I bought a Mini Cooper this weekend! It’s dark blue with a white roof, white mirrors and white bonnet stripes. It even has a panoramic sun roof. I want to get rid of the stripes but Miles likes them so I told him we could keep them for a few weeks. It’s my very first car purchase so I’m pretty excited. The last time I actually owned a car, I was 16 and it was an Escort. I drove it until it literally died. That’s what I plan to do with my Mini.
The next day there was a terrible ice storm, so we didn’t leave the house. We were both bummed because we wanted to go for a ride, but the roads were very slippery. I decided to make a little sunshine indoors and finally did something with the bag of oranges I had.
I found a recipe for a lemon upside down cake and modified it by using oranges instead. I also decided to cut off the rind.
Now, my mom and my grandmother always made upside down cakes in a cast iron skillet. I still don’t have one even thought I talk about buying one all the time. I really need to finally break down and buy one. They’re so many good recipes out there that require one! I instead used my spring form pan which I’m sure works just as well, but doesn’t look as cool.
The cake I have to say was just lovely. The cake itself had a nice crumb without being dry and the orange and brown sugar was very light and refreshing. In the end I ran out of light brown sugar, so most of it was actually dark brown and I have to say I preferred it. It made the cake a little darker, but the flavor was a bit deeper. It was a very welcome treat for such a bleak and grey day.
On the other hand, whenever Miles needed a little pick me up, he just went to the front window and peeked at our new car outside.
Orange Upside Down Cake
- 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter , softened
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 thin-skinned oranges , sliced paper-thin crosswise, seeds discarded and rind removed
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs , separated
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Sweetened whipped cream , for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°. Set a 9-inch nonstick spring form cake pan over moderate heat. Add 4 tablespoons of the butter and when it is melted, stir in the brown sugar until dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Arrange the lemon slices in the melted brown sugar.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter with the granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and the egg yolks, one at a time. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the milk.
Adapted from Food & Wine