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Upside-down cake


torakris
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Last night I made a cranberry upside down cake from a Williams-Sonoma book called The Complete Seasons, the cake tastes incredible (I am eating the leftovers right now for breakfast) but I had a couple problems.

First the caramel like topping, it said to melt butter and brown sugar in the cake pan over a medium heat, until the sugar melted. I think I messed this part up because was still a little lumpy (but evenly lumpy) and there was butter separated at the edge of the pan, even mixing didn't seem to pull it together. I was worried it would become to brown so I pulled it off.

My second problem with the topping is that the cake pan I used has a ridged bottom, it looks like a waffle grid but on a very small scale. The finished cake did not release well, I lost parts, and the caramel was lumpy and hard in places and non-existent in others and the caramel had grid marks on it.

My next big problem was with the cranberries, it said to place them in the pan with the caramel topping and then to place the cake batter on top, this I did. However, while cooking I noticed the cranberries were popping up at the top of the cake, I assumed they would sink back down to the bottom but they never did.

So my cake looked a little like an upside-upside down cake, when inverted onto the caramel was on the top and there was a layer of cranberries on the bottom!

The picture in the cookbook has a lovely layer of caramel and cranberries on the top with a wonderful creamy looking cake below. This was by far the best upside down cake I have ever had, but I think it could have been better or at least looked better.

Suggestions?

This is what the cake should have looked like

i2949.jpg

instead it looked like this

i2950.jpg

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Were they fresh cranberries or frozen?

I think this sort of problem was mentioned in a thread on blueberry muffins and how do you keep the blueberries down in the batter without the berries floating upward during baking and the solution was to use frozen berries.

Hopefully, others more qualified will chime in with solutions...

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Cranberries float when they are ripe - that's how they pick them off of the vines (they float them off). In order to combat the floatation problem, maybe you can try one of the following three things: halving the cranberries, lightly cooking the cranberries before using them in the recipe, or tossing them in a little of the sugar before putting them in to weigh them down.

Your cake LOOKS like it tastes good though. :laugh:

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I wonder if you could cook the cranberries with the sugar and butter in a separate pan and then pour it into cake pan, then pour on batter.

1 more pan to clean but the pic shows an evenly red top which to me suggests that the cranberries somehow had time to spread out in the caramel somehow.

What do you think?

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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My mailing address is... :biggrin: Seriously, it's not the same as the picture, but it looks great to me.

I'm no chef, but when I make pineapple (and alternately, banana) upside down cake, the brown sugar and butter mixture does 1. get lumpy and 2. separate a little if you don't complete the various steps somewhat quickly. Still, I haven't found that it affects the taste or look noticably.

The pan sounds like part of the problem (ridges = bad!), but I'm stumped re: the floating cranberries.

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what if you poke a pin hole in the cranberries? But it still looks great though. I have to agree about the ridged pan, I think this needs a smooth bottom pan.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Thanks for all of the replies, I think the idea of slightly cooking the cranberries with the butter and sugar sounds good, I really don't mind an extra pan. That is the way I normally do it for pineapple upside down cakes.

This cake was REALLY good, the best upside down cake I have ever had and the leftovers are all mine even, the kids aren't getting them! :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 6 months later...

I'm supposed to make an upside down cake for a groom's cake for my mom's wedding. Does anyone have a great recipe that would scale well to a deep 14 inch round? I guess I am going to go with pineapple, although I would really like to do something a little more exciting.

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Here is a peach one:

peach upside-down cake

and an orange spice

here

and a cherry:

from Diana's Kitchen

There are also recipes for rhubarb, cranberry, mincemeat, apple and mango.

I have made a large combination fruit upside-down cake in the past, using contrasting colors, in a pinwheel pattern.

pineapple/kiwi/mandarin/cherries(dried and reconstituted cherries).

I just used a pineapple upside-down cake recipe, tripled, mixed the batter pouring it over the fruit, and filled the pan to within 3/4 inch of the top.

Using a broad spatula, I worked the batter out from the center so that it was a bit thinner right in the center to counteract "the bulge".

I had cut a large Silpat liner to fit the round pan, though liners are now available, because I was worried it would stick.

When I removed the silpat, the bottom (now the top) looked like it was coated with glass. Perfect!

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Cooks Illustrated published an awfully good one several years back.  I'll dig around for it and post it here.

Here it is. I see no reason why this wouldn't scale just fine up to a 14" pan.

I remember thinking that 2 minutes cooling time before turning it out wasn't enough -- the topping is still too liquid at that point and runs everywhere instead of soaking into the cake. I think 10 minutes was more more reasonable.

