Apple Upside-Down Cake

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Before the pineapple took center stage, every upside-down cake featured the apple. Nowadays you can’t research upside-down cake recipes without finding a slew of pineapple results. Without any hint of dying love for the pineapple variation, it is no wonder the traditional apple upside-down cake has become a lost recipe. This intrigued me as all lost recipes do and I set out to reignite the spark in the modern generation that the traditional had generations ago.

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To do this would require a direct focus on the apples. They would not only have to stand out from the cake enough to make a statement against the modern pineapple, but blend in with the cake just enough to create a cohesive bite that would delight any taste bud. This seems like an easy task until attempting it. Apples are a lot more complicated to work with than the pineapple, which is probably why the hustle and bustle of our modern society has chosen to favor the pineapple version. Apples have an extensive amount of preparation (peeling, coring, slicing), they brown quickly when exposed to oxygen, they are extremely firm and take longer to cook, AND let us not forget…they carry A LOT of hidden liquid (a true ninja fruit). Makes you want to reach for that can of pineapple now doesn’t it. Have no fear there are solutions to all of apple’s issues, well maybe not the prep part. Apple prep is always tedious and downright unpleasant no matter how many tricks you try or gadgets you buy. Oh look I rhymed. That was easy enough 🙂

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So I can’t solve the apple prep issues but the discoloration is easy to fix with a few drops of lemon juice. To kill two birds with one stone, precooking some of the apples in a skillet before placing them in the bottom of the pan helps speed up the cooking time so that the apples and cake cook evenly but also solves the hidden liquid issue by allowing the excess to excrete during heating. Besides solving problems, cooking the apples in the skillet presents some perks. While cooking, the apples become caramelized in their own juices with the help of a little bit of sugar. This not only infuses the apples with delicious flavor, but also makes the top of the cake a showstopper.

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With the apples in check, the cake must also be up to par. This means creating a cake that is able to stand up to the pressure of such beautiful apples weighing heavily down on it. The easiest way to make sure the cake wouldn’t buckle under such immense pressure (stupid diva apples) is to use the quick bread method which introduces less oxygen into the cake batter, allowing for a sturdier crumb. With all the science figured out, and a little additional touches of flavor, the apple upside-down cake was ready for its debut. Although I will always have a special place in my heart for pineapple upside-down cake (the first recipe my grandfather ever showed me how to bake) I can’t deny how awesome this cake is. My boyfriend is not a sweets person and needless to say he needed no help in finishing this cake off.

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Note: This cake serves 8… unless you have an individual who adores apples…in that case it may be 2 servings!!!

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Apple Upside-Down Cake

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp. (½ stick) Unsalted Butter; cut into 4 pieces; plus extra for greasing the cake pan
  • 4 Golden Delicious or Granny Smith Apples (approximately 2 pounds); peeled & cored
  • 2/3 cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • 2 tsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp. Apple Pie Spice; divided
  • 1 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp. Cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • 2 Eggs
  • 6 tbsp. (¾ stick) Unsalted Butter; melted & slightly cooled
  • ½ cup Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Formula:

  1. For the topping: Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 inch round, 2 inch deep nonstick cake pan. Adjust oven rack to the lowest position and preheat oven to 350°. Slice two of the apples into ¼ inch thick slices; set aside. Cut the remaining 2 apples into ½ inch thick slices. Heat 4 tbsp. butter in a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted completely and the foaming has subsided, add the ½ inch thick slices of apple and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Be sure you do not fully cook the apples!!! Add the ¼ inch thick apple slices, 2/3 cup brown sugar, lemon juice, and ½ tsp. Apple Pie Spice. Continue to cook apples, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the apples are coated, about 1 minute more. Transfer the apple mixture to the prepared cake pan. If desired, arrange apples into a design and press gently into an even layer. Set aside to prepare the cake.
  2. For the cake: Mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, & remaining ½ tsp. of Apple Pie Spice in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk the granulated sugar, ¼ brown sugar, and eggs together in a large bowl until thick and thoroughly mixed. Slowly whisk in the 6 tbsp. of butter until combined. Add the sour cream and vanilla; whisk until combined. Add the flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into the pan and spread evenly over the apples. Bake the cake until it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes.
  3. Cool the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the cake to loosen it. Place a wire rack over the cake pan. Hold the rack firmly and invert the cake and wire rack together; lift off the cake pan gently. Place the wire rack over a baking sheet to catch any drips. Allow the cake to cool another 20 minutes and then transfer to a serving platter, cut into pieces and serve.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM YVONNE RUPERTI

