Monday, February 20, 2012

U is for: Upside Down Cake with Grapefruit & Blueberries {guest post}

Friday I arrived in Arizona for a two-week work assignment covering spring training for Comcast SportsNet. (Yes, I really do have a an actual job...the blog is more my obsession).

Anyways, since I won't have access to a kitchen for a couple of weeks, some of my dear friends volunteered to do some guest blogging for me. I'll still be sprinkling in a few posts I did ahead of time, but for the most part, I'm putting the blog in the capable hands of Devon, Kim, Kasey, and Karen.

Today's blog comes to us from my friend Kim Grubbs. While I'm definitely a cook and not much of a baker, Kim does both very well. Her true love is baking, so we knew some sort of baked goodie was in order. I'll let Kim take it from here, but I can personally vouch for this delicious cake first-hand as we had it for breakfast the day before I left. (Yes, we had cake for breakfast. So what?)

Hi Everyone! I am so excited to be able to post this delicious cake on Jaymee’s blog. I think that most of us are familiar with the pineapple and maraschino cherry upside down cake. When I was asked to guest blog it was the first thing I thought of but I couldn’t make JUST the old standby. With a few substitutions and a few...ahem... alcohol flavored whipped creams...I knew I couldn’t go wrong!

I am a stickler, when baking, for gathering all of my ingredients before I start cooking. This recipe calls for the butter and milk to be at room temperature, so make sure they are out before you start making the cake.

The first thing that you want to do is melt the butter and then add the brown sugar. This is going to make a “caramel." I say that with quotes because caramel is usually made with butter and white granulated sugar. With the brown sugar is turns into more of a hard candy caramel, this is okay because it will cook into the cake eventually. It should be a lovely golden brown and thoroughly melted together. Make sure it doesn’t burn or your cake will taste bitter.

While the “caramel” is cooling I started preparing the grapefruit and blueberries. The grapefruit needs to be peeled with no pith remaining on it. I use a knife to do this instead of killing my fingers. The best way is to cut off the top and the bottom of the grapefruit, this way you have a flat surface to stand it on. Then I just take the knife and run it down the sides until there is no more peel or pith. Then gently turn it on its side and cut into 1/4 inch rounds and remove all the seeds. This will get a bit juicy make sure you have something to catch it as you are cutting.

After the caramel has cooled in the pan arrange the fruit and add the honey. We loved how pretty it looked at this point...and then we cover it up with cake batter.

Oh the cake batter. I LOVE making cake batter. It is light and fluffy and then magically turns into a beautifully airy cake. The key to this is to make sure than you beat the butter and sugar until, yep, light and fluffy! Then gradually add the other ingredients. Be sure to fold the ingredients in, rather than (YIKES!) stir them in or you will end up with a dense cake. Pour this exquisite batter over the fruit and stick in the oven.

After 45 minutes pull the cake out and let cool for about 20 minutes, it will be a hard 20 min but it is required to let the caramel set a bit. Trust me, you want that EXTREMELY hot caramel at the bottom of the pan to cool and to continue to be sucked up into the cake. Run a knife around the perimeter of the cake pan and prepare to flip.

The cake will still be warm when you flip it, so be prepared to do it with oven mitts or hot pan holders. It was suggested that I place a piece of parchment on top of the cake before flipping to keep it from sliding. It worked GREAT and it made an excellent way to center the cake on the plate after the flip. 

***NOTE*** There might be a suction type issue going on after you flip. It’s okay! Just insert your butter
knife on one side of the cake pan and gently lift the pan off.

This is a great cake to serve warm with coffee or tea, so I of course invited taste testers over one morning to join me! We found it made an excellent breakfast cake.

To tie it in to the morning routine, I decided to make a few whipped creams that the girls could add to their cake on their own. I used Domaine de Canton (French ginger liqueur), Grand Marnier and Patron XO Cafe (coffee flavored tequila). Oh my, it was hard picking which one was our favorite! I loved the coffee flavoring and the other girls decided that the ginger was their favorite.

Upside Down Cake with Grapefruit, Blueberries and Honey

by Kimberly Grubbs
Keywords: dessert blueberry grapefruit whipped cream honey cake

    For the fruit layer:
    • 3 tablespoons sweet, room temperature unsalted butter
    • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 2 large grapefruits, peeled with no pith remaining and cut into rings
    • 1/2 cup blueberries
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    For the cake layer:
    • 8 tablespoons sweet, unsalted butter
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract
    • 2 large eggs, room temperature
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon course kosher salt
    • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
    For the whipped cream:
    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1 teaspoon of your favorite liqueur
    • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
    For the Cake:
    1. Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in a non stick pan. Add the brown sugar and cook while stirring, until the sugar is melted and begins to bubble. Remove from heat and immediately pour into to your 9” cake pan. Let cool, it will harden, this is ok!
    2. Once cool, arrange the grapefruit in cake pan without overlapping. You should be able to get one outer rim and one in the middle. Add the berries and place one inside each grapefruit center. Drizzle the honey over the fruit. Set aside.
    3. Beat the 8 tablespoons of butter and sugar until fluffly. Add the almond extract, then the eggs, one at a time, until smooth.
    4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in half of the flour mixture, then the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients. Do not overmix: stir just until the flour is barely incorporated into the batter.
    5. Spread the batter over the fruit, then bake for 45 minutes. The cake is ready when it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and the center feels just set.
    6. Remove from oven, let cool about 20 minutes, then place a cake plate on top, and wearing oven mitts (!!!), flip the cake out on to the plate, taking care, as there may be some hot caramel that might escape.

    For the whipped cream:
    1. Whip all ingredients together until stiff peaks form.
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