Friday, January 4, 2013

Brilliant Brunch: Eggnog Cranberry & Coconut Cake

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John and I took a quick trip to the North End last week while we were visiting his family.  It was really bittersweet; sweet in that I will always hold that area very close to my heart, and getting to spend just a little time there was wonderful to rejuvenate my soul.  Bitter, though, because I still really miss it.  I’m not sure if it’s the lifestyle I’ve left behind, the neighborhood and its people, or just how much I had done there, how proud I was to make a life of my own.  Maybe it’s all 3.
Last winter, when I first moved to NY, I was struck by the amount of spare change I found literally every single week.  It tapered off eventually but then, there would be a shiny penny or dime when I least expected it, as if it had been placed there just for me.  I started to take each one as a sign that I was literally on the right path (superstitious, I know, but I’m okay with that).  My first day in our new apartment, I walked up to the train station and found a penny on the stairs.    I couldn’t help but feel reassured I had made the right decision.  And so it continued. 

Already this year, I have a lot of decisions to make in my quest to be “MORE”.  But, every day in 2013 thus far, I’ve found a penny.  I’m choosing to take it as a sign that my journey this year will be long (362 days left) and maybe fraught with obstacles but being here in NYC, with John, pursuing my passions and goals, is where I’m supposed to be.  I’m making the right decisions; I’m on the right path.  And with that knowledge, there is only sweetness – like this cake which hits all the right notes and is the perfect way to use up your leftover eggnog and cranberries!

Eggnog Cranberry & Coconut Cake (adapted from Baker's Royale)
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons orange liquer
¾ cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons eggnog
1/2 cup cranberries, diced small

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 12 cup bundt pan of your choice with cooking spray and set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk flour, coconut, and baking powder until blended. Transfer the mixture to a small food processor and process until coconut is coarse crumbs.  Remove the mixture and place back into the bowl.  Set aside. 

In a separate bowl, beat the sugar, eggs, and orange liquer until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Keeping the mixer running, gradually add in the oil and beat for an additional 2-5 minutes.  Continue to mix while adding the eggnog.  Beat until well-combined.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones and then add in the cranberries, stirring until well-combined and the diced cranberries are evenly distributed.  

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool completely before serving.

Until the next time my oven is on...

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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