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Nectarine Upside-down Cake

June 24, 2011


CARDAMOM.
I can never find ground cardamom anywhere. I went to the organic produce store near my house, and found WHOLE cardamom for $8 and bought it thinking i could grind it in my food processor. Man, i really should have researched a little before assuming machines can do things they definitely can’t. Like grinding spices. After i came home and hilariously tried to grind 5 seeds of cardamom, i called around to different organic stores in the area and luckily the hippy health food store near my house had some!

I’m glad i made the extra effort to find ground cardamom. It’s such an amazing spice and goes really great with most fruits. You should definitely always have some on hand, just like you would with cinnamon or nutmeg. I was surprised to find that it was not too strong with this cake, which is good. You want the nectarine or whatever fruit you choose to be what really stands out. This cake was so easy and simple. The brown sugar and butter caramelizes on the bottom as it bakes, and once you flip the cake over, you’re left with this almost creamy fruity top layer and soft airy sweet cake underneath.

Nectarine Upside-down Cake
adapted from Joy the Baker

For the Topping:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup sliced nectarines [or whatever fruit you choose]

For the Cake:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2/3 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

I used a 9-inch round with 2-inch tall sides cake pan. Square pan would also work.

Place butter in the cake pan and place in the oven. When butter is melted, remove pan from the oven. Using two pot holders, tilt the pan around and around, coating the sides of the pan with butter. Once sides are coated, set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed. Cream until slightly pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop mixer, scrape down the bowl with a spatula, and add egg and vanilla extract. Beat for 1 minute.

Turn the mixer off, scrape the bowl, and add the dry ingredients. Beat on low speed while adding the sour cream. Beat until the batter just comes together. Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish incorporating ingredients with a spatula.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup brown sugar into the melted butter in the cake pan. Sprinkle nectarine slices over the butter and sugar in a single layer. Spoon batter over the fruit and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cake rest for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the cake and inverting the cake onto a cake plate. Best served warm.

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