Monday, January 26, 2015

Winter Citrus Upside Down Cake

Winter Citrus Upside Down Cake by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

I've been a bit sick lately. Not just the little stuffy or a bit achey sick, but flat. out. sick. There was so much pressure in my head the past week I thought my face was going to explode, and my breathing's been as subtle as a passing train. Of course, all the projects I was hoping to get started on got pushed by the wayside and I was laid up in bed, so I've been doing as much from my computer as I possibly can. It was kind of needed, though, to be honest. Everything's been going a million miles an hour lately, and most days I'm on my feet in the kitchen developing recipes for 10 hours straight, so being forced to spend several days in bed just resting and drinking hot tea was exactly what I needed. Then once I started feeling better this past weekend, I tried refinishing the floors of my living room/dining room with Jeremy. I know, I have a problem. However, after two straight days of sanding I feel very, very sore but much less congested. Who would have known??? And right before I got all bogged down with the world's worst cold, I made this little winter citrus guy, and have been nibbling at it ever since.

Winter Citrus Upside Down Cake by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

I feel like people use the term 'winter citrus' a lot nowadays but the source of its meaning isn't really widely known, and because I am a giant food nerd I am going to share it with you. Back in the day when being able to quickly ship and trade exotic fruits and vegetables wasn't really an option, wealthy European landowners had gardeners whose jobs it was to keep the land of the estate producing and looking robust. Because they needed food sources year-round, they had elaborate and beautiful greenhouses built, and the best of the best gardeners would be able to produce a harvest of fruits, namely citrus, in the dead of winter. And thus the term 'winter citrus' was born. Nowadays most, if not all, of the winter citrus we get is shipped to us from a far away place rather than painstakingly grown in a local nursery, but that doesn't make it any less remarkable in flavor, color, or variety. There are so, soooo many types of citrus out there, and the best part is that you can use any of them for this cake! It's not limited to orange, lemon, kumquat, tangerine, or grapefruit, but the rainbow citrus sky is the limit with this one.

Winter Citrus Upside Down Cake by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

I used a mixture of blood oranges, lemons, kumquats, and grapefruits for this cake and it came out splendidly. But if you want it to be completely sweet without any tangy notes, I'd leave out lemons and sour grapefruit varieties when it comes to the slices on the bottom of the cake. Their juice is fine, but the flavor of the citrus you choose to place on the bottom of the cake will become very pronounced as the cake bakes, so choose wisely! I also used a gorgeous walnut cutting board from Red Maple Run for cutting up all this fine citrus. If you're as obsessed with wood slab cutting boards as I am, you'll enjoy peeking at their shop. Well, I will leave you to daydream about all the tasty possibilities winter citrus can bring you, and here's hoping all that citrus wards off the awful colds of this chilly season.

Winter Citrus Upside Down Cake by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking


Ingredients

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons lemon juice
about 5 thin slices citrus, enough to nearly cover the bottom of an 8-inch cake pan
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
4 eggs
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup orange or blood orange juice
1/4 cup citrus juice of your choosing
3 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated blood orange zest


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottom of a well-greased 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper, set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat with the light brown sugar, honey, and lemon juice, whisking until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and pour syrup into the cake pan. Arrange the sliced citrus on the bottom of the pan in a flat even layer. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom until blended. Set aside.

 In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs, granulated sugar, and olive oil at medium low speed until smooth. Add the orange juice, citrus juice, milk, vanilla and zest and mix until incorporated. Then gradually add the flour mixture to the batter, mixing until just blended.

Fill the cake pan 3/4 full with the batter and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.


Winter Citrus Upside Down Cake by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Winter Citrus Upside Down Cake by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Winter Citrus Upside Down Cake by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Winter Citrus Upside Down Cake by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Winter Citrus Upside Down Cake by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Winter Citrus Upside Down Cake by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Winter Citrus Upside Down Cake by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking


39 comments:

  1. This looks divine! And the story is so interesting; it makes me want to build my own greenhouse, rather than buy fruit that's been shipped from more exotic places :-)

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    1. Thanks so much, Kristin! And same here, been itching to build a greenhouse for ages!

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  2. I am glad to hear you are feeling better Eva. It is so funny to hear that sanding floors for two days straight made you feel less congested. :)
    This cake looks divine. I love your new cutting board as well.
    Cheers!

