This challenge suits me down to the ground as I would estimate that over 90% of my recipe books are baking related. So I had rather a large selection to choose from as you can see from the picture...and this is only a fraction of the books I own. I think many people would agree that buying recipe books is just as addictive as baking out of them!!!
Fruit Slice with Flaky Pastry in January and an Alice in Wonderland Teapot cake in March. So I thought when I picked an upside down cake this would be the easiest yet but to be honest I'm a little dubious about the outcome and therefore the recipe below has the modifications I would make. dThe first thing I have to say is NEVER believe a recipe for an upside down cake or similar which suggests using a loose bottom tin. I was slightly dubious about this to start with but who am I to argue with the recipe. Well I was right to be dubious...within minutes of putting my cake in the oven the juice and melted butter for the bottom of the tin leaked out of the base... leading to some serious oven cleaning once the cake came out. I think had it not been loose bottomed all that lovely syrup and sugar would have given a better caramelised top to the cake. Lakeland have actually started selling something called PushPans which are essentially loose bottomed but they have a seal round the bottom to prevent just this sort of thing. Has anyone tried them?
Recipe adapted from Gorgeous Cakes by Annie Bell:
100g set honey
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
30g light muscovado sugar
30g salted butter
12 tinned apricot halves if out of season, otherwise you can use fresh apricots
150g salted butter
150g golden caster sugar
2 medium eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
125ml whole milk
200g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Start by making the honey syrup. Weigh out the honey in the saucepan and add the water (and lemon juice if using). Bring to the boil. Whilst waiting, measure out the cornflour into a small bowl. When the honey and water comes to the boil pour a small amount in with the cornflour and mix to a smooth paste. Then add this back into the saucepan and simmer for one minute or until slightly thickened. Set aside to cool, you could serve this on the side in a jug if you'd like.
Heat the oven to 200c/180c fan/gas 6 before creaming together the muscovado and butter for the apricots. This is then smeared around the base of a 20cm cake tin WITHOUT removeable base. Maybe try a push pan or if you try a fixed base pan let me know how you get on!! Then arrange the apricots on top of the butter/sugar mix with the cut side down. The original recipe suggests 10, I found that 12 fitted better.
Finally, make the cake mixture to cover the apricots. This is fairly easy, just cream together the sugar and butter before adding the eggs one at a time. At this point add the lemon zest. You can then sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and add the milk. Give it a good mix before spooning over the aprictos and levelling the surface.
Bake for around 45-50 minutes, although it took me around 55 minutes. If the cake appears to be browning rather too much on the top just pop a bit of foil over it as you near the end of the cooking tim. When you remove the cake from the oven, leave it to cool in the pan for around 15 minutes but you can run a knife around the edge as it comes out.
To remove from the tin place a plate over the top of the cake tin and then invert the cake and it should come out onto your plate. To serve pour the honey syrup over the top of the cake. You could serve this warm or at room temperature. Warm with some ice cream might be good for dessert! :-)