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2014

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Mini 7UP Pound Cakes

20140224_114457When you think of 7UP, cake probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Although if this were the 1950’s, it would have been the first among a slew of other 7UP concoctions like 7UP Salad or 7UP Parfait Pie. This is a result of soda companies in the 50’s marketing their products to be a baking staple rather than a mere thirst quencher. 7UP went so far with their advertising campaigns that the company gave away free recipe booklets in tandem with an ad for shoppers suggesting they “get some extra 7UP for cooking.” Many of these recipes have been lost over the years and for good reason. One that deserves to have a modern refresher is 7UP Pound Cake.

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In order to create a modern take to a classic, I had to dig a little bit into the history of why this recipe was one of the few successes. It turns out we may never have been graced with the fizzy lemon-lime drink if its creator would have had his initial way. 7UP was created by St. Louis native Charles Grigg. For years, Grigg tried to market an orange soda, but Orange Crush had the market and squashed his efforts every time. Grigg decided to switch gears and market a lemon-lime soda under the label Bib. Just weeks before the big stock market crash and onset of the Great Depression, Grigg got his big break and adults loved the uplifting qualities the new soda gave them. Years later, following the end of Prohibition, the company would create an entire new marketing strategy for 7UP revolving around all things alcohol. Ads like “7UP is more than just a mixer…It blends out the harsh features. Dispels hangovers. Takes the ouch out of grouch.” made adults love the drink for it’s medicinal cures of hangovers and endless possibilities as a cocktail mixer.

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Push ahead into the 50’s and we again reach the ad campaign targeting cooks to use their products in the kitchen. So why does 7UP seem to work so well in certain recipes like the Pound Cake. Turns out, the slightly acidic soda gives the cake flavor, lift, and a tender texture that is unique to the soda infused batter. With my history down I turned to modernizing the recipe. We live in an era where everyone enjoys a mini version of a larger original. Reasons for this are quite diverse. Some are health conscious and wish to indulge in old favorites without the guilt while others enjoy entertaining and offering a wide selection of petit four style desserts so guests can try a wide array without getting full too fast. With this in mind, I altered the traditional recipe that bakes the cake in a tube or bundt pan and instead baked the batter in a greased muffin tin. Once the cakes were removed from the oven I quickly cored them with an apple corer and filled the centers with lemon curd for more lemon flavor. To cover the filling, I swirled a lemon-lime tinged frosting flavored with a few drops of Lemon extract into the yellow frosting and a few drops of lime juice in the green frosting to give the final citrus punch. If these little cakes aren’t good enough to make 7UP’s next marketing campaign, I don’t know what will!!!

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Note: Be sure to use fresh 7UP. If flat, the cake’s texture and rise will suffer greatly. If you want you may bake this in a traditional tube pan or Bundt pan, altering the baking time to 75 minutes and omitting the Lemon Curd filling. The formula yields 24 cupcakes or 1 cake that serves 12.

