Tom is in high heaven right now… for the past 2 weeks I have prepare sweets that are dear to his taste buds. Lemon cake, Apricot-Almond Berry Buckle and now this upside-down Torte.
I almost did not make this cake. For some unknown reason I keep thinking that the Chocolate Feather Bed was the next cake and that this one was due the following week.
I think I was just blocking it out from my head, because we had had way to much fruit in my baking of late and I was pretty over it.
So when I read Marie’s Last Cake, Next cake recap and realized my mistake, I was all “oh man, another fruit cake - crap!”.
I was not looking forward to this one, but it was on the list and it had blueberries in it and Tom goes ga-ga over blueberries, so someone was going to be happily eating cake this weekend.
I did not even half the recipe - I figure lets overload him on fruit and he will eventually shout “ENOUGH!”. At least that was my strategy and I was sticking to it.
I started by making the decision to use my cast iron pan, I did not want to do the “do it here and then pour it there” dance.
You start by making a caramel sauce. Pretty straight forward, sugar, water, hot pan and then wait for it to turn the right shade of amber. Since I was doing this right from the pan, as soon as it turned color, I took it our of the heat and put it aside.
I could not find the greengage that Rose calls for but I did find a Pluot, which is a complex cross hybrid of plum and apricot, exhibiting more plum-like traits. By the way did you know that gage is another word for plum? I love Wikipidia.
I cut the plums in half and arrange them in the pan trying to think of the pretty pattern as the end product - the caramel was still hot, because as soon as those ripe plums hit the pan they started to sizzle, which made me panic at first but then figure that it would caramelize the fruit even more and there is nothing wrong with that. I tumble the blueberries on top and then started on the batter.
And let me start by shouting - HURRAYYY for this batter!
One bowl people - ONE FREAKING BOWL! And it was the food processor bowl to boot! After mixing the dry ingredients and giving it a pulse, the butter went in and gave it another pulse to moistened the whole thing, then everything else followed - eggs, vanilla and a final pulse until the batter came together.
Using a spatula you drop the batter in big blobs on top of the fruit prepare baking pan. I had a moment of doubt here, because it seem that there was not going to be enough batter to cover the whole thing - My cast iron pan was a bit over the 10 inch round - so I figure I was going to be short.
But, since I was not very vested with this cake, I smooth it out and hoped for the best - amazingly it covered the whole thing pretty well.
My torte baked fully at the 45 minute mark. I took it out of the oven and let it sit for the required 5 minute cool off period. Then came the test of un-molding it. To my surprise it did not stick to the pan. To my other surprise, this cake was butt ugly to look at - the pretty pattern did not materialized at all - total fail.
The blueberries broke down during the cooking process and exploded covering the whole thing in a blueberry jam-fest - the plums were barely visible. My mother, who was visiting me during the final stages of this, was all giddy with excitement (another fruit+cake nut) and went so far as swiping her finger in the blue jam and licking them, declaring that, at least the topping of cook fruit was delicious.
Tom: “I’m 3 for 3! This is very good. I really love the plums and blueberry combination, did not think it would work, but it does”
My Mom: “It was perfect to have for a morning snack with coffee. I also like that the cake was not overly sweet, so it did not compete with the natural sweetness of the plums. I did not taste the caramel though.”
I thought it was super easy to do, the clean up was just as easy, which when it comes to doing recipes from this book sometimes drives me nuts - Rose like to use up lots and lots of bowls and dishes! The final thoughts on the cake? The first thought was that it was ugly to look at. The second thought was that it ugly to photograph. My third thought, apparently it does not matter, since its good enough to eat.
For those that like their fruit and cake.
Disclaimer: No recipes are shared in my Heavenly Cake Baker posts, due to restrictions in sharing the recipes by the publisher of Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. But, you can purchase the book here.