Flour Girl, Anne, thanks so much for asking. I’ve been meaning to post a report, but was sick for a while.
I ended up making the Upside Down Apple Cake. It’s actually really funny. Based on the discussions in this thread, I went and make copies of the devil’s food cake recipe and the cream puffs recipe (along with pastry cream, ganache glaze, whipped cream - the whole works). I figured I’ll be making either one. I had some hesitations though about time, as we had a lot of other plans and not sure whether I’d have enough time to make either one of those yummies. Well, when I was copying the devil’s food cake recipe, I thought I’d flipped through the book, and when I saw the Upside Down Apple Cake I thought A-HA. So I made a copy of that recipe as well.
With me on the trip I brought the following: scale, spatula, offset spatula, Rose’s silicone cake strip, 2 reusable pastry bag, 3 pastry tips. I was going to bring a whisk but forgot.
With my friend we went to Marshall’s and got her a cake pan as she wanted to start baking. Not the best - it’s a Caphalon but I figured it’s good enough for now. Poor planning on my part, I should have brought with me my Magic Line pan and “gift” it for her but didn’t think about it until after I left.
So anyway, when I got there and with all the other things going on, it was clear that the Upside Down Apple is the cake. It’s the fastest to make between the 3 recipes and I figured it’s a really good cake so everyone should be pleased. No mixer in sight so I had to mix by hand. I don’t measure my mixing time, just sort of eye-balling the cake and judging the texture to determine whether it’s mixed enough so I can proceed to the next step. This is not easy to do as I’m pretty wimpy as far as muscle is concerned so I would mix with my right hand and then switch to the left hand, then switch back to the right hand . It’s still an easy cake to put together. I’d say from making the caramel, cutting the apples, and to the end product it’s about 3 1/2 hours. I only macerated the apples in like 20 minutes so there’s hardly any juice but we were racing against the clock. We had to bring the cake to a party and don’t want to be late.
No baking stone so I was afraid that the caramel would still be hard but it actually dissolve quite nicely.
Photos you can see the batter after I mix it, the apples arranged on the pan, the cake, and the slice photo.
Tasting impressions: my friends LOVE the cake. The gal I stayed with ate 1/4 of the cake by herself haha. She said it’s so good and not too sweet. She loves the apples. Other guests love the cake as well and were impressed with it. One friend commented on how even I sliced the apples and said that it must have taken a while. I sort of looked at her saying that no it’s actually pretty quick. I actually thought that I should sliced them thinner. I know someone who can slice apples half as thin as my best effort. Funny how perspective can be different sometimes.
Final note is kudos to all the people who make a cake by hand. I suppose with practice I can get there too but I’d still prefer my KA!