYummyYums)

The cranberries look stunning in that cake! leaf (the indolent cook)

This cake looks delicious. And I can imagine it tastes delicious, too! allesistgut

Beautiful. Your cake is stunning and the adaptation to the original recipes inspired. I love all the photos, especially the one in which those cranberries look like beautiful jewels nestled in amongst that wooden box, so lovely. girlinafoodfrenzy

Vanille your posts are always so beautiful! Your recipes and photos are pure magic!… Actually, since I’m planning to purchase a new camera, could you please mail me the camera you’ re shooting with? Thank you very much in advance, Dimitra (Creta Island) PS: Do you speak Greek?! Dimitra

Lovely cake, Vanille! Funny, like you, I’ve been looking at those bags of cranberries and haven’t actually bought any yet for some reason - but now I definitely will. I really love the flavours in this cake too - specially your mix of coconut milk and yoghurt :) timeforalittlesomething

Yum! I wish I could cut a slice right now. That’s cool that you get fresh and local cranberries. Ours are always shipped in. Sarah

This is amazing! Wow. Oster’s Mom

[…] Down Under – On Being Inspired - An upside down cranberry cake. This a truly stunning cake. And I’ve been spotting bags of […] Friday’s Favourite Five | Time for a Little Something

The colours are just so beautiful I could stare at them forever! Love the cake and I like that you used coconut flour. Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul

Looks delicious¡¡ El Oso con Botas

Love the photos! You made me crave cranberries! sherijkennedyriverside

So glad you’ve hopped on the cranberry wagon… they are marvelous, aren’t they? Many different ways to coax amazing flavors out of those gorgeous little red drops. Yours is a stunning example. heather

Ce gâteau a l’air tout simplement excellent ! Ici je n’en trouve pas des canneberges fraîches, c’est dommage ! argone

What a beautiful cake and the colors are so perfect for your time of year. I made a pineapple upside cake but this would be a fun version of it too. thyme (sarah)

Beautiful Viviane, and a wonderful way to use cranberries peasepudding

Such gorgeous colours! I’ve never seen a fresh cranberry before and would be equally cautious. Looks like you made a fantastic success of it :) shaz

Your photos are gorgeous!…and don’t get me started on how good that cake looks! Love the blend of ancient grain flours. Jessica Cox

WOW. Just WOW. (inspiring, indeed!) Zen and Genki

A stunning cake with rich ruby colors that are so inviting. Sylvie Shirazi (@gourmandeinthek)

Love cranberries and this cake looks a perfect combination. Domestic Executive (@domesticexec)

Let’s try that again from the right account… What a beautiful post. We take for granted our cranberries here in Wisconsin, but your lovely post (and gorgeous photos) make me realize what a gift we have right underneath our noses. Thank YOU. Lo

I love cranberry upside down cake. I haven’t made this version, but I have made Alice Waters’s version from her cookbook The Art of Simple Food. Its one of my favorite cakes. If you have a chance you might want to try cheesecake topped with cranberry sauce. Its another of my favs. Melissa

The colors are just beguiling - such loveliness and drama! The cake is gorgeous and I am eager to try this when it turns into cranberry season in my part of the world. Liren Baker (@kitchconfidante)

I love the gorgeous purple depth you have captured in the cake. like you, I’ve been a little wary of cooking with them but you have given me crans-piration! chewtown

This looks beautiful. I can’t wait to try the recipe! Incidentally, if you’re looking for an easy relish for roasted chicken/turkey, I make a criminally easy cranberry sauce for American Thanksgiving (where I live) or a traditional English roast (my husband is a Brit) 1 cup fresh cranberries 1 apple 1 orange 1 cup sugar Take the cranberries, the peeled/cored apple, the peeled/seeded orange and the cup of sugar, and put in a blender until the consistency of applesauce. The end. It tastes best if it sits for a couple of hours after blending. Enjoy your cranberries! Karen from Chookooloonks

I’m a big cranberry fan - I use them a lot at Christmas. They’re a lot harsher and sourer than other berries, but the flavour and colour is amazing once you’re used to it. This cake is beautiful - I love the dramatic dark lighting in the top photo! hungryandfrozen