Never tried this with pineapple, though I'm sure it's terrific. My favorite variation was with plums, though apricots worked well too.

MASTER RECIPE FOR UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE

Serves 8-10

Dede Wilson, Cooks Illustrated, July/August, 1997

Topping

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for cake pan

3/4 cup light brown sugar

Prepared fruit (see 'Fruit for Upside-Down Cake', below)

Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for egg whites

4 large eggs, separated

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2/3 cup whole milk

1. For the topping. Butter bottom and sides of 9-inch-by-3-inch round cake pan. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in medium saucepan over medium heat; add brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is foamy and pale, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour mixture into prepared cake pan; swirl pan to distribute evenly. Arrange fruit slices in concentric circles over topping; set aside.

2. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, cornmeal, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside. Cream butter in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed. Gradually add 1 cup sugar; continue beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in yolks and vanilla (scraping sides of bowl with rubber spatula if necessary); reduce speed to low and add dry mixture and milk, alternately in three or four batches, beginning and ending with dry ingredients, until batter is just smooth.

3. Beat egg whites in large bowl at low speed until frothy. Increase speed to medium-high; beat to soft peaks. Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar; continue to beat to stiff peaks. Fold one-quarter of beaten whites into batter with large rubber spatula to lighten. Fold in remaining whites until no white streaks remain. Gently pour batter into pan and spread evenly on top of fruit, being careful not to disperse fruit. Bake until top is golden and toothpick inserted into cake center (not fruit, which remains gooey) comes out clean, 60 to 65 minutes.

4. Rest cake on rack for 2 minutes. Remove cake from pan to serving plate. If any fruit sticks to pan bottom, remove and position on top of cake.

Fruit for Upside-Down Cake

Peaches or Nectarines (4 medium): Halve fruits pole to pole; remove stone. cut each half into slices ½-inch thick

Plums (5 medium): Halve fruits pole to pole; remove stone (cutting halves in half again if necessary). cut each half into slices ½-inch thick

Mangoes (2 medium): Peel and pit. cut flesh into slices ¼-inch thick

Pineapple (1 small): Stem, peel, quarter, and core. cut each quarter into pieces 3/8-inch thick.

B. Keith Ryder

BCakes by BKeith

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There is a recipe in Donna Hay's Book "Flavour" for an Upside Down Chocolate Pear Cake. I made it several years ago...it was quite yummy! I'm not sure if it scales easily to a 14" round however. You might want to check it out as it's a little different and pears are a little more seasonal in the Fall( I guess it depends on where one lives!) There is also an interesting recipe in Regan Daly's "In the Sweet Kitchen" for a Carmelized Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Unfortunately, I haven't tried the recipe out, but I have made other things from her book and they have all turned out well if not fool proof!

Good Luck!

D.

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Cooks Illustrated published an awfully good one several years back.  I'll dig around for it and post it here.

Here it is. I see no reason why this wouldn't scale just fine up to a 14" pan.

What struck my about this recipe when I saw it is that the picture looked so dismal- I dunno, but I really feel that pineapple upside down should be rings of pineapple, with real cherries in the middle, and caramelly pecans are not untoward. The picture looked so... washed out, unspecial.

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What struck my about this recipe when I saw it is that the picture looked so dismal- I dunno, but I really feel that pineapple upside down should be rings of pineapple, with real cherries in the middle, and caramelly pecans are not untoward. The picture looked so... washed out, unspecial.

B. Keith Ryder

BCakes by BKeith

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Will the upside down cake be ok just wrapped up in plastic wrap on the counter for one day? This is a groom's cake for a wedding, and I won't have access to a kitchen on the day of the wedding, so I was hoping to make it at least a day in advance. The further in advance I can make it, the better, but I don't want to sacrifice quality. I can probably try to bake the cake that day at a friend of the families house, if I have to, but with so much going on the day of the wedding, I was hoping not to have to worry about the cake not turning out.

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I'd opt to bake it the night before, once totally cool I'd wrap it well and leave it on the counter until when it's going to be served.

From my experience it depends upon your recipe............I've made a few along the way that weren't my ideal cake and those didn't get any better with age. But if your happy with the recipe you have (and it makes a good moist cake).........it should be fine holding overnight.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, I've been thinking more about this upside down cake thing. I have a deep 14 inch pan that I was planning on using, but it still doesn't offer much height. I have considered stacking two upside down cakes and drizzling caramel sauce around the edges to draw attention away from the middle where the two cakes will meet. That will provide a higher fruit to cake ratio, and add a tasty sauce. What do you guys think of this idea? Stick with the traditional single layer, or try out the two layer version? Can anyone forsee any problems with the two layer version?

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