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Mini 7UP Pound Cakes

 

Ingredients:

  • 2½ cups Granulated Sugar
  • 5 Eggs; room temperature
  • ½ cup 7UP; room temperature
  • 2 tsp. Lemon Extract
  • 2 tbsp. Lime Juice
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 20 tbsp. (2½ sticks) Unsalted Butter; melted and slightly cooled
  • 3¼ cups Cake Flour
  • Lemon Curd; for filling
  • 2 tubs White Frosting
  • Yellow Food Color
  • Green Food Color
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Extract; for frosting
  • 1 tsp. Lime Juice; for frosting

Formula:

  1. Heat oven to 300° and grease a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Mix sugar, eggs, 7UP, lemon juice, lime juice, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth. With machine running, slowly pour in the butter and mix until incorporated. Add the flour in three additions, mixing between each addition, until combined.
  2. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup ¾ full. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove cakes from pan and repeat with the remaining batter.
  3. While the second batch bakes, use an apple corer to remove a section in the middle of the each cake. Using a small spoon, fill the hole with a generous amount of lemon curd and smooth out the top. Allow cakes to cool completely.
  4. Once the cakes are cooled, add a few drops of yellow food color to one tub of frosting and a few drops of green food color to the other tub of frosting. Add the lemon extract to the yellow tub of frosting and the lime juice to the green tub of frosting. Mix until both tubs of frosting are well combined. In a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip, fill one side of the bag with the green frosting and one side with the yellow frosting. Pipe a small rosette on the top of each cake, making sure to cover the area of exposed lemon curd filling. To complete the look, cut straws into small pieces and place into the frosting of each cake at an angle to give a soda pop theme.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM CALI RICH

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2014

Lemon Pudding Cake

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Today I was trying to finish my family tree on Ancestors.com to one day give to my daughter and any other future children so that they will know where they came from. While taking a break from my research I decided to bake. Sticking with the theme of the past I chose to make a forgotten recipe I came across a few years ago called Lemon Pudding Cake. This cake is thought to have been a variation off of flour puddings from the late 1700’s like one found in Amelia Simmons’ 1796 cookbook “American Cookery”.

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Although the flour pudding recipe from Ms. Simmons is said to be an abomination to our modern taste buds, I must say this lost recipe is magical on so many levels. Not only does it taste great but one batter manages to create two separate layers… the top being airy like a souffle and the bottom dense and creamy as a custard. Although considered a cake, this dessert is somewhere between a cake and a custard.

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You may be wondering what causes such culinary sorcery.  Well it all starts with the batter, which is rather atypical. It contains very little flour, a ton of egg, and a lot more liquid than usual. It is the large amount of liquid that actually causes the magic. The water in the liquid ingredients actually sinks to the bottom of the dish and takes the batter with it. This leaves the egg whites to float to the top and give the airy souffle-like cake over the custard base.

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Although practically forgotten in our modern era this cake has proven to me to stand the test of time. I’m sure my grandfather would have loved to have tried this since he had such a love for Lemon Meringue Pie and this has all the same tastes of Lemon Meringue Pie but in a cake/custard hybrid.

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Notes: To have the most prevalent lemon flavor, it takes fresh squeezed lemon juice and a bit of lemon extract. Do nut use bottled lemon juice. Be sure to use the cornstarch and not substitute more flour as it firms the custard base without distracting from the lemon flavor. To prevent the top layer of egg whites from deflating, add the sugar slowly and evenly over the egg whites while whipping. This will help stabilize them and result in a high, fluffy golden cake. To keep the custard base from curdling like scrambled eggs while baking, it is essential to put the ramekins in a hot water bath. This keeps the base from cooking too quickly and results in a creamy custard. This formula serves 6 and is best served warm or at room temperature the day it is made.

