Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Apple Upside-Down Chiffon Cake : "TWD : Baking with Julia"

The good thing about the 'TWD : Baking with Julia' group, and I have said this before, is that it regularly pushes me out of my comfort zone and compels me to try out new techniques. I doubt I would have ever tried today's upside-down chiffon cake if the group hadn't chosen it for this fortnight's post. In my ignorance, I assumed it was one of those cakes that would require elaborate technique to achieve a chiffon-like texture and lightness, something I believed was beyond my patience threshold. And as always, I was wrong!!


Turns out, the chiffon cake gets its lightness by beating the egg whites to a meringue consistency which is then incorporated into the flour batter to lighten it. This is extremely important because the cake uses oil instead of butter and as oil cannot be whipped, the cake relies on the meringue to achieve its characteristic springy texture.
 

This particular recipe that we followed added a few 'bells and whistles' to a regular chiffon cake. At the bottom, we had a layer of fruit, melted butter and brown sugar that goes on to become a layer of caramelised fruit topping when this cake is turned upside down. There is also a crunchy, streusel layer of toasted nuts, oats and cinnamon that is centered between the two layers of the cake.
 
The recipe promised flavours of lemon, cinnamon, nuts and caramel. So when it came to choosing a fruit to substitute the nectarines, I went with apples, best friends with all the mentioned flavours.




Making this cake is not tough, it is just time-consuming to get all the components done. But worry not, for you will be well recompensed for all your efforts. The beauty of this cake is that no one flavour or component seeks to dominate or overwhelm your palate. On their own, each component will not please but when combined all together in this cake, it is a symphony of flavours and textures!!
 
Once cooled and unmoulded, the sweet, caramel fruit layer is never overpoweringly sweet as it is tempered by the nutty and cinnamon flavours and textures of the streusel. And bringing it all together, is that cake base that has a mellow, lemon flavour that compliments its light, springy texture. In fact, it is a hint of that lemon that stays with you in the after taste of this cake.


It took me an entire afternoon to get all the components of the cake done. I chose an afternoon when the weather played truant and I was forced indoors all day. Luckily for me, this cake is perfect for those days when the rain gods reign supreme. And then only a slice of this warm cake with its caramelised apples and toasty streusel served with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream can beat the weather blues away!!!


Due to copyright considerations, only the person hosting the recipe for the group 'TWD:Baking with Julia' can post the recipe on their blog. The recipe for this cake will be available on the blogs of Marlisle and Susan. Alternately, you can write to me at bakerindisguise@gmail.com and I will mail you the recipe
 

46 comments:

  1. The caramel-y top is just perfect but I'm totally drooling at the thought of that crunchy layer in the middle. Great pictures, S!

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    1. Thanks Anuradha!! Although I did struggle with the pics because it was pouring that day.. and the light was so poor.. that I had to resort to indoor lighting which is never easy!!! On another note that streusel layer is great.. toasted nuts, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon.. you can add it to muffins or as a topping with ice-cream..

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  2. Apples, cinnamon, and streusel - I am sold! Great pics!

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    1. Thank you.. although I am more sold on your mediterranean twist to the cake.. it was just superb!!

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  3. Wonderful pictures, looks so delicious!

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  4. Beautiful photos, delicious cake. This cake was a little outside my comfort zone--not difficult but one that required reading thru a few times and following directions exactly. Like don't forget to wrap your pan in foil!
    We loved it I'm excited to make it with different fruits as the seasons change.

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    1. Thanks Cindy!! Like you said, the cake was not tough.. just a lot of directiosn to follow... but I feel that is the case with most of the recipes in the book.. follow them to the last word and they rarely disappoint!!

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  5. Beautiful looking cake and your photos really show it off! My favorite cakes all have fruit in them or on top of them so your apple upside down chiffon cake would be on my 'to bake list' no problem. The TWD recipes are looking pretty good right now;-)

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    1. Thanks Patty!! I am really enjoying baking with fruit!! The recipes are just getting better.. why don't you joing back.. come come!! :)

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  6. Apples sound like a great substitute! Also, yours looks so pretty :)

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    1. Thanks Sara!!! although am quite taken in with your plum substitution..

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  7. Love the apples! I am going to give pears a try next time! Your photos are gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks Monica!! I have my eyes on a plum substitution for the next time.. or maybe even peaches...

