Cranberry Almond “Louise Cake” for Thanksgiving

This cake was inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s amazing dessert book, “Sweet.” “Louise Cake” is a favorite treat in New Zealand and usually made with raspberry jam. Adding cranberries to this cake makes it an easy Thanksgiving dessert. I used gluten free flour but you could easily use regular all-purpose flour if gluten is not a consideration.

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (or vegan butter), room temp.

1/2 cup cane sugar

zest of 1 lemon

3 large egg yolks

1 cup gluten free flour blend of your choice (or all-purpose flour)

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tbs. shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup whole milk (or non-dairy milk)

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 12 oz. package of fresh cranberries

1 cup sugar (preferably cane sugar)

1/4 cup of water

1/4 cup of orange juice

optional addition: 2 tbs. finely chopped candied ginger.

meringue:

5 oz. egg whites (140 g.) from 3 1/2 large eggs

3/4 cup plus 3 tbs. sugar (185 g.)

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup sliced, toasted almonds

2 tbs. shredded, toasted coconut

Method of Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread the almonds and coconut on a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 375 F.

Line the bottom of a 9″ springform pan with parchment paper and grease the sides of the pan and the parchment paper.

Place the butter and lemon zest in a bowl of a standing mixture or use a hand mixer. Beat on medium high until light and creamy. Add the egg yolks, one at time, scraping the sides of the bowl in between additions. Beat until fully combined. Sift the gluten-free flour (or all-purpose flour), baking powder and salt into a medium sized bowl, add the shredded coconut. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture alternately with the milk. Add the vanilla extract. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Set aside to cool slightly. Lower the oven to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, place one 12 oz. package cranberries in a sauce pan with 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of orange juice. Cook over medium-low until the berries begin to pop and the mixture is thick and coats the back of a spoon. (Optional: add the chopped crystallized ginger if using) Cool until just slightly warm.

For the meringue:

Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of a mixer and beat with a whisk until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Add the vanilla and cornstarch and whisk again until combine. Fold in the toasted coconut and almonds.

Spread 3/4 of the cranberry jam over the top of the cake. Top the cranberries with the meringue, spreading it with a spatula to create small peaks and waves. Bake for 15-20 minutes or the meringue has formed a crust and is lightly brown.

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