This week’s assignmnet was to make the Nectarine Upside-Down Chiffon Cake from page 241 in the book. I’ve never made a chiffon cake, nor have I ever had any variety of an ‘upside down’ cake–pineapple or otherwise.
This wasn’t a terribly difficult recipe, but there were multiple steps. First to cut and arrange the slices of nectarine
The slices of fruit are sitting on a layer of melted butter and one cup of brown sugar. (I was thrilled to be able to buy ripe nectarines at the market. Usually I end up with baseballs disguised as nectarines.) Once the fruit is laid down on the butter and sugar, its time to make the streusel. Do not forget to wrap the pan in heavy duty aluminum foil. You’ll see why later.
In the bowl of the food processor went: brown sugar, almonds, flour, cinnamon, ginger, oatmeal and butter. It got ground together, tossed onto a baking sheet and baked until it was toasty.
I’ve got to admit that I’m always amazed at how egg whites change when they’re whipped. Anyway….the directions told us to do the yolks first and then the whites, but since I was using my hand mixer and I only have one set of whisks, I whipped the egg whites, then the yolks and added the flour to the yolk mixture, and then folded them all together. If you do the yolks first, you have to wash the whisk, and I’m lazy. Sorry, but I am.Then you take 1/2 of the batter and pour it on top of the pretty nectarines, and top that with most of the streusel mixture
(please excuse the weird hand–its mine, and I was playing with the camera)
And you cover the streusel with the rest of the batter. And into the oven it goes. The recipe says to bake it for 45-50 minutes, well at 45 minutes the center of my cake was extremely jiggly. But it was getting brown, fast, so I turned it down to 325, and an extra 15 minutes got the job done. It rested for 25 minutes while I showered and psyched myself up to flip the thing over.
It had risen above the top of my spring-form pan, and I had to trim off the bit that ‘spilled’ over. (and I got to have a ltitle taste) And, you can see the pool of caramel that spilled out once I unwrapped the foil surrounding the pan. I was very happy that I wrapped the pan up. I would not have wanted that mess inside my oven. No Sir-ee. The bottom of the pan was still quite hot, so I waited for a few more minutes, and continued psyching myself up to flip the thing. I flipped it a few minutes later, and it wasn’t a disaster! I got it almost into the middle of the plate:
If I had watched the video of Julia Child and Mary Bergin baking this first, I would have known to flip it upside down onto the plate and THEN take off the ring of the springform pan. Whoops! It sank a bit in the middle. But I was kind of expecting that…its a very light cake with butter, brown sugar and nectarines on top of it. How could it NOT sink?
All in all, it was delicious, but if I make it again, I’ll leave out the streusel layer. Personally I think it made the cake too sweet. But, you make it and decide for yourself. The recipe(s) can be found at our hosts websites this week Marlese at The Double Trouble Kitchen and Susan at the Little French Bakery. As always, check out the Leave Your Link (LYL) post at Tuesdays With Dorie for other beautiful examples of this cake.