Monday, August 1, 2011

Individual Peach-and-Ginger Upside-Down Cakes

Simple as sin to make . . . and, oh, so heavenly to eat!

This is an Alton Brown recipe. And it's truly a winner! I followed it to the letter but added a few sprinkles of cinnamon to the buttermilk batter. The key here is to have firm, ripe peaches. The combination of peach, ginger and brown sugar is classic. Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, in my opinion, simply detracts from this gorgeous little dessert. 

Ripe peaches and ginger are a classic duo.

  • 2 firm ripened peaches
  • 3 tablespoons minced candied ginger (1 ounce)
  • 1/4 cup light-light brown sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (2.5 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Cinnamon (optional) a few shakes
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (shake before using)
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4, 6-ounce ovenproof ramekins

Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Spritz the ramekins with a bit of cooking spray. Place on a baking sheet.

Divide the 2 tablespoons butter evenly among the ramekins. (Simply cut the two tablespoons of cold butter in half, then cut each half in half and then half again). Now evenly distribute the brown sugar over the bottom of each ramekin one tablespoon at a time (four tablespoons = 1/4 cup).

Each ramekin will get 1/2 of a peach. Cut the peach in half and pull apart. Remove the pit.  Now cut the 1/2 piece in half again and then peel it with a sharp knife. Cut each quarter into 4-6 slices for a total of 8-12 slices and place on top of the brown sugar and butter.

Evenly distribute the minced, candied sugar over the surface of the peaches in each ramekin.

Measure the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon (if using) in a small bowl. Mix to incorporate.

In a medium bowl, mix and dissolve the sugar in the buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet by hand with a spoon or whisk just until mixed through. Don't dawdle when doing this. The reaction of the buttermilk and baking powder begins immediately.

Divide batter evenly over the peaches.

Place filled ramekins on the baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes until an internal temperature of 190 F degrees is reached. Mine took the full 25 minutes. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool a good 5-10 minutes. Don't be alarmed if they "fall" a bit. Run a sharp knife around the edge. Place a plate on top and carefully flip upside down to loosen the cake. 

Honestly, you really need to make this recipe!

These are great warm (not hot) and at room temperature.

Notes: Avoid buying small, name-brand jars of candied ginger that are overly priced. Instead, look for it in the dried fruit and nuts sections of the grocery store or at health-food stores where it less expensive.

No comments: