Friday, May 20, 2011

Hit and Miss

Two posts in one week?! Yes, because it's Cake Slice Time! I can't believe it's already been a month since I last made a cake for The Cake Slice Bakers. Where does the time go? Last month's cake was a dense cream cheese pound cake, this time it's a light upside down cake. I have to admit being a little skeptical about this cake. Yes, I like oranges, and almonds and caramel, but I've never had them all together. Did it work? Yes and no.

I thought the cake part of this recipe was excellent. In fact I think I'd make it again and just nix the topping. It was super moist, tender, delicate and full of orange flavor. I had a little cake batter left and decided to mix it with a few chocolate chips and baked it in a cupcake tin. I ate it just warm out of the oven- oh so good! It's not too sweet either and would make an excellent muffin with fruit folded in.

I even liked the flavor of the topping and the crunch from the almonds but there was just something about the recipe that just didn't quite work. Firstly you cook the brown sugar and butter then layer it in a pan with sliced almonds and honey. I think the topping would have been better, uncooked and mixed all together because when it came to turning it out, the topping seperated from the cake. The caramel was just too hard and chewy, almost like a praline. it tasted good, but it was hard to eat. We ended up peeling off the topping and eating the cake seperately, taking a few bites of the nutty caramel in between bites. All in all, I liked this cake, it just needs a little tweaking. Below is the original, unadapted recipe. Keep that in mind if you make this cake.

Orange Almond Upside-Down Cake from Cake Keeper Cakes

For The Topping:

  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey

For The Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. grated orange zest

Make the topping: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round nonstick cake pan and dust with flour. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper and grease and flour the parchment.

Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast until golden, 8-10 minutes. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Whisk in the brown sugar, turn the heat to low, and cook, whisking for 2 minutes. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula, Drizzle with the honey. Scatter the toasted almonds over the honey. Set aside.

Make the cake: Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Combine the sour cream, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla in a glass measuring cup and lightly beat.

Combine the butter and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the of the bowl once or twice as necessary. Stir in the orange zest.

With the mixer on medium-low speed, pour the egg mixture into the bowl in a slow stream, stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides.

Turn the mixture to low speed and add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. After the last addition, mix for 30 seconds on a medium speed.

Pour the batter over the almonds, gently spreading it into an even layer with a spatula.

Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let stand for a couple minutes.

Holding the pan and a plate together firmly with oven mitts, immediately invert the hot cake onto the plate. Peel away the parchment paper. If necessary, replace and almonds stuck to the bottom of the pan. Let the cake cool for 20 minutes and serve warm, or at room temperature.

Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper at room temperature, or wrap loosely in a plastic and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.

NOTE: This recipe makes quite a bit of batter. Be sure not to overfill your pan or you’ll have overflow. Bake any excess cake batter in a separate tin.

Have you made any recipes lately that tasted good, but didn't quite work?


Lulu the Baker said...

I totally agree with everything you said Monica! The cake part was delicious, but the topping was just odd. I think the idea of the whole thing could work with a lot of adapting. Now I'm off to chisel almond toffee bits out of the bottom of the cake pan because they WILL NOT BUDGE!

Anonymous said...

This cake sounds seriously good. Beautiful recipe!

Emily said...

I love the cake part and 80% the topping....

DH said, please remove the topping for him! LOL!

Monica, yours look good as usual!

Coleens Recipes said...

the cake part of this recipe looks delicious...a simple orange glaze instead of the topping maybe?

Heather @girlichef said...

Well, the topping looks does the moist cake. Good to know, though. Beautiful :D

Donna M (Carrollton, TX) said...

My favorite thing about your blog is the honesty in your reviews. Thank you for always providing us with a true critique of recipes.

Katie said...

I agree with you. I thought the flavours on their own were great but somehow the cake itself just didn't do it for me. Love how glossy your caramel layer looks. Mine was a bit dull.

Unknown said...

Could you possibly explain what the Cake Slice Blogroll is? Is there a possibilty of joining the group!?

OvenDelights said...

I'm so glad I read this first! I'm mkaing my cake tonight and I will definately keep your tips in mind :)

Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

Completely agree!

Unknown said...

Yes, the cake was really delicious as was the topping by itself, I didn't try them together because the topping pealed off. You're cake looks beautiful, though

Kerstin said...

What an interesting and unique flavor combo - I'd like to try it!

Unknown said...

Your cake is so pretty though! I wish you would have posted a picture of the muffins you made!

Champa said...

Yours has come out very nice.

Catherine said...

Dear Monica, I just found your blog and it is beautiful. Your recipes look wonderful. This orange-almond-upside down cake sounds fabulous to me. It looks moist and delicious. I am following your blog and hope that you will take a visit to my blog and follow too. Blessings, Catherine

Foodiewife said...

You had me at caramel. I have this book, so I'm glad to follow along and see which cakes work and which don't. As you know, I've made two cakes from Cook's Illustrated. While they were "good", they didn't pass my tight standards of "moist and tender". I'm about to make a white cake recipe from King Arthur. Me and my big mouth-- I have been talking up how much I love to bake, and my pool buddies bamboozled me into promising them a white cake with white frosting. I haven't even cut into the cheesecake that I baked yesterday!
Love ya, girl. Glad to see you posting twice in one week. What a sweet treat!

RSA Now said...

Looks good! I'll just make it without the caramel and use caramel drizzle on it when serving

cybil said...

looks yoummy and I' sure it's a great summer cake with the oranges in it!

Maria said...

Very pretty cake!

Miri said...

ugh your photos get me every single time! gorgeous!

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