Cherry Upside-down Cake

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If you know me at all, you’d know that upside-down cakes are my absolute favourite. You never really know what they’re going to look like until they come out of the pan. Maybe that’s why I love them. Finding that beautiful layer of caramelised sugar and fruit on top of the cake is magical. Every single time. Even more magical when the fruit in question is cherries.

Ingredients:

  1. 40 g salted butter
  2. 80 g dark muscovado sugar
  3. 250 cherries (halved and pitted)
  4. 200 g  all purpose flour
  5. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  6. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  7. ¼ teaspoon salt
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  9. 125 g salted butter (softened)
  10. 165 g granulated sugar
  11. 2 eggs (room temperature)
  12. 150 ml greek yogurt (room temperature)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line a 9 inch round springform pan with butter and cover the bottom of the pan with baking paper (I used a sheet pan for this recipe, but if you want to ensure your cake comes out in one piece, go with a springform pan).
  2. In a small saucepan, melt together the 40 g butter and muscovado sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until combined and sugar is melted.
  3. Spread the caramel over the baking paper in the bottom of the pan. Place the cherry halves cut side down over the caramel.
  4. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then mix in the vanilla.
  6. Alternately add in the flour and yogurt. Fold together until combined.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, over the cherries. Smooth the top.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Check the cake at the 25 minute mark and cover the cake with foil if  the top seems to be browning too much.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes, remove the cake from the pan. Serve warm with ice cream.

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Orange and Lavender Upside Down Cake

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This is my favourite kind of cake. The simple, sticky and jammy kind, with caramelised golden oranges. As the oranges bake in a bitter pool of caramel, they produce the best toffee-like edges. The cake itself has the dreamiest texture, and is more than just a canvas for the caramelised oranges, as the beautiful scent of lavender wafts into the air as you cut into it.

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Ingredients:

  1. 1 tablespoon butter
  2. 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  3. 2 teaspoons dried lavender
  4. 100 g olive oil
  5. 50 g Greek yogurt
  6. 2 oranges
  7. zest of 1 orange
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 140 g sugar
  10. ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  11. 120 g flour
  12. 1 tsp baking powder
  13. ¼ teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Generously grease  a sheet cake pan with butter. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top.
  3. Thinly slice the oranges, remove any seeds, and place them in a single layer at the bottom of the cake pan. You can remove the pith, if you don’t like the bitter taste. Set  the pan aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil and Greek yogurt.
  5. Add the dried lavender to the sugar and rub together with your hands until the sugar smells of lavender.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, lavender sugar and vanilla extract and orange zest until the mixture is light and almost double in volume.
  7. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Gently fold in the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Add the oil and yogurt to the batter and stir until smooth.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  9. Cool the cake for 5 minutes before inverting it onto a plate to cool completely.