Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ackbar's Adventures: Kinder Egg

For those of you who are friends with me on facebook, you might have already seen this series.  But, I thought it would be fun to make it into a post so you could see all the pictures at once.

Adm. Ackbar: They've been banned, Lizzie, but we got one! We got one!!!

Adm. Ackbar: Don't just sit there! Help me get the wrapper off!

Lizzie: I'm helping!

Adm. Ackbar: Good job, Lizzie! You broke through!

Adm. Ackbar: Here, have some chocolate.

Adm. Ackbar: Let's open it up! What do you think is inside, Lizzie?

Lizzie: Whatever it is, it's pretty packed in there, Admiral... I'm afraid...

Adm. Ackbar: Uhhh... wtf is this?
Lizzie: I'm not sure, Admiral...

 Lizzie: We should at least look at the instruction manual.  Hmm, it says "Magic" in the corner.
Adm Ackbar: Yeah, I think we need some for this to not be a piece of crap.

Adm Ackbar: Blow, Lizzie! At least we'll follow the instructions and see what this dumb thing really is.

Adm Ackbar: There are no words...
Lizzie: How about we eat the rest of the chocolate?

 Adm Ackbar: Kinder Egg defeated us again, Lizzie...
Lizzie: I dunno, I think we put up a pretty good fight.  ::burp::

Lizzie: These are not the toys you're looking for...

Adm Ackbar: I am your father...
Lizzie: No. No. It's not true! 

Adm Ackbar: Look, Lizzie! I'm Violet Beauregarde!

Aaaaand... scene...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Peachy Plum Upside-Down Cake

Yes, I know, it's been too long.  But, every year football season happens (although this year wasn't so certain), and every year for the past four years my life gets sucked away doing work for fantasy football apps.  And yes, I also know I'm stealing many a sports nut's dream job and whining pathetically about it.

So, now, my return to blogging with my first successful upside down cake! Without further ado...

Stacey's Peachy Plum Upside-Down Cake Ingredients:
1 1/4c sugar, organic
1c unbleached white flour, organic
1c whole wheat flour, organic
1/4c cornstarch

1/4c canola oil, organic
1/4c butter, salted, organic (1/2 a stick)
1c whole milk, organic
1/4c water
1 tbs vanilla bean paste

2 eggs, organic
1/4c lemon juice

Bottoming (since it's not really "topping?"):
1/2c dark brown sugar, organic
6 tbs butter
1 yellow peach
4 small plums

1 8x8" glass baking dish
1 loaf pan (I always end up making enough batter so I can leave some cake at home for sampling)

After preheating the oven to 350F, I prepared the "bottoming" ingredients. I microwaved the butter until it was soft, then mixed in the brown sugar so it was like a paste. I spread this in the bottom of the 8x8" baking dish.

Then I lined it with some of the fruit and made a little spiral design. 

I put the remaining fruit in the loaf pan. I heated the oil, butter, milk, water, and vanilla bean paste in the microwave until the butter was melted and it was about 120F - fairly warm to the touch.  I poured this into the dry ingredients.  Once this was gently stirred in (careful not to overmix), I added the eggs and lemon juice and mixed that in too.  I poured the batter over the fruit in both containers and stuck them in the oven.  I baked the 8x8" for 40 minutes, and the loaf pan for 33 minutes.

Once it cooled a bit, I ran a knife around the edges of the 8x8" dish and put a plate on top of the dish.  I inverted the dish and plate and the cake came out beautifully (too bad I only had my cell phone to take a picture).

I was pretty excited because I'd tried to make upside-down cakes a couple times before without much success.  Sadly, the secret is more butter and sugar on the bottom, and making a paste out of it.  My co-workers were pretty happy - I got some comments that it was nice that it's not super sweet, and that you can still taste the tartness of the fruit.  I attribute that to the lemon juice in the batter.  Cake was nice and moist too.