Friday, October 9, 2009

Cake, of the Upside-down Variety

I have to once again sing the praises of a Real Simple dessert. Last night I was flipping through the August issue trying to think of an easy dessert to make for my friend Erin, who is visiting this weekend. I was seduced by the picture of the Plum Upside Down Cake, and sold on the fact that all the ingredients are pantry staples, except for the plums, which are easy enough to come by. I was entirely too lazy to photograph my own cake, but it basically looked like the picture (victory!).

Note: this is Real Simple's photo. Not mine. Not taking credit for it.

The recipe was so fast and easy to prepare, and I have to say, absolutely delicious. Success. And it was nice to have a cake to celebrate the fact that my guest of honor just found out today that she passed the bar exam. Hooray. Cake for all!

Plum Upside Down Cake, (Real Simple Magazine, August 2009)
Serves 8-10

* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature, plus an additional tablespoon
* 4 firm-ripe plums (I used black plums, but I'm sure any kind would be delicious), each one cut into 8 wedges
* 1/4 cup brown sugar
* 2/3 cup white sugar
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 3/4 tsp baking powder
* 1/4 tsp baking soda
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 2/3 cup sour cream (lowfat is fine)
* 1 large egg
* 1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper

2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar and the plums. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the juices from the plums become syrupy, 3 to 4 minutes. Arrange the plums in the cake pan in slightly overlapping concentric circles, starting from the outside. Spoon any pan juices over the top.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

4. With an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup of the butter and 2/3 cup of the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, sour cream, and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.

5. Pour the batter over the plums (you'll have to use a spatula to spread it around, since it's a thick batter). Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 1 hour. Place a large plate over the cake pan and invert the cake onto the plate. Enjoy!!!

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