Friday, 7 July 2017

Strawberry Upside Down Cake

I had a lot of trouble with this recipe. I had to make it 4 times to get it just right! The thing is though, we enjoyed eating every one of those almost-but-not-quite cakes. There aren't too many cakes I would like to eat 4 times in a row but this is definitely one.

It's still not as glamorous as I think Strawberry Upside Down Cake ought to be, but oh well. Such is life. Also, I'm afraid the careful lining of a square pan with parchment is an important part of the recipe, so do not neglect it. On the other hand, this is a very quick and easy cake to make, and is really delicious.

One of the things I tested was how much arrowroot to toss with the strawberries. When I used 2 tablespoons, they stayed on the bottom of the pan making a better layer of strawberries on the top once the cake was turned over. When I used just one, the cake sunk down more into them as they baked, and it didn't look as nice. However, the texture of the berries was softer and nicer. You will have to decide whether to go for looks (such as they are) or flavour. I suggest that flavour rules, but it is up to you. 

UPDATE, NOV 26 2017 - I made this cake again at my mothers' request for her birthday. I used greenhouse strawberries! I am so excited that they are available even in November now! I doubled the recipe and baked it in a 9" x 13" pan, which worked fine. Cake was very well received!

8 to 12 servings
1 hour 20 minutes - 20 minutes prep time; also allow time to cool

Strawberry Upside Down Cake

Prepare the Pan & the Strawberries:
3 cups strawberries
1 OR 2 tablespoons arrowroot
3 tablespoons sugar

Wash and hull the strawberries, and drain them well.

Line a 9" square cake pan, bottom and sides, with parchment paper folded neatly into the corners. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Toss the berries with the arrowroot and sugar, and spread them in an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan. They should cover it pretty completely.

Make the Batter & Finish the Cake:
1 1/3 cups soft whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mild vegetable oil
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Measure out the flour and mix in the baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream the oil and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat in the eggs and the vanilla extract. Beat in the vanilla extract.

The batter will be both fairly stiff and apparently skimpy; do your best to spread it out evenly over the strawberries without disturbing them. I get it to within about a quarter inch of the sides of the pan, and that is okay as it will spread to them as it cooks.

Bake the cake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Let cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan before attempting to remove it. Let it cool completely before turning it over and slowly, gently, peeling off the parchment paper.

Last year at this time I made Minestrone di Piselli.

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