Jane’s Sweets & Baking Journal -- janessweets.blogspot.com -- July 2011

(The two recipes below have been adapted from the book, bon appetit Desserts: The Cookbook for All Things Sweet and Wonderful, by Barbara Fairchild; Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2010. Original recipes appear on page 77 of the hardcover 1st edition.)

Fresh Sweet Cherry & Nectarine Upside-Down Cake

with Honey Whipped Cream

 

Yield: One 9" one-layer cake

 

6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature (divided use)

1/4 honey (I used clover honey.)

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 and 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Scant 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 pinch ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. baking soda

Scant 1/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 egg, large

2 tsp. peach schnapps (optional)

seeds of half a vanilla bean (or, 1 tsp of vanilla extract)

1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

2 medium size nectarines, pitted and thinly sliced in crescents (about 1/4" thick)

Approximately 16 fresh sweet cherries, pitted

For the honey whipped cream:

(Note: The original recipe suggested adding a little plain yogurt into this mixture. I didn't try that, but thought I'd mention it in case you'd like to give it a whirl!)

1 cup heavy cream, very cold

2 tsp. honey (Or use up to 2 Tbsp. if you want really sweet whipped cream.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in middle of oven. Liberally butter the bottom and sides of a 9" round cake pan. (After buttering, I took the extra step of lightly spraying the pan with vegetable oil spray; as far as I'm concerned, one can't be too careful where inverted cakes are concerned.) 

 

In a medium size sauce pan, melt 2 Tbsp. of the unsalted butter. Add into that the brown sugar and the honey. Cook on medium high heat until the mixture begins to boil; stirring often, let boil for about 2 minutes or until the mixture begins to darken just a bit. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour all of it into the buttered pan. Set the pan aside; the syrup will harden in the pan while you're preparing the rest of the cake.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and kosher salt. In the bowl of your mixer, using the paddle attachment on medium high speed, combine the remaining butter and the granulated sugar until it looks somewhat fluffy. Beat the egg into this on medium speed, along with the vanilla been seeds, and the peach schnapps.

Pour in half the flour mixture on medium speed just until well blended; blend in all of the yogurt. Add in the remaining flour on low speed, just until blended.

 

Arrange the nectarine slices in a spiral design around the edge of the cake pan, over the hardened syrup. Arrange the cherries similarly in the middle of the nectarine spiral. Using a spoon, gently dollop the soft cake batter over the fruit, being careful not to disrupt the design. Smooth the top of the batter to completely cover all of the fruit.

 

Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is golden and the sides begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the finished cake cool for only 5 minutes after removing it from the oven. At that point, have your serving platter ready and place it snuggly over the top of the cake. Quickly invert the hot cake pan onto the platter and delicately lift the hot pan off. If all goes well, you'll be faced with a lovely fruit design atop a glistening cake. Let the cake cool before slicing.

 

To make the honey whipped cream:

Whip the cream in your mixer on medium speed in a chilled bowl. Drizzle the honey in and whip until the cream forms soft peaks. Add more honey to taste, if you'd prefer the whipped cream to be sweeter. Keep refrigerated and serve over individual slices of the cake.