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Friday, February 29, 2008

Cake disaster!!

Oh Gale Gand, why have you forsaken me? I saw Gale make this recipe for Chocolate Almond Upside Down Cake on The Martha Stewart Show. What can I say, I love Martha! The cake looked delicious and I knew I would have to make it sooner or later. Well I decided today was later. Maybe I should have waited a bit longer.

You start off by preparing your TEN inch cake pan. My first error... I think my pans are 8 inch. Generously butter the pan then add 6 Tablespoons of melted butter to it.

To that add 3/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey and a cup and a half of sliced almonds. Set this aside and prepare the cake.

First you will need to sift your dry ingredients... 1 1/4 cups cake flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Then start by whipping (yes whipping) a stick of softened butter. Then add 1 and a half cups of sugar. From there you will add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Then take your dry ingredients and add a third of them to the butter/egg mixture while beating on slow speed. When that is in, add half of your 1 cup of buttermilk. Another third of the dry ingredients, the rest of the milk, end with the rest of the dry. Pour the batter into the pan with the almonds.

Can you see from the above picture that disaster is imminent? I should have, but chose to ignore it. Within 10 minutes of putting the cake in the oven, I started to smell something. Uh oh... the batter started to overflow from the pan and into the oven floor! I quickly put a baking sheet in the over under it, but it was already too late. The kitchen got smokier and smokier and the smoke alarms all started going off! I turned them off, turned on the ceiling fan and opened some windows. Remember, this is February in Ohio.. it was only 20 degrees today!! I did let the cake finish though. I was bound and determined to finish what I started!

It doesn't look THAT bad. Not compared to the oven anyway. Can you even see in there through all the smoke?? What apparently happened is that the cake was too full and couldn't help itself so it pooped in my oven!

Well, clean up was a bitch. But now we have to deal with getting the cake out of the pan. turn upside down on a platter and let sit for 5 minutes or so, so the caramel can seep into the cake.

And here is the finished product! I can honestly say, I doubt I will make this again. I found it to be too sweet with all the brown sugar plus honey in the topping and the white sugar inside. Oh well, we don't know until we try!

Chocolate Almond Upside-Down Cake


6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 1/4 cups sliced or slivered almonds, lightly toasted


1 1/4 cups cake flour (not self rising)
1/2 cup cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Prepare the topping: Generously butter a 10-inch round nonstick cake pan. Pour 6 tablespoons melted butter into the cake pan and swirl to coat the bottom; sprinkle in brown sugar. Drizzle honey over sugar and sprinkle evenly with almonds.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the cake: Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together three times to make the cake extra light. Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add sugar and continue mixing. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running on low speed, add a third of the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Add half the buttermilk and continue mixing. Add another third of the dry ingredients, mix, and add remaining buttermilk and vanilla. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the pan.

Bake until set in the center and springy, 45 to 55 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and immediately invert the pan onto a serving platter. Let it sit with the pan still on top for 5 minutes so the caramel can soak into the cake a bit, before removing the pan. If the topping is sticking to the pan, warm the pan surface over a low burner to loosen the caramel and then pour it over the cake. Let cool completely. Cut into wedges with a serrated knife.

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