Mango Upside Down Cake

Mangoes are everywhere now! Every year, around this time, I have been buying mangoes every week; there are so many varieties of mangoes out there, but we particularly like Champagne mangoes.  My children have been taking sliced mangoes for lunch snacks almost daily and they don’t get bored 🙂   Aside from eating fresh mangoes, I also have been baking them and incorporating them into our dinner entrees.  Today’s recipe comes from “Saved By Cake” by Marian Keyes;  I have been waiting for this cookbook to be published in America, so back in April when it finally came out I purchased it!

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Serves: 6-8

Topping:

3-1/2 Tablespoons butter

1/4 cup light brown sugar

16 ounce can of sliced mango in syrup, drained (reserve 2 Tablespoons of the syrup).  **I used fresh ripe mangoes instead; enough to cover the top (1 large mango or 1-1/2 mangoes – depending on the size and variety you use).

Cake:

7 Tablespoons butter

1/4 cup superfine sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup self-rising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Liberally grease an 8 inch cake pan.  I would discourage using springform pan because the syrup will leak out as the cake bakes.  Preheat the oven to 350F.

For the topping, beat the butter and sugar together, then spread it over the base of the cake pan – it will be a very thin layer so don’t worry.  Then arrange the mango slices on top of the topping (you can cut some slices to fill in the gaps).

Make the cake by creaming the butter and sugar together, adding the eggs and the 2 Tablespoons of reserved syrup (if you are using fresh mangoes don’t worry about this syrup).  Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold through.

Spread the cake batter over the sliced mangoes, covering them, then bake for 35 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack, and invert the cake out onto a serving plate (without burning your fingers!).  Serve warm with a dollop of fresh cream.

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My opinion:  First of all, I was a bit surprised when my children didn’t like this cake; they said it wasn’t bad tasting, but not for them.  Maybe their taste buds haven’t grown into sophisticated palates yet 🙂  On the other hand, my husband and I quite enjoyed this cake.  I was never into pineapple upside down cakes (I think they were too sweet for my taste), but this mango upside down cake had enough sweetness to qualify as a cake and a very adult flavor.  I also think that not using canned mangoes helped the cake not to be overly sweet.  I think next time I may add a little bit of freshly ground cardamom!

Upside Down Lemon Pudding Cake

It’s been pretty dreary here in Philadelphia for the past few days.  After cleaning the house I settled in to organize my recipes (1x/year I go through my recipes to weed out what I will not be using anymore).  About 2 years ago I bought America’s Best Lost Recipes (kitchen tested and approved by the good folks at the America’s Test Kitchen).  I started flipping through the book and realized there are couple of recipes I wanted to try.  One of the recipes I found was this Upside Down Lemon Pudding Cake (original name is “Great Aunt Ellen’s Upside Down Lemon Pudding Cake).   It looked simple enough and I wanted something for after dinner dessert tonight. 

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Serves 6 (Makes 6 – 6oz ramekins or 2 quart baking dish):

2 large eggs, separated, room temperature
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons grated zest plus 1/4 cup juice from 2 lemons
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
**boiling water to fill the baking pan

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350F.  Grease 2 quart baking dish or six 6 ounce ramekins. 

With an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat the egg whites to soft peaks.  Transfer to a bowl and set it aside.

Beat the butter, sugar, and zest together on medium high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce the speed to medium and add the egg yolks, mixing until incorporated.  Add the flour and salt and beat until combined.  Add the lemon juice and milk and beat until incorporated. 

Using a rubber spatula, fold in the egg whites.  Pour the batter into the baking dish, or use the ladle to pour the batter into ramekins (for ramekins, if you don’t use the ladle the first few cups get all the froth and later cups get all the batter). 

Place the dishes in a large baking pan and add enough boiling water to the pan so that it reaches halfway up the sides of the dish or ramekins.  Bake until the top is golden and the center springs back when gently pressed (35-45 min for a baking dish; and 25-35 min for ramekins). 
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Transfer the dishes to a rack and cool completely, at least 1-1/2 hours (these can be refrigerated for up to 2 days; allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.)  To serve, run a paring knife around the edges of the dish and invert onto a plate. 

My opinion: Delicious, delicious, and delicious!!  As this bakes in the oven, the egg whites float to the top and turn into this spongy cake, and the rest of the batter settles to the bottom and creates a pudding like layer. 
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Do you see what I’m talking about??  This has delicate lemon flavor you will love!!  This is so easy, it’s a must try!!