Thursday, August 7, 2014

Grape-Orange Upside-Down Cake, or You're not going to throw those away, are you?

You know, I actually sort of like finding things in the fridge that are just barely still good. It means I get to try out experiments on them that I'd never do with fresh stuff. If it's good, I've discovered something tasty. If not, well I was about to throw said iffy produce out anyway. For instance, I'd never do this to fresh grapes, but to ones that have ambitions to become raisins, I had no problem making this up.

Grape-Orange Upside Down Cake
¾ c butter, divided
1 c sugar
2 eggs
¼ c orange juice
1 tsp baking powder
1½ c flour
½ c brown sugar

In a skillet or a deep layer pan, melt the ¼ cup of the butter and the brown sugar together. Then spray the sides of the pan. Cut the grapes in half and press them cut side up in the pan. You could cut them all in half in advance, but I found it easier to just have a pair of scissors in one hand and snip each in two as I picked it off the stem and put it in the pan.
Cream ½ c butter and the sugar. Beat in the eggs, then add the orange juice. Stir in the baking powder, then mix in the flour.
Pour into the pan. Try to get the batter to land all over it rather than just piling it in the center- this will make it easier to spread even. It needn't be perfectly level, but try to get it fairly close and to all the edges.
Bake 30-45 minutes at 350°.

Have I mentioned how much I fricken love upside-down cakes? They are awesome. The sight of that brown sugar/butter sludge stuff is one of the best things in the dessert-making world-- to me at any rate.
This is my happy place.

And this is where the grapes get brought in.
See? No one was going to eat them anyway. This isn't a loss, it's a gain.

I cut them in half thinking that the juice would ooze out as it cooked, mix with the brown sugar stuff they're sitting in, and make it amazing. I never wondered what color grapes are on the inside, but now I know.
Kinda looks like a mosaic, doesn't it?

As for the cake batter, I started with this. Because I figured orange and grapes would go together like brown sugar and butter, I added some juice. Then I decided I may as well add some baking powder and make it a bit less dense.
I love it when cake batter is this thick.

I don't know why people customarily bake upside-down cakes in a skillet, but this is why you don't do it in a round-sided frying pan:
Do you think the edges are done?

And now, it's time to be wowed!
I may have undergreased the pan a little.

Well, that was a failure. What is it with 1234 cake not photographing whenever I make it? Maybe unlike last time, an individual slice will photograph decently despite not getting out a plate which I'd have to wash.
Not lovely-looking, but illustrative.

The sight of the deflated grapes was promising- that means that the grape juice is now absorbed into the cake and the brown sugar stuff on top of it which theoretically meant this will be amazing.
However, the grape taste was pretty much gone. I have no idea where it went. But, the orange taste got stronger and was absolutely amazing with the upside-down cake brown sugar stuff on top. The grapes don't seem to make much difference, so leave them in or leave them out, this sucker is delicious.

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