If you feel like singing, please do (‘upside down, boy you turn me…’). Baking should be fun and entertaining, therefore bursting out into songs is gladly accepted. That said, I am not claiming this cake will make you sing, although it is very good. This is a recipe featured in the September issue of the BBC Good Food magazine which I found quite inspiring because, to a certain degree, it reminds me of a tarte tatin. I will come clean: I have never made a tarte tatin before. The main reason is I don’t actually have a frying pan you can use in the oven (they tend to be kind of expensive) and I don’t see the point in getting one just to satisfy my curiosity of making this dessert. Upside-down cakes, however, are a completely different matter. I have made one with bananas and caramel before and they are a lot easier than they look.
Another good point to make is that, much in the same way as tarte tatin, upside-down fruit cakes are very versatile. You could potentially use all sorts of fruit, provided they are firm to the touch and end up looking pretty once baked (I wouldn’t venture as far as using passion fruit, just to be clear). Therefore, this cake can be made with pears and chocolate, plums, pineapples, apples and caramel, banana and caramel, peaches and cinnamon, etc. The combinations are pretty much endless. I decided to go for plums, like the original recipe, mostly because they are in season and sometimes you manage to find British ones in supermarkets. Also, this is a very moist and crumbly cake with a nutty texture, thanks to the ground almonds in the batter.
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
- 250g light brown sugar
- 140g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 100g ground almonds
- 125g soured cream
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 8-10 firm plums
- 4 tbsp light brown sugar (for the topping)
- Grease and line a 23cm springform tin with baking parchment. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
- Halve and stone the plums, then slice each half into 3 wedges. Toss them with the 4 tbsp of light brown sugar and arrange on the bottom of the prepared tin. Feel free to do it the way you prefer, either in rounds or casually arranged. Either way, make sure they form one single layer or they won’t cook properly.
- To make the cake, put the butter in the bowl of a freestanding mixer and beat until fluffy with the brown sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. Last, add the flour and ground almonds with the raising agents and the salt, then pour in the soured cream and vanilla extract. Combine to a smooth and thick cake batter.
- Using a spatula, spread the batter on top of the fruit and smooth the top. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until the cake has risen and a skewer inserted midway through the cake comes out clean.Remove the cake from the oven, allow to cool slightly, then release from the springform tin and invert it by placing a serving platter/dish on the base of the cake. Enjoy!