Tag: upside down cake

Blood Orange and Rosemary Upside Down Cake

Blood Orange Rosemary Upside Down Cake

I already had my post written for today’s bright orange Sunday cake, but then, yesterday’s news from the US hit me. It felt so wrong to just write about a recipe, my mood, my day; why should I write about me and my food, when on the other side of the Atlantic, a single man throws everything away that our so called civilized world claims to stand for. How can we, or the president of the United States, ban citizens from certain countries (Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria) from putting their feet onto American ground?

I’m German, my country’s history shows what happens when we tolerate and support the insane actions of a single man. Didn’t we learn anything? Is it still possible for us to allow a man to run a country who doesn’t show the slightest feeling of compassion? Didn’t we, in the western world, hypocrites, arrogantly accuse other countries of exactly that?

Before I was sad, now I’m concerned.

And yes, I baked a cake. It’s an upside down cake – for an upside down world – made with Sicilian blood oranges. It looks like a glowing Mediterranean sunset, peaceful. Some prefer to cut off the citrus fruits’ peel, I leave mine on for a tangy touch. I first sliced and then cooked three fruits in sugar water with a sprig of fresh rosemary to infuse the pulp. About half an hour later they were soft, ready to become the fruity base of a light and fluffy upside down cake, thanks to beaten egg white folded into the batter. The citrus is very present, which I like, the herbal note is subtle. If you prefer you can use less fruits, but I recommend creating a thick juicy layer of orange slices. They keep the cake wonderfully moist and fruity, also on the second day.

Blood Orange Rosemary Upside Down Cake

 

Blood Orange Rosemary Upside Down Cake

Blood Orange and Rosemary Upside Down Cake

Makes 1 (20 1/2cm / 8″) cake

For the oranges

water 120ml / 1/2 cup
granulated sugar 100g / 1/2 cup
organic blood oranges, rinsed, scrubbed, and the ends cut off, 3
medium sprig of rosemary 1, plus a few needles finely chopped (optional)

For the dough

plain flour 200g / 1 1/2 cups
baking powder 2 teaspoons
butter, at room temperature, 80g / 1/3 cup
granulated sugar 150g / 3/4 cup
organic eggs, separated, 2
vanilla pod, split and scraped, 1/2
milk 100ml / 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon
fine sea salt 1/8 teaspoon

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Butter and line a 20 1/2cm / 8″springform pan.

For the oranges, in a large saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil over medium high heat. Stir and let the sugar dissolve. Cut the oranges into thin slices. Reduce the heat to medium, layer the orange slices in the sugar water, and simmer gently for about 25-30 minutes or until soft, but still in shape. Using a slotted ladle, transfer the orange slices to a large plate and let them cool for a few minutes. Add the rosemary to the pot with the orange syrup and set aside.

For the dough, in a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. In a large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla seeds and continue mixing for about 1 minute or until well combined. Quickly beat in the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the milk. Beat the egg white and salt until soft peaks form and fold into the dough.

Arrange the orange slices on the bottom and sides of the prepared pan, fold some of the slices into the corners (see 2nd picture). Scrape the dough on top of the fruits, even it out and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and spongy. Check with a skewer, it should come out clean. Let the cake cool for a few minutes before you flip it over, gently remove the parchment paper.

Bring the rosemary orange syrup to a boil over high heat and let it cook for about 2 minutes, let it cool for a couple minutes. Brush the top of the cake with the syrup and arrange the rosemary sprig on top. Sprinkle with a little additional chopped rosemary and enjoy!

Blood Orange Rosemary Upside Down Cake

 

Blood Orange Rosemary Upside Down Cake

 

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An Upside Down Cake with Rhubarb, Cinnamon and Strawberries

Rhubarb + Strawberry Upside Down Cake

An upside down cake is the easiest and most convenient way to put juicy fruits into a quick cake. They just sit on the bottom, soften slowly in their juices and spread their aroma into the dough baking on top. The pastry can grow spongy with a thin crisp layer and the fruits turn into a thick compote. Juiciness where juiciness belongs! Technically the cake should be flipped upside down when it’s done, I just skipped this part. I liked the rustic look of its golden top, like a pie that you scoop out of the pan with a spoon, and to be honest, the bottom doesn’t look as pretty!

In the past few weeks I’ve been using lots of rhubarb in my recipes, I love its fresh, sour taste but its season is quickly coming to an end. No reason to be sad as I’m slowly changing over to what nature offers next, like strawberries! Much sweeter, yet no less versatile in the kitchen. My upside down cake combines the qualities of both fruits, sweet and and sour with a pinch of cinnamon. Not to forget the pastry, it is so good that the cake only lasted a few hours! While I was taking the photos my kitchen was filled with the sweet smell of cinnamon, fruit and fresh pastry, I could barely stop myself from taking the first bite!

Rhubarb + Strawberry Upside Down Cake

 Rhubarb and Strawberry Upside Down Cake

For an oval baking dish (around 25cm / 10″) you need

flour 210g / 7.5 ounces
sugar 150g / 5.5 ounces plus 6 tablespoons for the fruit
baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons
a pinch of salt
butter, melted, 60g / 2 ounces
organic eggs 2
milk 100ml / 3.5 ounces
a pinch of fresh vanilla
rhubarb, sliced thickly, 650g / 1.5 pounds
strawberries, cut in half, 200g / 7 ounces
cinnamon 1 teaspoon

Set the oven to 190°C / 375°F.

Spread the fruits in a baking dish and sprinkle with 6 tablespoons of sugar mixed with a teaspoon of cinnamon.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, mix the butter, eggs, milk and vanilla with a mixer and fold into the dry mixture, stir with a wooden spoon until you have a lumpy dough. Don’t over mix! With a big spoon dollop the dough on top of the fruits and spread gently until roughly covered. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Check with a skewer, it should come out clean.

Rhubarb + Strawberry Upside Down Cake

 

Rhubarb + Strawberry Upside Down Cake