Chocolate Cinnamon Cranberry Cake

Full of festive flavours, my chocolate cinnamon cranberry cake will bring a lovely cinnamon fragrance to your kitchen. Smelling cinnamon always makes me think of Christmas and other holidays and celebrations! This cake reminds me of a very good brownie however it is light and fluffy, and the tartness of cranberries compliments the chocolate perfectly.

Just like me, cranberries are native to North America and are grown in abundance in Canada and northern USA. Their bright red colour indicates their abundance of antioxidants, and being somewhat sour they are high in vitamin C. Many folks drink a daily small glass of cranberry juice to support their health, and when I was a midwife many years ago cranberry juice was often recommended by the health service in England.

I like to serve a slice of this delicious cake with a really good homemade vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped double cream. You could also offer a glass of mulled wine or mulled cranberry apple juice for even more Christmas or Thanksgiving spirit.

This recipe is suitable for Thermomix TM5 and TM31.

ACTIVE TIME 10 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME HOURS

SERVES 12 SLICES

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Ingredients

  • 180 g butter cut in pieces, or coconut oil, plus 1 tsp for greasing
  • 130 g whole almonds – see tips
  • 50 g unsweetened cocoa powder, minimum 20% cocoa butter content – see tips
  • 180 g unrefined (raw) cane sugar
  • 2 heaped tsp ground cinnamon – see tips
  • 4 large eggs
  • 50 g whey (see tips) or almond milk
  • 120 g fresh or frozen cranberries – see tips to use dried cranberries

Method

  1. Grease base and sides of a round springform or loose bottom cake tin (4-5 cm deep x 20 cm diameter) with 1 tsp butter, then line base with a circle of baking paper; set prepared tin aside.
  2. Grind almonds 15 sec/speed 10.
  3. Add 180 g butter, cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, eggs and whey then mix 30 sec/speed 5, transfer batter to prepared cake tin, cover tin with a plate and set aside to rest 6 hours (3-4 hours in a hot climate). At the point at which the cake is ready to bake you will see little bubbles forming on the surface – this resting time improves flavour and digestibility; see tips for a quick version.
  4. Preheat oven to 180°C without fan/160°C with fan/350°F/gas 4/Aga baking oven – see 2nd tip for an Aga without baking oven.
  5. Remove plate from top of cake tin and carefully stir in cranberries (see 5th tip if using dried), then bake 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Set aside on a wire rack to cool completely, then remove from tin and place on a lovely plate or cake stand to serve.

Janie’s Tips

  1. Ground almonds or almond meal may be used instead of whole almonds, in which case skip step 2 and add with other ingredients in step 3.
  2. If you have made your own almond milk for this recipe, you will probably have some squeezed almond pulp leftover – this can be used instead of some or all of the almonds in step 2; there will be no need to grind if you are replacing all the whole almonds.
  3. Cinnamon bark can easily be ground in your Thermomix. Freshly ground cinnamon tastes and smells a million times better than pre-ground and is definitely worth the extra effort.
  4. To make 50 g whey, strain 125 g homemade or store bought organic live yoghurt through a nut milk bag or line the internal steaming basket with a double layer of cheesecloth. Place the bag/lined basket over a bowl or measuring jug. The whey is the clear yellow liquid that drains out (stop when you have 50 g whey), and the thickened yoghurt left in the bag or cheesecloth is Greek yoghurt: transfer leftover whey to a sterilised glass jar with a sterilised lid and store in fridge to use in other recipes, and enjoy eating the Greek yoghurt!
  5. Instead of fresh or frozen cranberries, you can use 80 g dried cranberries and 60 g water in step 5.
  6. Check the label on your cocoa powder for the fat content – it should be at least 20% for good flavour in this recipe. If the fat content is low (some are 1-5%) then add 15 g extra butter or coconut oil.
  7. For an Aga range cooker without a baking oven, bake 18-22 minutes in roasting oven on rack on floor with cold plain shelf inserted two sets of runners above top of cake tin – bake just until a skewer inserted in middle of cake comes out clean.
  8. If you are in a hurry, the cranberries can be added and the cake baked straight after mixing, however the flavour will be much better with the resting time.
  9. This recipe is gluten free – please read your ingredients labels to ensure all your ingredients are gluten free.
  10. For dairy free, use dairy free cocoa powder, use coconut oil instead of butter and almond milk instead of whey.
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