Pratik and I were in France recently and though I would love to write a separate post about the details of our trip, for now, here's a quick one line summary: Marseille is beautiful, Cassis is paradise, we didnt even know places like Aigues-Mortes and Les Baux existed, the Eiffel Tower is all worth the hype and the Arc de Triomphe was our favorite tourist attraction. The reason I mentioned our trip was that if you happen to visit Paris (or for that matter any other city in France) you cannot miss the many cafes and boulangeries (bakeries) that line every street of this fascinating city. That's the first thing that I noticed when I got there (obviously!). I wish I could experiment every single cake I ate during my stay in France, but here is a recipe which I can say turned out to be quite close to the taste of one that I had during my cake-and-pastry-filled vacation.
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup dried tropical mix
1/2 cup coarsely chopped unsalted cashews
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Butter a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 325 deg F.
3. In a sauce pan (over medium heat), mix the sugar, water, butter, spices, cranberries, tropical mix. Boil for 5 minutes and set aside to cool until luke warm. Add the cashews.
4. Stir the flour (seived twice), baking soda and vanilla extract into this mixture.
5. Pour the batter into the buttered pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (About 30-45 minutes, depending on your oven).
6. Remove the from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack.
7. Cover and store the cake for few days if possible before serving.
8. Say hello to Paris from the comfort of your home!