I think I’m going through a baking phase. Usually I don’t do much of it at home, because I do so much of it at work. But lately…baking seems much more fun than cooking.
I made this cake yesterday for our movie night, and I think everyone enjoyed it. I loved that it wasn’t too sweet; it had a nice texture from the pecans and a slight hint of orange. My friend Natalie commented that it would even be a good breakfast cake, and I agree!
After movie night, I came home and snuggled on the couch to watch the late edition of Project Runway. I knew it would only be Part 1 of the finale, but sheesh! Such a cliffhanger! I’ve been rooting for Michael all along, but after seeing bits of each designer’s collections, I became a Jeffrey fan. He’s been a jerk, yes, but his line looks so much more interesting to me. When he said that he was finished with his collection, I actually thought, “Well it’s about time someone finished their work ahead of time!” After watching the previous seasons, I’ve been so irked that all the designers come to New York with work still to be done on their collection…they had months! Justin says it’s the way of designers in general…procrastination is key. I’m definitely a Be Prepared kind of gal, so I don’t understand it.
Anyway, the preview for next week’s show left me angry and scared and hurt. This is why I can’t watch television! I can’t believe I have to wait an entire week to find out what happens…and seeing Jeffrey cry was just too much. I hope he didn’t cheat…I have some theories, but I guess I’ll just have to wait it out like everyone else.
Let’s all bury our sorrows in some pecan cake.
Upside-Down Pecan Cake
- 1 1/2 cups pecan halves (about 5 ounces)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
Preheat oven to 350ËšF. Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet; toast until crisp, about 7 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop 1/2 cup pecans. Set remaining aside.
Place 2 tablespoons butter in a 9-inch round cake pan; heat in the oven until melted, about 3 minutes. Remove from oven; sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over butter. Scatter chopped nuts over sugar; set aside.
In a food processor, process reserved pecans and flour until nuts are very finely ground. Set aside. With an electric mixer, beat remaining 1/2 cup butter and cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined.
In a small bowl, combine flour mixture, baking powder, and salt; fold into egg mixture. Stir in zest. Pour into prepared pan, smoothing top.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan; invert onto a rack to cool completely, bottom side up so the butter-pecan layer is on top.
Makes 8 servings.
Source: Everyday Food magazine.
Notes: I found a much easier way to make this cake…I used “Pecan Sprinkles,” finely chopped pecans that Justin found in the baking section. I sprinkled them directly in the pan, and stirred them into the flour…no need to use the food processor. The package contained 6 ounces of pecans, so I used most of the bag.