Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Upside Down Cakes

In the past, I have made the traditional Pineapple Upside Down cake. But that where it always end and it was never anything different. Then the wheels in my head began to turn (it was quite noisy too), why not use different fruit? So into my laboratory I go and the results were quite impressive and delicious. Today I will share with you three of those delicious recipes, so enjoy.
chocolate caramel banana cake

Chocolate-Caramel-Banana Upside-Down Cake
The upside-down cake is a big favorite of mine. After the Bundt, of course. And no worries...I'm not going to make 30 days of upside-down cakes. Because people who do that kind of thing are just crazy.
Some brown sugar and butter is heated to make caramel. A layer of bananas is placed on top. Then a chocolate cake tops the banana-caramel mixture. I thought there was a bit too much caramel, making the cake a bit too sweet.
1 stick butter
¾ c. light brown sugar
3 ripe bananas cut into 1/4-inch slices
¾ c. plus 2 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. (¼ c. plus 2 tbsp.) unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
¾ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs (room temp)
2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350. Use a 9" x 2" cake pan.
Heat butter over medium heat until melted and foamy. Whisk in brown sugar, turn heat to low and cook, whisking constantly, for two minutes or until the mixture is thick. Spread on the bottom of the 9" cake pan.
Arrange the bananas in a circle on top of the sugar mixture. Set aside.
Sift together flour, cocoa, soda and salt.
Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy using a mixer. Scrape down sides of bowl.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
Stir in vanilla.
On low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk (3 flour and 2 milk additions).
Scrape down the sides and then beat batter on high for 30 seconds.
Pour batter over the bananas and smooth out.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let sit on wire rack for 5 minutes. Then carefully invert onto your serving tray. Let sit at least 20 minutes before diving in.


2 tbsp. butter
¾ c. brown sugar
1 tsp. instant coffee (dry)
2 thinly sliced oranges
1 c. sugar for cooking oranges
¼ c. butter (softened)
1 ½ c. sugar
2 c. flour
¼ c. ground cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ c. milk
1 tsp. Cointreau or French 44(made from orange and coffee beans)
2 tbsp. white vinegar
In a nonstick shallow pan melt 2 tbsp. butter and mix in the instant coffee and then spread the brown sugar evenly over the pan. (use a 9 inch pan)
Very thinly slice the oranges and simmer them in water for about 6 minutes. Drain and then add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water , return the oranges to the pan and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes until the sugar thickens. Remove the orange slices and arrange them on the brown sugar and butter and coffee. Drizzle some of the thick sugar from the sugared orange step over the arranged oranges.
Cream the butter and the sugar. Sift the flour with the ground chocolate and soda and add to the butter and sugar and alternately with the milk. Add the Cointreau (or French 44) and beat well. Finally , add the vinegar and beat again..
Pour into the pan over the oranges and bake in a 350  oven for about 30 to 40 minutes. (Do not overfill the pan...the mixture rises and will overflow if you put too much in the pan. Remove...wait a few minutes and invert the pan onto a plate so the oranges are on the top.

gingerbread apple upside down

Gingerbread Apple Upside-Down Cake
I cut the molasses and added honey in the cake, and caramelized the sugar for the topping. That change added a really nice caramel flavor to the apples. After pouring the brown sugar/butter topping on the bottom of the pan, Fuji apples were placed on top.
This has a LOT of batter. The recipe calls for a 10" pan. I baked it in a 9 x 3 inch pan, and I think it would go way up to the top (if not overflow) a 9 x 2 inch pan. So, if you don't have the recommended 10" pan and use a 9 x 2, I wouldn't add all the batter (make a little mini cake to go along with this cake!)
Because I was using a 9" pan, I had to bake it a lot longer than the recipe...65 minutes.
This cake is delicious! It takes like fall on a plate. I loved the gingerbread cake so much I could just eat that without the apples...but that would be silly because the apples rock it too.
2 tbsp. butter, plus extra for greasing pan
½ c. dark brown sugar
Pinch of salt
4 apples (about 1 ¾ pounds), peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch wedges
½ c. (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, at room temperature
½ c. sugar
1 large egg
2/3 c. molasses
1 c. buttermilk
2 ¼ c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
Note: This has a LOT of batter. The recipe calls for a 10" pan. I baked it in a 9 x 3 inch pan, and I think it would go way up to the top (and might overflow) a 9 x 2 inch pan. So, if you don't have the recommended 10" pan and use a 9 x 2, I wouldn't add all the batter (make a little mini cake to go along with this cake!)
Make the topping: Preheat the oven to 325. Grease a 10-inch cake pan (I used a 9" x 3 cake pan). Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add brown sugar and simmer over moderate heat, stirring until thick. I really liked the nice caramel flavor. Remove from heat and pour into the bottom of your cake pan. Make circles of overlapping apple slices on top of the caramel.
Make the batter: Using a mixer with paddle attachment, beat ½ cup (1 stick) butter and the sugar on medium-low speed. Increase the speed to high and cream until light and fluffy. In a bowl, whisk together the egg, molasses, honey and buttermilk. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Alternate mixing the flour and molasses mixtures into the butter mixture, adding the next once the last has been incorporated. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes (in a 10" pan) or until a wooden tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (It took me 65 minutes in a 9 x 3" pan.) Let cool on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a platter.

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