Thursday, January 18, 2018

Blood Orange Upside-Down Cake

Before you read my recipe you should know that I rarely follow recipes. There are exceptions, of course, but typically I look at a bunch of recipes and either combine them or select one and make a bunch of changes.

Most of my inspiration for this cake came from this Baking the Goods recipe, found during a Google search while trying to find an old recipe I'd once made. I never found the old recipe, but I was still very pleased with this cake.

There are just so many things to consider with recipes. There's what you happen to have in your pantry and in your refrigerator. There are your personal preferences. There are the kitchen tools you own and do not own. There is the heat of your oven. Your elevation. Your mood. And on and on and on. It's kind of a miracle that recipes ever work at all.

So, since some pals on Instagram asked, I'm just going to tell you how I made this cake this afternoon. I'll try and remember as many details as possible. You'll have to consider all of the items in the paragraph above and make changes where applicable.

Here we go... 

Blood Orange Upside-Down Cake

2 tablespoons Miyoko's vegan butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 small blood oranges
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup instant polenta
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
Crushed seeds from 10 green cardamom pods
1/2 cup raw sugar
One 5.3 ounce container of vanilla soy yogurt
1/2 cup olive oil + enough to grease a cake pan
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons flax meal 
Zest from your 3 small blood oranges

Grease cake pan and set aside.

Put 3 tablespoons of of flax meal + 9 tablespoons of water in a small bowl, whisk together with a fork, and set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter and pour into bottom of cake pan.

Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over melted butter in cake pan.

Zest all 3 oranges and set zest aside.

Thinly slice oranges, leaving peel intact, and gently place enough slices over the butter and brown sugar to cover the bottom of the cake pan.

Slice off the peels of the remaining orange slices, rough chop, and fill in the open spaces around the slices in the cake pan. Set extra chopped orange pieces aside.

Crack open cardamom pods, remove seeds, and crush seeds in mortar with pestle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, polenta, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. Set aside.

In a second medium bowl combine raw sugar, yogurt, and 1/2 cup olive oil and whisk together until combined and smooth.

Take flax meal and water you set aside earlier and whisk with fork one more time. It should have thickened by now. Add all of it to wet ingredients, along with almond extract, and whisk again until combined and smooth.

Add orange zest and any remaining chopped orange pieces to wet ingredients and gently stir to distribute evenly.

Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients, adding only 1/3 of dry ingredients at a time. Fold each addition gently, only folding until all dry ingredients are wet.

Gently and evenly spoon the batter over the orange slices in the cake pan and carefully smooth out the top. It needn't be perfect. The top of the cake will eventually be the bottom of the cake.

My cake baked in only 25 minutes, but my oven runs pretty hot. What you're looking for is a light golden brown cake into which you can insert a sharp knife or toothpick into the center and have it come out clean. Maybe check it for the first time at 20 or 25 minutes and then go from there, keeping an eye on it and testing it at 5-minute intervals.

Remove the cake from the oven once the knife/toothpick comes out clean and let it rest in the cake pan for 15 minutes.

Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Place a plate on top of the cake pan and hold the cake pan and plate together with a thick folded dishtowel/pot holders/oven mitts (the cake pan is probably still hot) and invert it quickly. The cake should release onto the plate. Mine did.

Let the cake cool for a bit on the plate. I think I waited about 10 or 15 minutes before taking my first slice..

That's it. Enjoy!