11 hours ago
Friday, January 23, 2015
I am typing this post from sunny Sicily, where I am eating fresh blood oranges and drinking Etna Rosso.
Don't I wish.
The title calls this cake a "winner", because it is.
I bake a lot of cakes, ones that appeal to my tastes, simple cakes made w/ nuts, apples, and olive oil.
This is one of those cakes, and it's a winner, trust me.
The only reason January is tolerable (here in NJ), is the citrus coming from Florida (and Sicily?).
Blood Oranges are now grown in the US, thankfully, and are available RIGHT NOW, so go and get 'em.
They are a pain to peel, and stain like beets, but they are worth the trouble.
I pinned this recipe for a blood orange upside down cake, and it was the most perfect cake I have ever made.
Moist as can be on the inside, with a nice golden crust on the outside and those delicious caramelized sliced blood oranges on top. And what a smell! Beautiful!
I followed the recipe exactly, and to my surprise, the cake came out of the pan WITHOUT ANY PROBLEM!
A Christmas miracle (I know, Christmas is long gone).
I have made this cake twice so far, both times with amazing results. It also freezes beautifully.
If you can find some blood oranges (you only need 2), then I suggest you make this gorgeous cake right away, before spring comes, and you can't find them anymore.
It's the perfect cake.
Blood Orange Upside Down Cake (adapted from Coffee & Crumpets)
1 1/2 cups/225g all purpose/plain flour
3/4 cup/110g cornmeal, organic
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup/200g cane sugar
1 1/2 sticks/170g butter, softened
1/4 cup/60ml neutral flavored olive oil (or veg or canola oil)
1/2 cup/120ml blood orange juice (I used 1/4 c of regular orange juice mixed w/ 1/4 c of blood orange juice)
3 eggs, large and organic
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
"Upside Down Part"
4 tbsp butter
1/3 cup of dark brown sugar
2 blood oranges, (preferably organic), sliced thin, rind/skin left on
In a 350F preheated oven, melt the 4 tbsp of butter and the brown sugar in a 9" heavy round cake pan (I used a Nordicware cake tin). This should take 5 minutes.
Spread the butter sugar mixture with a silicone spatula to cover the bottom of the tin.
I buttered the sides of the pan as well, after removing the pan from the oven, because I wanted to guarantee NO STICKING.
Lay the thinly sliced oranges on top of this mixture in the pan, it's ok to overlap them, because they do shrink after baking. 2 oranges should be enough.
Set the cake pan aside while making the batter.
Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cornmeal and salt) in a large bowl.
In another bowl, beat the sugar with butter, vanilla, zest and eggs. Add in the juice and oil last and mix together.
Add the wet to the dry and mix to form a nice batter.
Pour into the pan over the orange slices in the butter/sugar mixture.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Let rest only 5 minutes in the pan (you may need to run a knife around the edges, but I did not).
Invert onto a cooling rack and tap lightly to release.
My cake came out of the pan like a dream.
Let fully cool before slicing (you want the top to harden a bit).
One of the best cakes I have made in a long time (until next week, you know I will post something else yummy!).