Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Coconut + Pecan + Chocolate Upside-Down Cake

      Upside down cakes are wonderfully simple to make, impressive in appearance, and nearly endless in possibilities of tops. However, you normally only see fruit upsides-downs. I would put money on the fact that most of your firsts were bright sights of yellow pineapple rings with maraschino cherries in the middles. I had only ever had a fruit one before this beautiful invention.
So much goodness.
        When I first doggie eared the recipe in my beloved Fannie Farmer Baking Book, I patiently awaited the right time to make it. I knew, I would not be able to stop from eating this delicious oozing top of all my favorite things, surrounded by a moist yellow cake if I made it just as my lazy Sunday afternoon cake. How could you possibly look as  all the goodness dropped tantalizingly down the edges and not go back for more...and more? The cake is not beautiful in a decorative sense, but it is beautiful in the fact that when you look at it all you want to do is take a fork to its edges and start working your way in.
I could take a spoon to the raw batter and topping and even be a
         It is my roommate's, mom's birthday this week and Jess asked me over a month ago if we could plan a special cake since Sue is normally the cake maker for the rest of the family. So last Sunday, we sat down with my heap of most trusted cookbooks on a search for the best decadent birthday treat. We narrowed from about six cakes, to settle on this. Both giddy over the book's description, it was finally time to make the Coconut, Pecan, Chocolate Upside-Down Cake I had been patiently (ok, honestly impatiently) awaiting. I am not kidding guys; fruit upside cakes are great, but for now eat those apples and pineapple just plain. It's time to indulge in caramelized coconut, pecans and chocolate melted to perfection and met with the perfect pairing of sweet yellow cake. 
         Happy Birthday, Sue! May it be delicious and happy, and may the year ahead be full of joyous times. 
Adapted Slightly from "The Fannie Farmer Baking Book" by Marion Cunningham 
Oven Temp: 350 F
One 9 in" cake round 
8 TBSP unsalted butter (1 stick, divided in half)
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C shredded coconut
2/3 C pecans
2/3 C semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 C + 2 TBSP milk (divided)
1 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 1/4 TSP baking powder (1 1/2 at sea level)
1/4 TSP salt
1/2 TSP vanilla extract
1 egg
1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease the cake pan.
2. Combine the brown sugar, coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips in a small bowl.
3. Melt 4 TBSP of butter in a saucepan. 
4. When it is completely melted, remove from heat, add the 2 TBSP milk and follow immediately with the brown sugar and toppings mixture. Stir until blended together.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and spread evenly.
6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. 

7. In another bowl, whisk together 4 TBSP melted and cooled butter, egg, vanilla extract, and 1/3 C milk.
8. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until thoroughly combined.  
9. Pour the batter over the coconut, pecan and chocolate mixture and spread evenly. It is a sticky batter so you may have to gently work it and grease the back of the rubber spatula to manipulate it.
10. Bake for 30 minutes until a toothpick going only into the cake portion comes out clean and the top has just started to brown in spots.
11. Let the cake rest for 5 minute, then quickly invert it. If any of the topping sticks to the pan, you can easily scoop it out at this point and spread it on top of the cake. It will harden together. 

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