Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cherry Cornmeal Upside Down Cake

I follow several cooking and food related blogs.  This recipe was on one of the blogs that I follow and it spoke to me.  I don't think I've had upside down cake, other than the standby pineapple (which is also good).  Since I had fresh cherries in the fridge, I decided to give it a try today.

While I was washing the cherries, I glanced at the bag they were in.  Normally I don't give a second glance to the standard plastic bag but this one caught my attention.  The cherries I used came from Washington State, specifically Jackass Mt. Ranch.  I looked up their website and it was interesting.  There is a video about raising cherries and the labor involved.

I used Bordeaux Cherry Balsamic Vinegar from the Olive Tree and it gave the cherry topping a wonderful richness.  I was sampling it right out of the skillet!  Of course you can use regular Balsamic, but I'd recommend if you are nearby go pick up this wonderful Balsamic or order a bottle online.

This cake takes a little time and effort to prepare and it is a huge help if you have a cherry pitter.  I got mine at Bed Bath & Beyond for under $20 and it has proven to be worth every penny.  It removes the pits from four cherries at a time, has a handy catch tray for the seeds,  saves a ton of time and cleans up in the dishwasher. 

Let's get down to cooking!

Cherry Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake
Serves 10

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp Bordeaux Cherry Balsamic Vinegar  
4 cups whole pitted fresh sweet cherries
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Position rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 350.  Combine 1/4 cup butter with brown sugar and vinegar in a heavy skillet.  Stir over medium heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves.  Increase heat to high.  Add cherries and bring to a boil.  Set aside.

2. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

3.Separate  Eggs.  Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until foamy.  Add cream of tartar and beat until whites are stiff  but not dry.  Set Aside

4. Using an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter in a separate large bowl.  Add sugar.  Beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in egg yolks, vanilla and almond extracts.  Add flour mixture alternatively with almond milk in two additions each, beating just until blended and scraping down the sides after each addition.

5. Using a rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of the egg white mix into the batter.  Fold in remaining whites in three additions.

6. Pour the batter over the cherries, spreading evenly to cover the cherries.  Bake cake until top is golden and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. 

7. Cool in pan, on rack, for 5 minutes.  Run a spatula around the sides to loosen.  Place a large serving platter on top of the cake, and flip over.  Let sit for 5 minutes to make sure all the cherries release.  Let cake cool at least 45 minutes.  Cut into wedges and serve.  Add a scoop of ice cream on the side or a little whipped cream to make it extra special!


No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

My photo

My career is in IT.  Cooking and photography are among a few of my hobbies. In my spare time, which is most weekends I tie on my apron and exercise my creativity by trying new recipes and adapting them to my tastes. I also have a passion for photography that I incorporate by taking photographs to go along with the recipes I post on my blog.  
I also enjoy travel, both near and abroad. Meeting new people, new experiences and cultures and oh, not to mention the food! I hope you enjoy my blog.