Apple Upside Down Cake with Salted Caramel

Apple Upside Down Cake with Salted Caramel.

Apple Upside Down Cake with Salted Caramel.

It’s official:  Winter is here.    Snow has fallen, plows have been out, fender benders happened, walks and driveways have been shoveled.  Black Friday took place, and we are barreling straight ahead to Christmas.  It’s time to make my list of cookies that I plan to bake, and get in the necessary ingredients.

There are quite a few apples remaining that I picked at the orchard, so let’s see what I can do to use them up during this last weekend of November.

I know that I will make applesauce and I may even make baked apples and eat them for breakfast. We like them with a little granola sprinkled on top,  or a dollop of yogurt, or both.

Baked apples filled with dried fruits.

Baked apples filled with dried fruits.

Feeling a little “out-of-sorts”, (probably because I have too many projects going right now), I decided to use some of my apples and make this upside down cake.   The recipe is an adaptation of one featured on the Food Network that used summer stone fruits, but with salted caramel in the picture I was certain that making it with apples would be just fine.  And it was.

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This recipe was a good choice as the white cake is light and mildly seasoned with vanilla and has a fine texture that I attribute to the buttermilk.  Apples with caramel and sea salt are the perfect topping, made that much better with a little ice cream on the side when you serve it.  It’s baked in a 9-inch square pan, so you will get 8 generous servings or several more if cut smaller.

It only gets better with a little ice cream on the side.

It only gets better with a little ice cream on the side.

The problem I had with this cake was getting it out of the pan intact.  The recipe suggests waiting 15 minutes after removing from the oven before turning it upside down onto a serving plate.  I did that, and still the cake broke on one corner, and stuck to the sides of the pan.  I patched it up as best I could using some of the sticky caramel for “glue”.   (note photo)   I realized I might have prevented this by running a knife around the edges of the cake before attempting to turn it out of the pan, so I suggest you do that if you make this cake.

See that broken corner?

See that broken corner?

The bright side is that it tastes so good, even when broken, that I’m happy to share my “disaster” photo with you.  We all have an occasional disaster, and there’s no shame in that.

APPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE WITH SALTED CARAMEL

Yield:   Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:

Beautiful crisp apples, waiting to become a cake!

Beautiful crisp apples, waiting to become a cake!

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt, divided
  • 2-3 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch wedges
  • 1  3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375*F.  and coat a 9-inch-square cake pan with cooking spray.

2.  Combine 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1  1/2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan and stir until the mixture looks like wet sand.  Cook over medium-high heat, gently swirling the pan occasionally but not stirring, until light amber, about 5 minutes.   Remove from the heat and immediately pour into the prepared cake pan.  ( The caramel hardens quickly.)  Arrange the apple wedges over the caramel in 4 rows;  set the pan aside.

Lay rows of sliced apples on top of the caramel in the pan,

Lay rows of sliced apples on top of the caramel in the pan,

3.  Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and remaining 1 cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour, and mix until just incorporated.  Pour the batter over the apples and spread evenly.

4.  Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.  ( Mine took 45 minutes.)  Cover the cake loosely with foil it is browning too quickly.   Remove from the oven and let sit 15 minutes, then invert onto a platter and let cool completely.  Sprinkle with sea salt.

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SOURCE:   adapted from The Food Network Magazine

 

 

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Banana Upside-Down Cake

Banana Upside-Down Cake

Banana Upside-Down Cake

Upside-down cakes were something that we had often when I was growing up.  A one layer cake that had its own topping, therefore there was no need for frosting.  The only kind my mom made was with pineapple;  I never considered that there was any other kind.  That may be true for many of you too, because it is only recently that I’ve been seeing recipes that use other kinds of fruits for the topping.

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When my Spring edition of the Baking Sheet arrived last week it contained this recipe for Banana Upside-down Cake.  And what a happy coincidence,  I had two bananas just at that ready to use stage of ripeness.  In addition to the bananas the topping also includes raisins or cranberries, and chopped nuts.  Playing on the banana/tropical theme some spiced rum is included in the topping and in the cake.  There is no alcohol content left after baking, but the rum does lend its flavor to the cake in a subtle way.

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It’s absolutely best to serve this cake while it is still warm, with a whipped cream topping or ice cream on the side if you’re feeling indulgent.  This was a nice change from the usual pineapple upside-down cake, and we enjoyed it very much.

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BANANA UPSIDE-DOWN  CAKE

Topping ingredients

Topping ingredients

 

Yield:    8 servings

Ingredients:

 Topping:

  • 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon spiced rum
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, sliced about 1/2″ thick
  • 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

 Cake:

  • 1  1/2 cups Unbleached Cake Flour

    Cake ingredients

    Cake ingredients

  • 1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons spiced rum

Directions:

1.    Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Lightly grease an 8″ round cake pan that is at least 2″ deep.  If you don’t have one, use a 9″ pan.

2.  For the topping:  Melt the butter.  Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and rum and stir until well combined.  Pour into the bottom of the pan and pat even.  Arrange bananas, raisins (or cranberries) and nuts over this and pat down gently.

Arrange bananas and remaining ingredients in bottom of cake pan.

Arrange bananas and remaining ingredients in bottom of cake pan.

3.  For the cake:  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Cream butter, oil and sugar thoroughly.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.

Add the flour mixture alternately with milk and rum to the creamed mixture, stirring and blending after each addition.  Gently pour the batter over the banana topping.

4.  Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until the cake just begins to pull from the side of the pan.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning upside down on a serving plate.

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Turn out onto serving plate.

Turn out onto serving plate.

 

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Serve warm and enjoy.  YUM!

Serve warm and enjoy. YUM!

 

SOURCE:   The Baking Sheet,  King Arthur Flour