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  8. I loved your post and the pictures are wonderful. Isn't it fun seeing the very same recipe baked around the world and how close we are when we unveil the beautiful cake? I have a love-hate relationship with this one, but ended up happy when eating it!! Fun baking with the group! Blessings, Catherine

    http://praycookblog.com/2012/09/twd-bwj-nectarine-upside-down-chiffon-cake/

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    1. Thanks catherine... I loved this recipe.. didnt find it too tough to make and it was a delight to eat.. so definitely a keeper!! oh.. its a lot of fun baking with the group.. and to see everyone's own adaptation to the recipe.. i really enjoy that!!

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  9. Beautiful photography. It was a fun recipe to make, wasn't it?

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    1. Thank you!! :) I enjoyed the recipe.. a lot of steps.. but you just had to follow it step-by-step and you were good!!

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  10. That looks wonderful with the apples! I am going to have to try that in a few weeks after we go apple picking.

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    1. Apple picking!! U lucky thing.. i love the idea of getting your fresh fruit and then cooking with it.. all through summer i saw and read people go berry picking and was so envious!!

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  11. Love your apple top. I have to try that. And you cake does look wonderful. Great job!

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    1. Thanks Marlise!! I have my eye on a plum substitution.. unfortunately the season has already passed.. so the next fruit i can see for this cake is pears!!

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  12. You described this cake perfectly! The lemon flavour does linger and all the flavours work so well together. I'm looking forward to using apples in this recipe, once their in season again (not too long now).

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    1. I loved that hint of lemon.. it gave the cake such a refreshing after taste... and honestly apples and pears were my only option considering the stone fruit season is all but over out here in India!

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  13. Amazing photos of an amazing looking cake! I love the substitution of apples for nectarines, it sounds delicious. I enjoyed reading your post very much!

    Have a wonderful weeek!

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    1. Ah..thank you Andrea!! :)) Wonderful week ahead to you too!!:)

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  14. Lovely photography! that is one great looking cake. Well done!

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  15. This is the cake I would love too. It looks splendid!

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  16. Very lovely! This cake would be the perfect project for an afternoon when the weather is a little off.

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    1. Thanks Cher!! It was such a rainy afternoon.. and with nothing to do.. this cake was the perfect thing to make!! and what a gorgeous result!! :)

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  17. Beautiful pictures of a wonderful cake.
    I'm so pleased you liked it after all that work.
    Unfortunately I did not... and blog after blog I am starting to realise that I'm almost the only one.

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    1. Well.. that happened to me with the French Strawberry cake... i was part of a very small minority who did not think highly of the cake...it almost made me wonder whether I did something wrong!!! Guess thats individual tastes!! :)

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  18. albeit this is the only food blog that I visit :), but you do it with such flair and such panache.....i just love the composition of your pictures, makes me want come knock on your door and steal the whole damn thing...

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    1. haha.. thanks Anand!! Flattery will take you places!!! :) coming from a photographer whose skills i am most in awe with... your compliments are even more appreciated!! Thank you so so much!!! And if we were in the same city...i'd make you the guinea pig for all my baking experiments!!! :)

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  19. Your cake looks absolutely fabulous- you can see all the layers so perfectly. Well done!

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    1. Thank you!! I really enjoyed making this cake.. and with the recipes from this book.. follow it step-by-step.. and the result is invariably as guaranteed!!

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  20. Lovely photos and fantastic recipe that had kept to its promises from Baker in Disguise. Thank you very much for your sharing and beautiful photos.

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    1. Hey Divya.. so am guessing the cake turned out great!! Yay!!! good to hear that.. it is a good recipe..and when you follow the steps..the cake turns out as promised!!

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  21. oooo i see you had already served up way back in september my idée fixe for all things apple in pies/cakes. This looks so yumm...
    Mine is not an adult or mature palate though I bet the ginger cake would be sublime :)

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    1. The ginger cake was okay.. of all things ..i found it spicy.. the ginger hit was quite intense...it needed something to mellow it!! Now.. enough of looking at these pics.... I think you should get into the kitchen and give one of these recipes a shot.. time to pre-heat the oven, what say!??! :))

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    2. hahaha thats going to be tough...the best alternative is I move in next door and not only watch you whip up these beautiful cakes day in and day out but help you finish them as well

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    3. lazybones!!! its much easier than you think... although i am always on the lookout for volunteer guinea pigs!!:)

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