I love the idea of this Nectarine Upside-Down Chiffon Cake! It’s so refreshing to find an upside-down cake recipe that doesn’t call for canned pineapple rings and super-sweet maraschino cherries. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…but yeah, there’s kind of something wrong with that. It’s just not my cup of tea plate of cake.)
This cake came at the perfect time to take advantage of the bounty of fresh and juicy nectarines I’ve been finding at the farmer’s market this month. I usually enjoy them plain, but they were delightful in this dessert. The long cooking time gave them a tender, caramelized taste that was the perfect topping for the light, lemony chiffon cake underneath.
This cake was a beauty, for sure.
I also loved the ribbon of nutty, cinnamon-scented streusel in the middle. It added a bit of interest, an extra sweetness, and a bit of texture to the fluffy cake.
What I didn’t love was the cake recipe itself. My cake completely sunk in the middle, and after reading other people’s experiences, it seems I’m not alone. It was almost overbaked on the edges, but the sunken middle had a gooey, soggy texture. The parts that didn’t sink were soft and tender, but this cake could have used a little more structure to keep things even.
In looking at the recipe, my guess is that it had too much leavening. A teaspoon each of baking soda and baking powder, plus the meringue, for a recipe that calls for only 1 cup of flour seems a little excessive. Next time I would cut the leavening by a quarter (maybe even a half?) so it wouldn’t have the crazy rise and, hopefully, avoid the subsequent fall.
Oh, and I thought you might enjoy this! When I flipped my cake it had a bunch of liquid on top, a mix of juice from the nectarines and butter from the topping. It didn’t look too appetizing, just pooled there on the cake, so I used my handy-dandy cooking syringe* and suctioned it off. Worked like a charm. I just might patent this thing.
*This was actually a chocolate syringe. I bought it from Max Brenners in NYC, full of warm chocolate ganache, just ready to be shot into the mouth. THAT is an idea worth patenting.