Today's confectionary creation is Peach Upside-Down Cake. This cake has dual inspiration. First of all it starts with the peaches. That inspiration came courtesy of the bag of quickly ripening peaches sitting on my kitchen counter. It is as if the perfectly soft (soon to be too-soft) fruits have been calling out, "Bake me before I go bad!" Today I am heeding their call.
Secondly, the inspiration for this cake has come from the name itself, "Upside-Down." Here's the thing about upside-down cake, when you put all of the ingredients in the baking dish the blob of dough doesn't look appealing. To look at the dish on its face it looks well, sort of bland and "blah." There are no sprinkles, chips, or deep brown chocolatey hues promising a rich treat to be enjoyed in the near future. The cake just looks like a pale, unadorned combination of flour, eggs and sugars.
Forty-five minutes later the story isn't much different. The cake might smell half way decent but there isn't anything to catch the eye and tantalize the taste buds - until you flip it over. Then the surprise is revealed! The fruit is on full display in all of its caramelized goodness!
Thinking on the principle of the upside-down cake got me thinking about the journey of my mystery illness leading to a diagnosis. For years my life was nothing more than an array of symptoms and ailments that had no clear explanation or rationale. I couldn't understand why I was suffering and I certainly didn't always believe there was much of a purpose for my physical trials.
And then a diagnosis was given, an explanation was provided. Suddenly the last four years came into clear focus and I could see the divine hand God had in my whole journey. As my life baked for four years looking like nothing but a bland (and troubling) set of circumstances, God was getting ready to reveal to me what was underneath: nerves on the fritz!
Okay so you're probably thinking that the diagnosis of MS has nothing in common with the revealing of a delicious, perfectly baked Peach Upside-Down Cake. But the way I see it is there is a blessing in a diagnosis and a privilege in a challenge. God has given me a burden to carry and a mountain to climb so that in overcoming the trials I can glorify His name. That is the caramelized topping on this baked up life. By overcoming multiple sclerosis I can show how powerful the Almighty God is! If you ask me, there is no amount of brown sugar and perfectly timed baking that could ever compare to that blessing.
Whether you are enjoying an upside-down cake or the revelation of an upside-down life turned right-side up, have a blessed Sunday! God has big things in store for you and surprises more tantalizing then your greatest culinary creation. Be patient, dear baker, give your cake and your life the time it needs to bake to a moist, golden brown . The big reveal is sure to be worth every second of the wait - just like a perfectly baked Peach Upside-Down Cake.
Tonight's recipe comes from Midwest Living (http://www.midwestliving.com/recipe/layer-cakes/peach-upside-down-cake/). I followed the recipe precisely except for the fact that I used cake flour instead of all purpose flour. This means that I used about 1 - 1/2 cup flour instead of 1 - 1/4. Cake flour stays moist even when baking for forty five minutes. This was my first foray into cake flour and I will definitely be back again for more! This cake was a hit and definite keeper.
I will admit that a sizable chunk of cake fell off when I flipped my cake so I apologize for the less-than perfect presentation photos. Trust my taste-testers, this cake looks (and tastes and smells) better in person. Promise!