The Saucy Scholar

Archive for the month “June, 2012”

Recipe: Plum & Blueberry Upside Down-Cake

One of the most valuable pieces of advice that I have for fellow novice cooks is this: Unless you are working in the sparkly, magical kitchens in cooking-show land, things will inevitably go wrong. Your eggs could go bad. You could run out of spices. You could mistake baking powder for baking soda, or vice versa. Or, you could use a springform pan instead of a regular cake pan, almost set your apartment on fire, stub your toe, and scare your cat into hiding for three days.

That’s what happened the first time I tried to make this Plum & Blueberry, Upside-Down Cake from the September 2011 issue of Everyday Food. It smelled so good while it was baking–until the kitchen filled up with smoke. Watching the cake literally deflate after being rescued from the gaping maw that was my oven made me even more determined to try this recipe again–with the right cake pan. A good 8 inch cake pan that is also 2 inches deep is hard to find, but it is absolutely worth it. (You can also use them to make layer cakes!) Anyway, I was a bit more successful the second time around:

20120628-162135.jpg

Click here for the original recipe and the full list of ingredients–below is my shortened version, including photos:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and line the bottom of your buttered 8 BY 2 INCH CAKE PAN (figure I couldn’t emphasize it enough!) with parchment paper. Pour 2 tablespoons melted butter into the pan, and spread evenly. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of packed, light brown sugar over the butter. Finally, add the plum slices, and use the blueberries to fill in the gaps–I may have overdone it with the blueberries myself, but the top came out tart and sweet, almost like an old fashioned jam.

Transfer your batter (butter, brown sugar, eggs, egg whites, orange zest, flour, poppy seeds [I omitted these], baking powder, baking soda, salt, buttermilk [I found reduced fat in my supermarket!], vanilla extract) to the cake pan. Smooth the top and make sure there are no air bubbles. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and passes the toothpick test. Watch this one like a hawk–burned fruit is not a good look, trust me.

Wait until after it cools to invert, and then serve warm or at room temperature.

And that’s all there is to it!

–Stay cool and eat your fruit, The Saucy Scholar

Advertisements

Recipe: Iced Coffee

If you’re a fellow coffee drinker,  you probably know that an iced coffee generally costs more than a regular hot coffee. But, on those hot summer workdays, sometimes nothing else will do. The good news is, after searching high and low, I found a recipe for iced coffee that actually works–in fact, I think it’s actually better than store-bought. It does require some forethought and planning, but it’s surprisingly easy and well worth the extra five minutes in the morning. It definitely got me through a very busy summer at work last year.

Recipe from The New York Times:

What You’ll Need:

1/3 cup ground coffee (medium-coarse grind is best), water, milk (if using)

What To Do:

Stir together coffee and 1 1/2 cups water. The Times suggests to cover and let it rest at room temperature overnight or 12 hours, but I like to put mine in the fridge. It keeps it safe from the cat and I think it yields a slightly stronger flavor. I also use a Pyrex measuring cup instead of a jar or glass for an easy pour the next morning.

Strain twice–I use a tiny hand-held strainer that works like a charm. Place some ice cubes in a tall glass, and then mix equal parts coffee concentrate and water, or adjust to taste. Remember to leave room for milk if you usually take it in your coffee. It might take a couple of tries and playing around with the measurements to get the exact flavor and strength that you want, but once you get it right, you’ll never go back to buying iced coffee. Enjoy!

Salud,

The Saucy Scholar

Post Navigation