Friday, February 1, 2013

Out of The Mouths of Babes - Blood Orange Cardamom Upside Down Cake

Children never cease to amaze me.  Just about the time I think they have been completely brainwashed by cartoons and video games they pop out with sudden flashes of insight regarding things you would never think they are paying attention to.

Such was my experience with my 8 year old nephew, Wyatt, at New Seasons Market.  He had been staying out here, so when I took him home I swung into the Happy Valley store on Sunnyside road to pick up a few things before depositing him at his abode.  New Seasons always has little brightly colored bits of paper with suggested recipes lying around the produce section; at least the Happy Valley store does.  When we first walked in, I took a quick look at some of their suggestions.  While I am a fan of golden beets, the red beat salad with cannellini beans just didn't sound all that appetizing to me.  Unbeknownst to me, my nephew was doing some perusing of his own. 

He walked up and handed me a bright orange piece of paper that read "Orange Cardamom Upside Down Cake".  I looked at him and asked, "What's this?"

He rolled his eyes and said, "It's a cake recipe Uncle Shane.  Duh."

I mouthed an "Oh" at which point he piped in with, "You should probably make it with blood oranges though, cause they taste better."

I looked at him a little strange at this point, wondering where, when and how he knew anything about blood oranges.  But before I could say anything he continued, "The recipe uses a cake mix, but I am sure you can make something much more delicious, cause cake mixes are gross."

At this point I started looking around for a hidden camera.  Who was this 8 year old adult person talking to me in the grocery store?

I regained a small amount of my composure and simply asked, "Do you know what cardamom is?"

To which he replied, "Of course.", adding, "It makes food taste better." with no small mount of self-satisfaction.  "But you have to wait to make it when I come and visit the next time."

AH-HA!   And there it is.

So here is the recipe from New Seasons Market, with some much needed changes. After all, my nephew speaks the truth.  Cake mixes are gross.  By "gross" I mean filled with all sorts of unnatural products that no human should really be eating.  Like DATEM, Monosodium Glutamate, Palm Kernel Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean oil.....  You get the idea.    An Upside down cake is a fairly simple type of cake, so using a cake mix is kind of silly anyway.  Think, "Making Cookies" with just a little more liquid, and you have the idea.

Blood Orange Cardamom Upside Down Cake

Topping: (or what will be the topping, but starts out as the bottom)
4 TB Unsalted Butter
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp ground Cardamom
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
4-5 medium Blood Oranges
optional - small can of Mandarin Oranges

1 1/2 cups AP Flour
1 tsp Cardamom
1 tsp Baking Powder
3/4 tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
 6 TB Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
2 large Eggs
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1 tsp Orange Blossom Water
1/2 tsp Vanilla
zest of 1 Blood Orange

You will want to cover the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan with foil to ensure there is no pan leakage in the oven (the bottom seam is not exactly water tight - a fact I learned the hard way)

Place the butter in a small sauce pan and melt it over medium flame.

Once melted, add the brown sugar and salt, stirring to combine.

When the mixture is all nice an bubbly, add the Cardamom and stir again.

Pour the mixture into the prepared spring-form pan and spread around with a spatula.

Zest one of the oranges before you begin.

"Supreme" all the Blood Oranges. (slicing off the peel and cutting between the membranes to remove the segments)

Lay them either in concentric circles, or in a slightly overlapping circular pattern, the later will crate a sort of "Flower Petal" look.  (If you like, you can use 4 Blood Oranges and add optional mandarin oranges around the edge, just for contrast)
OK, now on with the cake. So preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
Combine AP Flour, Cardamom, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Salt in a small bowl, and whisk to combine.

Combine Butter, Brown Sugar, and Granulated Sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy.

Add the Eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Measure out the Buttermilk and add the Orange Blossom Water, Vanilla and Orange Zest.

Add half of the flour mixture, blending well, followed by the buttermilk mixture and continue beating.

Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until nice and thick.

Carefully spoon the batter into the spring-form pan, spreading gently with a spatula if necessary.

Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Immediately turn the pan upside down onto a cake plate.

Remove the pan and Voila!

One Blood Orange Cardamom Upside Down Cake!

Tasty and kind of Perty.  :)

1 comment:

Patricia Taylor said...

Cardamom is one of those spices I just can't make up my mind whether I like it or not. I use it in a recipe for chai. I have tried it in a few other recipes and it was okay. I think an upside down cake would be a nice size of cake for hubby and I. I will have to see if he thinks he would like this.