Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
Adapted from Eating Well
A gorgeous fruity cake, with a pretty design on top and an ooey gooey caramel sauce that forms by itself on the bottom of the pan. When you flip it over, all that gorgeous caramel drips down over the fruit and the cake and it tastes just like heaven. I love the way the tartness of the rhubarb contrasts with the sweetness of the caramel. The cake itself is nutty and whole wheat, yet fluffy and light because the eggs are whipped before adding. It’s not like any other cake I’ve ever made before.
This spring, I was smitten with the idea of making a strawberry rhubarb upside down cake. I eagerly picked a bunch of rhubarb from my mom’s garden, brought it home and put it in my fridge, and then somehow got swept up in the crazy busy things of life and didn’t get my rhubarb upside down cake done. Weeks later, I pulled my poor rhubarb from the fridge. Some of the pieces were looking pretty sad, but there were others that were still beautiful, nice and pink and crunchy. It was time. Time to make my cake.
I made this cake twice … because the first time I made it, I made it in my cast iron pan, which is heavy. So when I tried to flip it over, the plate slipped a little and my arms weren’t strong enough to recover … that gorgeous design that I’d carefully placed on the top (bottom) of the cake went all awry. Although it was absolutely delectable, there was no way I could blog that disaster looking cake!
So I had to make my upside down cake again. This time I made it in a slightly smaller, but much lighter pan, and when I had extra batter, I put that batter in a separate little pan for my son who loved the idea of a strawberry upside down cake, but doesn’t much care for rhubarb. (In my opinion, the rhubarb is the BEST part, but to each his own.)
This time I flipped the pan with no problems, but I was displeased with the look of it. I frowned at my cake and said to my teenage daughter: “it’s ugly.” She said to me, “What are you talking about?!? It’s beautiful!”
With her encouragement, I agreed to go take photos of my 2nd cake and in the process decided, yes, it IS beautiful! It was again, delicious. I took it to work and shared it and got lots of compliments.
I even made you a nice long picture for pinning:
- 2 Tablespoon butter, melted
- 1/2 - 1 cup whole pecans
- A few ripe strawberries
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon real maple syrup
- 1 lb. rhubarb, washed and chopped into small chunks (about 3 cups)
- 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar, divided
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- For the topping: Melt the butter and spread it over the bottom of a 10-inch round pan or skillet. Use a brush to brush the sides of the pan with butter too. Arrange the pecans and strawberries in a pretty pattern on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar and then drizzle with maple syrup. Add the rhubarb on top of this, to make an even layer across the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Put the flour, pecans, baking powder and salt in a mini food processor and process until the nuts are ground fine.
- Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a large bowl and the yolks in another mixing bowl. Beat the whites until there are soft peaks. Gradually add 1/3 cup brown sugar and beat until mixture is glossy.
- Now add the other 1/3 cup of brown sugar to the yolks in the other bowl and beat until they are thickened and pale. Add the vanilla and beat a little longer.
- Gently fold 1/3 of the egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture, then 1/3 of the flour mixture. Repeat until all the batter ingredients are well mixed. Pour the batter over the fruit in the prepared pan.
- Bake at 375 F. for about 30 - 40 minutes. Test to see if the middle springs back when lightly touched, then bake a few minutes longer to ensure the middle is cooked well.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Let sit for about 5 minutes to cool just slightly, then use a knife to loosen the cake sides from the pan. Set a large serving plate over the cake pan and, using oven mitts, carefully flip the cake onto the plate, letting it sit for a few moments to let the caramel drizzle off the pan and down onto the cake. Remove the pan and let the cake cool for 15 - 20 minutes before cutting.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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