Relationships are weird.
I mean, first you meet someone and you get excited and you do all these things to impress them.
I wear my favourite clothes when I know I’m going to see him. (Actually, I decide I hate all my clothes, sometimes buy new ones, and then settle on an outfit I can live with.)
I decide to go on a diet, only to start stress-eating m&ms an hour and a half later because he still hasn’t texted me back.
I make sure I’m more or less up on politics and current events (full disclosure: not in any real detail, but enough that I can at least throw in a few well-timed intellectual-sounding comments. Actually, I’m not sure if these really do anything to improve my image, or if people are laughing at me behind my back. Still, I’ve learned that if you say anything with enough conviction, people will believe you.)
Of course, if all goes well, a few months later you end up dating. You then have to go on a real diet to lose all the love pounds (why does so much of dating revolve around feeding each other ice cream?), you forego all the pre-planned outfits for sweatpants (god I love sweatpants), and you more or less stop reading the news in favour of pointless Internet lists like this one.
And somehow it’s at this stage, when he’s peeing with the door open and you’re loudly singing along with Taylor Swift whenever you’re in the car, that you’re supposed to want to take the relationship to the serious let’s-commit-to-eventually-being-committed-forever level.
(For those of you who are scratching your heads at my made-up overly-hyphenated codewords, I’m talking about getting engaged.)
I may as well acknowledge now that it isn’t my rendition of Wildest Dreams that is ever going to win anyone over. It’s probably that I know how to make caramel apple upside-down gingerbread cake.
Caramel Apple Upside-down Gingerbread Cake
Looks kind of disgusting. Tastes good.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 4 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thin slices
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a deep-dish pie plate (mine is 9″) and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt caramel ingredients over medium heat. Keep stirring until it starts to bubble, and then pour it into the bottom of the pie plate.
- Add the apple slices into the caramel. I swirled mine in a fun pattern, but it didn’t really show up in the finished product, so do what you will.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the egg, molasses, and syrup, keep beating until well combined.
- Add in the dry ingredients and stir a few times.
- Add in the buttermilk, and then stir until everything is just combined. There should be no pockets of dry ingredients, but try not to overmix it!
- Pour the batter over the apples. I had some extra apples and batter, so I made an extra mini-cake and some muffins. We make it up as we go, here.
- Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. This took about 35-40 minutes for the cake, and 20 minutes for my muffins.
- Let cool for about 15 minutes before running a knife around the edge and then inverting.
I found this was best served the day it was made (with whipped cream!) The next day it was a bit too dense for my liking.