Baking, TWD

Tuesdays with Dorie: Rhubarb Upside Down Brown Sugar Cake

May 26, 2015

Rhubarb is not indigenous to where I live and it is fairly expensive. From reading Dorie’s blurb before the recipe I realised that initially she was going to make this cake with strawberry as well so I decided to put that mixture to the test.

I prepared the topping the same way – caramelising the sugar, adding the fruit and then cooking it a little, draining the juices from the fruit mixture and then finally pouring it into the tin. I used a springform tin and forgot to line it so a reasonable amount of juice seeped out but maybe that was for the better (as you will see later).

rhubarb upside down brown sugar cake

Making the cake batter was also fairly straightforward and when done this was poured on top of the fruit mixture. Into the oven it then went for about 25 minutes. Taking it out I noticed that the sides had begun to pull away and the skewer through the cake came out clean. Yay!

Waited for a while and uprighted the cake – woohoo! no rhubarb or strawberries got left behind!

Now the taste test. Cutting to it once it was cool I realised that some of the cake base was mushy. Oh no! there had been too much liquid in my topping! So even if the fruit tasted great, the cake did not shine as a whole.

rhubarb upside down brown sugar cake

I wonder what I had done wrong. Should I have re-drained the fruit after cooking it? Maybe if the cake base was thicker this would have been less of a problem? Should I have caramelised the topping more? I will have to continue to experiment with upside down cakes to figure out the issues. I think I will do a pineapple one next.

Do have a look at the other TWD bakers more successful attempts: here.

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7 Comments

  • Reply Margaret @approachingfood May 26, 2015 at 11:32 PM

    What a clever idea to use strawberries! I think they release a lot of liquid upon cooking — maybe that affected your cake. But your pictures of the cake make it look delicious! 🙂

    • Reply smarkies May 27, 2015 at 8:14 AM

      I think that was it. I should have taken into account the additional liquid that the strawberries released.

  • Reply Zosia May 27, 2015 at 7:29 AM

    Strawberries and rhubarb is such a classic combination – it must have been delicious. But it does sound as though it produced more liquid than rhubarb alone. Maybe after caramelizing the fruit, you could remove it from the pan and reduce the caramel and juices a little more before putting it in the cake tin. The fruit will release more juice as it bakes so you really only need a very thin layer of caramel.
    Zosia recently posted…Rhubarb Upside-Down Brown Sugar Cake – Tuesdays with DorieMy Profile

  • Reply Nana May 27, 2015 at 7:40 AM

    Mine came out mushy in the middle, a complete disaster. I’m not sure where I went wrong.

  • Reply Brenda May 28, 2015 at 2:01 PM

    I had the same issue as well. Reading through your post you got me thinking that maybe it was because I had used frozen rhubarb (granted I thawed it and cooked it as stated). If you figure it out… let us know. I’m curious to find out.
    Brenda recently posted…Rhubarb Upside Down Brown Sugar Cake – TWD Baking Chez MoiMy Profile

  • Reply Teresa June 4, 2015 at 7:45 AM

    I think it was definitely the strawberries – they can be very liquidy. That said, rhubarb and strawberry are so delicious together! That part of it must have been wonderful.
    Teresa recently posted…Baking Chez Moi – Rhubarb Upside Down Brown Sugar CakeMy Profile

  • Reply Karen @ Karen's Kitchen Stories July 15, 2015 at 11:57 AM

    I have a hard time finding rhubarb too. I skipped this one because there was an earlier one from Baking with Julia. Yours does look totally beautiful! I’m sure you’ll tweak it and make it perfect!
    Karen @ Karen’s Kitchen Stories recently posted…Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bread | #BreadBakersMy Profile

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