12 June 2007

Upside Down and Right Side Up

Cherry Upside-Down Cake

Ok, I know I did say that if cherry-filled desserts were to come, it meant the supermarkets were giving great discounts on cherries. But ever since I said that, the price tags of these little red fruits never did come down. I actually baked this cake last Tuesday, with the same cherries that you had seen on the previous cherry-ed post. They were sitting there in the fridge and I just didn't want them to start rotting on me, so I saved them. And put them into the cake. All good things.

I was, at first, struggling to decide what I should do with the cherries. I knew I wanted to put them in some dessert, but I just didn't know what. Flipping through my favourite dessert cookbook, I sieved my through options. Pineapple upside-down cake. Cherry pie? Nope, not enough cherries. Caramel peach (upside-down) cake. Pear upside-down cake. Cherry crumble? Still not enough cherries. Sour cherry cake? My cherries aren't sour! Bleah. Upside down cake!

I baked this in both a mini loaf pan and a mini springform tin. And they did turn out quite well, considering the fact that I kind of came up with the idea myself. Ha. I used my favourite cupcake recipe, which you can find here, from Cupcake Bakeshop. It's easy and versatile, with a nice moist crumb, somewhat like a pound cake. I decreased the amount of sugar quite drastically though, around 80g, because I found it too sweet and still did after the reduction. If I had cherries and were to make this again, I would probably use some orange or even lemon juice and zest to add another dimension to the cake. Other than that, everything was good and I especially like the colour combination.

Cherry Upside-Down Cake

30g butter, melted
2 heaping tbsp soft brown sugar
Cherries, pitted, enough to cover base of your pans*
100g butter, room temperature
120g sugar
2 large eggs
160g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
120ml milk
Pinch of salt

- Lightly grease and flour the sides of 2 4-inch springform tins and preheat oven to 175 deg C.
- Divide the melted butter evenly between 2 tins and half the brown sugar into each tin.
- Arrange the cherries, stem side up, as many as possible over the sugar mixture.
- Cream butter in the bowl of an electric mixer till smooth, about 1 min.
- Add sugar and beat till pale and fluffy, about 4 mins.
- Meanwhile, sift flour, baking powder and baking soda into a separate bowl.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, about 30 secs.
- Sift in 1/3 the flour mixture into the egg batter and fold in lightly.
- Add half the milk and mix lightly.
- Repeat the above 2 steps, alternating between flour and milk, ending with the flour mixture. Be sure to stir the batter as little as possible when mixing for the cake to remain light and fluffy.
- Fill the prepared cake tins with batter, about 3/4-full.
- Lightly knock the tins against the table a few times, 3 maybe 4, so that the batter will fill up the gaps between the cherries.
- Bake the cakes for 35 - 45 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cool in tin for 30 mins before turning out the cakes.

* The hardest part of baking this cake, I would say, is to pit the cherries. Ok, maybe not the most difficult task, but it was tedious. I used a paper clip, as suggested here, but was struggling at first because the paper clip was a little too soft and pliable. By the time I got the hang of it, there weren't any cherries left. Oh well. And because I didn't have that many cherries, I used whole cherries, pitted, for my circular cake and cut the rest of the cherries in half and lined them up like roof shingles (or fish scales) for the loaf cake. I don't think there was much difference but if you like more cherries with each slice of cake, use whole cherries.


bea at La tartine gourmande said...

Your upside down cakes are lovely!

evinrude said...

Thanks Bea! =) I could never match up to yours. Haha.

Helen said...

Looks delicious! I love everything cherry.