I, unlike what it may come across from this Blog, am not really into sweets. So while I do bake the tarts, cakes and pies, I rarely eat more than a bite. The only exception to this are the sweets made with fruits because of the fresh zing they give to the regular butter, sugar, flour combo. The list of fruits one can use is endless starting from the regular green apples, pineapples, cherries, strawberries, to the fancier and expensive Blueberries, Kiwi and Raspberries.
Upside down cakes are simply cakes that are presented upside down. Sugared fruit pieces (pineapple, apple, peach, cranberry, cherry, orange) are placed at the bottom of the baking dish and the batter is poured over it. And after it is cooked, you just turn over the pan upside down so that the caramelized layer of beautiful fruit comes out on the top.
One of the reasons I decided to make the classic Pineapple Upside down cake was because I paid quite a bit for an average cake piece at a bakery sometime back. While the cake looked quite nice behind the counter, when it finally arrived at my table I realized that the baker had been stingy with the amount of pineapple used. So instead of a lovely juicy pineapple upside down cake, I ended up eating a butter cake with some candied pineapple on top. So just to restore my faith in this wonderful cake recipe I decided to put my freshly purchased pineapple to good use. Also to my shock, the entire Pineapple was for only Rs 40! Somehow I and everyone else in the house always thought that the fruit is very expensive. ( I was feeling bad for all the fruit I had missed out in the past years). If you are deterred by the thought of peeling and cutting the Pineapple, you can either go for the canned Pineapple pieces or just ask your local Fruit vendor to peel it for you. (Yes, they offer to do that). And now for the main event….
Cranberry Upside Down cake
4 tablespoons unsalted butter 3/4 cup light brown sugar 1 medium pineapple (sliced) or any other fruit 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup unsalted butter (for batter) 1 cup granulated white sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 large eggs, separated 1/2 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 177 degrees C and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter a round cake pan.
2. Place the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until dissolved.
3. Continue cooking, without stirring, for a few more minutes till the sugar starts to caramelize.
4. Then remove from heat, and pour into your prepared cake pan.
5. Evenly arrange the fresh pineapple slices on top of the sugar mixture.
For the Cake Batter:
1. In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. In the bowl of your electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in the vanilla extract.
4. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Add the flour mixture (in three additions), alternately with the milk.
6. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until the whites hold a firm peak.
7. With a large spatula gently fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter (fold don’t mix).
8. Pour the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top.
9. Bake in preheated oven for 45 – 55 minutes.
10. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes.
11. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan and then invert the cake onto your serving plate.
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