I was a little wary of this recipe because the reviews over at Food Network are pretty much split into two groups – those who had no problems at all with this cake and those whose caramel glued itself to the pan. Unfortunately, I ended up falling into the second group.
I’m really not sure what happened – I felt like I followed the instructions as given (I didn’t use a candy thermometer because a. I haven’t found mine yet and b. you’re making such a small amount of it, I didn’t really think it would work very well anyway.), letting the caramel cook until it was a warm amber color, but after I’d baked the cake and let it cool for 15 minutes, the caramel had hardened into little candy crystals, basically cementing the cake into the pan.
So I put it into a very shallow water bath and back into the warm oven in an attempt to soften the caramel without actually continuing to bake the cake. And it worked! I’m not sure my end result is the same as Ina intended, but I got it out of the pan (though only three of the apple slices came with it – the rest I had to peel off and set back into the inverted cake) and it’s actually really tasty – either it was underdone when I took it out (though it didn’t sink like an underdone cake) or my idea of putting it in the water bath helped keep it from going any further.
It’s nice because it’s not supersweet and with the apples on top, I can convince myself that it’s suitable for breakfast as well as dessert (I mean, really, is it any worse than a doughnut would be?).