Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Very Truant Rose's Heavenly Cakes Bake-Through

I signed up for the Rose's Heavenly Cakes bake-through because I figured, really, how hard can it be to bake a cake every two weeks? And it's not hard at all. Two cakes into it, it's fun. But life has been messing with my ability to blog about the baking. Hence, I'm two days late writing this.

But let's back up three days to last Sunday. Max, Tommy, and I went to the Haunted House at the Children's Museum. Tommy was a little listless. At lunch, I looked over and was alarmed to find his face pale, and his lips as colorless as his face. We headed for home where he watched some Thomas movies quietly and, while Phil occupied the other kids, I baked the Apple Upside Down Cake on this week's schedule.

With the cake safely out of the oven, I took Tom to Immediate Care where they determined he might be in the early stages of H1N1 and prescribed Tamiflu. Back home, undeterred, I whipped up the bourbon whipped cream for the cake, and Noah and Holly came over for our weekly Mad Men date. All four of us agreed the cake was spectacular. The fact that Tommy cried out for me, delusional and extremely sick, midway through my piece and during a climax on the show isn't important. What's important is that this is a really really really good cake.

Being new to the upside down cake world, I thought the process went like this:
  1. Cut up apples and put them in the pan.
  2. Mix up cake batter and pour over.
  3. Bake and enjoy.
This one's slightly more labor-intensive, although well worth the effort. It would have been a bit of a pain if Sylvie had been in the kitchen clinging to my legs, but Phil had her outside playing some form of toddler baseball, so I enjoyed my kitchen time. Here's what I did:
  1. Peel and cut up the apples and let macerate in lemon juice and brown sugar for 30 to 90 minutes.
  2. Melt some butter and pour some into the pan to grease the pan. To the remaining melted butter, add the juice from the macerating apples and more brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Then let this bubble and simmer for a while until it becomes a deep golden brown. Pour this into the pan.
  3. Add the apples to the pan, trying to make a pretty and even pattern.
  4. Mix up cake batter and pour over.
  5. Bake and enjoy.

The final step before eating is to whir up some whipped cream with a tablespoon of bourbon to make a (we found) rather boozy foil for the sweet cake. The whole package really was magnificent.

A couple things to note:

  • I baked this in a silicone pan that was regifted to me. I'm beside myself in love with silicone now. A co-worker read my Barcelona Brownie entry and brought me some silicone pans she'd received as a gift that she felt were just cluttering her kitchen. If you haven't baked with silicone, run to your nearest Target and get some. Seriously. Nothing sticks to this. In fact, when I unmolded the cake I was slightly off-center on the serving plate and had no second chance to make it right as the cake slide right out immediately.
  • I eyeballed the bourbon going into the whipped cream, and might have overshot. The cream tasted extremely boozy. Next time I'll be measuring. Although I do have to say bourbony cream seems perfect for enjoying during Mad Men, even if most bourbon on that show is enjoyed liberally during the workday.
  • I used a cake tester to see if the cake was ready, but didn't stick it in the center of the cake. My bad. The center wasn't cooked through. In fact, after the first night, I scooped out the center so that it wouldn't go rancid and spoil the rest of the cake.
  • Rose suggests baking this in the pan on a pizza or baking stone to better caramelize the caramel sauce. I didn't, but I'm going to try this next time.
  • Tommy was very sick and delusional Sunday night, and when he called desperately for me mid-cake, I was a bad enough mom to weigh whether it seemed he needed me immediately, or if I could just finish my cake first. It's that good.

I never got a chance to have a second piece of this masterpiece; Phil ate big hunks of it the next couple nights until it was gone. Which just means I'm going to have to make another. Soon. I'm hoping this next time will be on a night when Tommy doesn't projectile vomit on me, as it delays my getting back to my cake. Just sayin'.

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Blogger Teresa said...

Yum. That cake sounds awesome. I hope Tommy is better. Thanks for the tips! I think I might try this for Thanksgiving since I do not like pumpkin pie and am tired of apple pie.

6:30 AM  

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