Wednesday, June 12, 2013

roll with the punches

if you haven't noticed yet, my baking can be spontaneous and usually in those moments of me really feeling antsy and having the need to bake it comes down to finding what's in the house to use. M mentioned the apricots were getting too ripe and that they were rather tasteless (i don't know about anyone else, but i only ever usually like the dried apricots to begin w/ b/c the fresh ones never taste like much to me). 

i also don't know what anyone did w/o the internet to search for recipes with specific ingredients with just a few searches. i found a couple recipes, but this one seemed the most interesting and easy to play with. 

oh, and about the title, M&D spent the last month taking care of their grandson so wanted to bake them something nice to eat after they got back from the airport dropping off my sister and her baby. i had just popped the cake in to be ready for when the parents got back when i got a call that D had run out of gas and was stuck on the side of the road by the airport. so i had to shut down the oven and take the poor cake out and drive out to the airport with a gas can (this is also when tripe A or something similar seems helpful). i wasn't sure what an hour out of the oven after starting to bake would affect the cake but it tastes darn tasty to me and the consistency and rising of the cake doesn't seem to have been ruined either.
ripe ripe apricots all laid out (i actually ended up doing another layer on top b/c i sliced these suckers so thin).

Apricot Upside Down Cornmeal Cake 
makes one 9" cake
adapted from LA Times

2 T unsalted butter
3/4 c loosely packed light brown sugar
5-6 fresh apricots, cut into eighths lengthwise
1 1/4 c all purpose flour
3/4 c cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 eggs
1/2 c granulated sugar
3/4 c olive oil + plain yogurt (about 2/3 c olive oil and the rest of the measuring cup with yogurt)
1/2 large orange, juiced

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In  a small bowl microwave butter until melted and stir in brown sugar until mixed. Press into the springform pan. Spread the apricot pieces in a circular design in two layers.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and white sugar until mixture is pale and golden, 3-5 minutes.

Alternately add dry ingredients and oil/yogurt into the wet ingredients starting with the dry ingredients sifted into the bowl, until just combined. Stir in the orange juice and scrape and smooth into the pan so it covers the apricots.

Bake the cake until it is golden and springy to the touch, about 40 minutes. Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate over the pan and flip the pan over, release the spring mold and peel back parchment. 

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