It’s been awhile hasn’t it?
I was naive in thinking that I would be able to pump out a post or two every so often while managing school and extracurriculars but the challenges of second year university caught me unawares and proved to be too much for me to juggle.
My courses chained me to the libraries. I was a slave to the piles of terms to memorize, the midterms to study for and the assignments to complete. There were a never-ending parade of assessments that forced me to bow at my desk and pray to the academic gods to help me make it through.
Not only was I barely standing under the weight of my courses, my role as a residence Community Advisor and as a varsity team figure skater filled up the little pockets of free time that I had. Although these were much needed respites from the library and lecture halls, they still drained what little energy I could possibly have had to write.
Now don’t get me wrong. Second year was also filled with late night ukelele jam sessions in the Community Advisor staff room, victorious skating competitions and silent backstage belly shaking laughs during musical theater show season. But sadly, as much as I wanted to, I wasn’t able to prioritize blogging as much as I would have liked.
Now that it’s the summer (though there isn’t much left of it), school is taking a backseat and I’ll hopefully be able reignite this blog again–at least for a while.
Starting with this blood orange upside down cake.
I’ve always been intimidated by upside down cakes–they seem nearly impossibly perfect.
Laying down a layer of sugar, butter and slices of fruit, then covering with a basic cake batter. Bake, remove from the oven and turn it over on to a plate. A showstopping cake with zero decorating required. How did people bake such a stunning cake and not have it stick to the pan?
Turns out, the sugar and butter bottom is the secret.
In all honesty, this is one of the easiest cakes that I have made. Have a go and see for yourself! Bring it to your next potluck and get ready for some oohs and ahhs.
Blood Orange Upside-down Cake
- 1/4 cup butter + 1.5 teaspoons
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 blood oranges*. Sliced with skin on.
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
1. Preheat over to 325ºF and
2. In a 8-inch metal cake pan or a cast iron skillet, melt 1/4 cup butter over very low heat directly on the stove. Remove from heat and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the pan. Place the slices of blood orange to cover the bottom of the pan.
3. In a small bowl, Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. In a large bowl, beat egg whites just until soft peaks form and gradually add granulated sugar making sure to beat well after each addition. Continue to beat until medium-stiff peaks form.
5. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks at high speed until very thick and yellow. Gently fold 1/3 of egg whites into egg yolks and flour mixture. This step is important to prevent the egg whites from deflating. Fold the egg white and egg yolk mixture into the rest of the beaten egg whites until well combined. Finally, fold in 1.5 teaspoons of melted butter and almond/vanilla extract.
6. Spread the batter evenly over your beautiful oranges in cake pan. Bake for 20 minutes until surface springs back when gently pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Loosen the edges of the cake with table knife.
7. Cool the cake for 5 minutes before inverting onto serving plate. Serve warm or cooled. It’s just as delicious either way.
*Substitute blood oranges with any seasonal fruit. Peaches, nectarines, pineapple, apple, pears….