Lemon Pudding Cake

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. Cornstarch
  • 1 ¼ cups Sugar; divided
  • 5 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; softened
  • 2 tsp. Pure Lemon Extract
  • ½ cup Fresh Lemon Juice; about 4 Lemons
  • 5 Eggs; separated
  • 1 ¼ cups Whole Milk; room temperature
  • Boiling Water

Formula:

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position. Heat oven to 325°. Grease 6 Ramekins and place inside a large roasting pan.
  2. Mix flour and cornstarch together in a bowl. Set aside. With an electric mixer, beat ½ cup sugar, butter, and lemon extract on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in yolks, one at a time, until incorporated. Reduce speed to medium-low and add the flour mixture, mixing until incorporated. Slowly add the milk and lemon juice, mixing until just combined.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. As mixer continues to run, slowly and evenly add the remaining sugar until the whites become firm and appear glossy. Whisk 1/3 of the whites into the cake batter. Gently fold the remaining whites, one scoop at a time, until well combined.
  4. Spoon the batter evenly into each prepared ramekin. Carefully place pan on the lowest oven rack and pour boiling water into the pan until the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the surface becomes golden brown and the edges are set. The center should jiggle slightly if gently shaken, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool at least 15 minutes. Serve while warm or at room temperature.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM KRIS WIDICAN

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2014

Emergency Chocolate Cake

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If you have been in touch with the news lately, you will be all to familiar with the topic of war & Syria popping up at least once per broadcast. As grim as the subject is, war brings about some good qualities. People are reminded of the precious value of life, we bond together, appreciate more, and get innovative when times are rough. Such innovation brought this little gem out of World War II. During the war, key baking items like butter and eggs were difficult to come by and even if you managed to get your hands on the stuff you certainly wouldn’t be wasting precious ingredients on a dessert that would otherwise have fed the family for days if properly rationed. So in order to crave the sweet tooth of struggling America, cooks had to come up with cakes that didn’t need the scarce stuff.

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With men at war and women out to work, cooking times had to be short and simple. Desserts like the Emergency Chocolate Cake were loved by homemakers because they were quick and convenient, given the fact that all the ingredients were items already stocked in the pantry. This caused recipes like this one to continue being made even after rationing was a part of the past. Such an easy cake has to have a catch right? For me, not so much. This cake really had a lot going for it. Sure I had to do a little tweaking to boost the chocolate flavor up to modern standards but overall it was moist and delicious. That is if you can get past the fact that the main ingredient supplying the moist, velvety texture is mayonnaise. If you loathe mayo than that is your catch.

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A good way to get past the oddball ingredient is to know what mayo is really made up of. Behind the lardy appearance is just some whipped up eggs and oil, hence why it was the perfect substitute for the scarce butter and egg of wartime. This cake is so moist, tender, and chocolaty it really shouldn’t be subjected to only emergencies. You should try it pronto, especially with how easy it is and everything is on hand already. Before you do though I have just a few quick notes to maximize your experience.

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Keep in mind that the original recipe lacked the additional chocolate and egg that is added here. I prefer this minor tweak as it makes the chocolate flavor more prominent to our modern standards and the extra egg adds just a bit of extra textural support although you certainly could do without the extra egg and chocolate as the original formula. My favorite high quality chocolate that I used was Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate but you could use any brand of chocolate but it is best if you stick to a high quality brand. If you don’t like dark chocolate you can also use semisweet or bittersweet instead. Now I chose to top this cake with confectioners’ sugar since it is simplistic like the rest of the cake, but still adds a touch of elegance and added sweetness. You can however serve this cake with some sweetened whipped cream instead. The following formula makes one 8 inch square cake.

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Emergency Chocolate Cake

 

Ingredients:

  • 7 ½ oz. (1 ½ cups) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 7 oz. (1 cup) Granulated Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 2 oz. (½ cup) Cocoa Powder
  • 2 oz. Dark Chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1 cup Hot Coffee
  • 2/3 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • Confectioners’ Sugar (for dusting) (optional)

 

Formula:

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350º. Lightly grease an 8 inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa and chocolate. Pour the hot coffee over the cocoa mixture and whisk together until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool slightly. Whisk in the mayonnaise, egg, and vanilla. Stir the mayonnaise mixture into the flour mixture until combined.
  3. Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top evenly. Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 1 to 2 hours. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares in the pan or for a better presentation, turn cake out onto a serving platter, dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares to serve.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM KEITH DRESSER

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013