Today my little baking blog is 1 year old! Break out the party hats and noisemakers and start celebrating! I can't believe it's been a year already. What have I learned in my year of blogging? I've learned that in the world of blogging exist many kind, supportive and incredibly talented individuals. I've learned that my love of photographing food things is not going to fade away. I've learned that I do indeed love encouraging people to try scratch baking in all of it's wonderful forms. I am beginning to learn to be a little less shy (I am terribly shy, I have trouble leaving comments on blogs sometimes, because I'm just that shy). I've learned many other things (a little html, etc...) that I won't bore you with. Instead, as it's my blog's birthday, why don't you check out my first awkward day of posting here(you just need to scroll down to the bottom of the page for my first two posts from August 22). After you check that out, why don't you enjoy a nice piece of cake, put on your silly hat and help my blog blow out it's birthday candle (my blog doesn't have great lungs)! I have loads of apples so today I give you:
Apple Upside Down Chiffon Cake (adapted from Baking with Julia: Sift, Knead, Flute, Flour, And Savor... written by Dorie Greenspan):
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
3-4 apples, peeled and cut into 8 pieces each (I'm actually not sure what kind of apple I have for these...they were given to us by G's friends who grow their own. This recipe originally calls for nectarines which would be awesome in this as well)
-Preheat oven to 350f.
-Wrap the bottom of a springform pan with aluminum foil to prevent any dripping.
-Cut the butter into chunks and put them into a 10" springform pan (3"high) and place over medium low heat to melt the butter. Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter and pat it down. Arrange the apples over the sugar in a decorative way (however you like).
1/4 cup hazelnuts, peels removed (the recipe calls for almonds, but I have hazelnuts onhand, so that's what I'm using)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 stick cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup quick cooking (not instant) oats
-Toast your hazelnuts in the oven on a sheet pan for about 8 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Remove from oven and cool before proceeding.
-Line the sheet pan with parchment.
-Put all of the ingredients for the streusel into the bowl of a food processor and pulse just to mix the ingredients and chop the hazelnuts and butter. Should be rough and crumbly.
-Spread the streusel out onto the pan and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden brown. It will smell heavenly. Allow to cool while you prepare the cake.
The Chiffon Cake:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt, kosher if you have it
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup vegetable or safflower oil (I'm using vegetable)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 large egg whites
-Sift together 1 cup sugar, the flour, baking powder and baking soda onto a sheet of parchment or waxed paper, add the salt.
-In a large bowl, whisk together the yolks, oil and lemon juice until blended. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the yolk mixture, whisking. Set aside.
-Beat the 6 egg whites in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment(or do it by hand if you are feeling strong-of-wrist). Starting at low speed, beat the whites until they are foamy and form very soft peaks. Increase your speed to medium-high and slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until the whites are thick and shiny and hold peaks. Fold about 1/3 of the whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it (this is called "sacrificing"), then turn the yolk mixture into the egg whites and fold gently until thoroughly blended.
-Scrape half of the batter into the fruit-lined pan, smooth the top with an offset spatula, and sprinkle the streusel over the top (reserve a little bit to decorate the baked cake). Top with the remaining batter and smooth. Place the pan on a sheet pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, mine actually took a good hour and 10 minutes to bake, the top(bottom) started to get to dark, so I had to tent some aluminum foil over to keep it from getting darker). Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool at least 25 minutes before inverting onto your serving platter.
-Enjoy warm and naked (the dessert, not you...well, if you want to be warm and naked, who am I to question it?), or dress it up with some ice cream or whipped cream.
This cake is good. I mean, wow, it's got a yum factor of 11 out of 10. The hazelnut streusel combined with the moist lucious brown sugar coated apples is out of this world. My blog could not have asked for a better birthday cake!