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    1. Haha, thanks Ice!! Yes I think the constant blowing of the nose because of all the sawdust did wonders!

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  3. This cake, with all of its citrus flavours and spices, looks absolutely incredible. My favourite part is that you've kept the peels of the slices in the bottom on! I love the caramelization that occurs when you bake citrus peel in sugar, so this is absolutely perfect in my eyes.

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    1. Awwww thank you, Ksenia!! I love the caramelization, too. So beautiful and so tasty at the same time :)

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  4. Ugh, those kinds of colds are the absolute worst. Glad you're feeling better! This looks absolutely amazing. My word. I love the variety of citrus and and cinnamon and cardamon, that has got to be perfection.

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    1. Thanks, Marcia!! Yes the cinnamon and cardamom paired with the citrus are beyond words, I just love it!!

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  5. Wow wow wow!!! Simple, beautiful and winter -y!)) I am glad you are getting better!

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  6. Gorgeous! You're style always leaves me speechless and inspired!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Tori!!

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  7. oh man i hope you feel better soon!! this cake is so freaking stunning. hopefully all of this citrusy vitamin c is the last kick you need to get better :)

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    1. Thank you my friend!! I am pretty much done with it now thank goodness, just in time for a much-needed weekend at the Oregon coast :D

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  9. Those rich colors are so perfect for this time of year. Thank goodness for winter citrus, huh?! What would we do if we didn't have that little burst of summer in January?! Beautiful cake, Eva - and I'm glad to hear you are feeling better!

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    1. I couldn't agree more! The colors are much needed this time of year :)

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  10. Such a perfect cake for winter - and full of colour too! Love :)

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  11. ahh! i´ve been feeling the same! can i just say your photography in this post is outstanding (and that cake looks stellar too!!)
    I love it!! I only wish I was that talented!! you´re my photography inspiration for sure! Hope you feel better soon!

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    1. Awwww shucks, Jess! You are making me blush! :) That makes me incredibly happy to hear!

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  12. Gosh, I love absolutely everything about this post; learning about winter citrus, the stunnings pics, and the divine cake. Eva, you never cease to amaze and inspire me. Hope you feel better soon! xx

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    1. Thank you my dear Sini! Your warmth encourages me very, very much :) And I am all back to normal now, hurray!!!

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  13. This looks amazing and I am looking forward to making it soon, but I have one question. Is there any particular reason you chose to use light brown sugar over dark brown sugar? I hope you are feeling better.

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    1. Thank you, Kari! No real reason, the dark brown sugar will just add the subtlest molasses hint over light brown sugar, that's really the only difference :)

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  14. Omidays I can't get over how gorgeous this is. The colours are just too beautiful

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  15. This cake looks amazing! I'm wondering if you remove the fruit slices before serving? If not, would you describe how the peel and pith taste? Thanks so much!

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    1. Hi Elizabeth! Thanks so much! And the peel and pith are left on the cake, as long as you slice them very thinly before putting in the bottom of the cake pan, they will completely caramelize while baking in the syrup and cake batter and will become quite sweet! If you use grapefruit, though, there will still be a sour tinge to them since grapefruit pith is especially sour and strong-tasting.

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  16. beautiful!! A vegan version will definitely be on the OM menu next week, thai you for the inspiration ;)

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  17. Thanks so much Eva! I'm planning to make this for an upcoming dinner party :).

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    1. Yay!!! You are so welcome, the citrus flavors are just wonderful :)

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  18. Looks so tantalazing. Your recipe is divine. Stunning photos.
    Domestic cleaning Fulham

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  19. OMG!This is the most beautiful cake I've ever seen!Hope you're on the mend girl!Sending warm hugs :)

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    1. Awwww thank you Bea!!! You are so sweet :) I wish I could come back to England sooner for another visit!!

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  20. I'm anxious to hear how the floors turn out. We've been talking about doing ours for years.
    The cake is beautiful. Fresh fruit is beautiful, so you can't lose when it comes to photographing it.
    I always get so excited when the blood oranges show up at the grocery store. We've been inhaling them over the past two weeks. They always feel like a special treat.
    Hope the new week brings a full recovery!

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  21. I could just stare at this photos all day. They are mesmerizing and oh so gorgeous. What a lovely cake.

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