I really can't abide hot puddings (or puddings in general) but occasionally, in a fit of guilt, I make the effort to mollify my husand and kids, who crave cakey puddings soaked in syrup and cloaked in custard.
Pineapple Upside-Down cakes made with tinned fruit were all the rage in the 60s and 70s: frankly I can't think of anything I'd less like to eat than soggy pineapple rings drenched in syrupy gloop (with maraschino cherries as an added horror).
Apples and butterscotch, on the other hand, are a sublime combination. This cake is really very simple to make: a butterscotch mixture is heated in a pan, and the apples stewed in it for 5 minutes, or until partially cooked. They're tipped into a cake tin and covered with an easy chiffon-cake mixture, and they finish cooking as the cake bakes.
This is best served warm, and immediately, although you can reheat it gently the next day. The butterscotch and apple mixture can be made in advance. If you use a spring-form cake tin for this, make sure to place the tin on a baking tray, as some butterscotch may leak out.
Butterscotch Apple Upside-Down Cake
For the topping:
4 medium apples (I used Golden Delicious)
100 g butter
1 cup (250 ml) brown sugar
2 T (30 ml) golden syrup
1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
the juice of half a lemon
For the cake:
1 cup (250 ml) white granulated sugar
1 cup (250 ml) cake flour
1 ½ tsp (7.5 ml) baking powder
a pinch of salt
½ cup (125 ml) milk
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Peel the apples and cut them into quarters. Using a sharp knife, carve away the pips and hard core from each quarter. Cut each quarter in half crossways. Set aside.
Heat a heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the butter, sugar and syrup. Cook, over a medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for five minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling briskly and pulling away from the sides of the pan. Don't allow it to darken or burn. Tip in all the apple chunks and cook for a further five minutes, stirring frequently. As the sugar dissolves completely and moisture leaks from the apples, the sauce will thin slightly and begin to change to a rich caramel colour. Remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon and lemon juice.
Line the bottom of a non-stick cake tin with a circle of greaseproof or baking paper. Generously butter the top of the paper, and the sides of the tin. Tip the butterscotch mixture into the tin and stir gently so that the apple pieces are evenly distributed. At this point, you can set the mixture aside for a few hours, or even overnight.
To make the cake, whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, or until they reach the ribbon stage. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into the eggs. Pour the milk and vanilla over the mixture and stir gently until well combined. Pour the mixture into the cake tin, taking care not to disturb the butterscotch. Give the tin a sharp tap on the counter to break any trapped bubbles. Place in the hot oven and bake for an hour at 180°C, or until well risen and golden brown on top.
Remove from the oven and set aside for five minutes. Run a sharp knife around the sides of the tin to loosen the cake. Place a large platter on top of the cake and quickly invert. Carefully lift off the tin and peel away the baking paper.
Serve warm, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Makes one cake. Print Friendly