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Upside-Down Apple Gingerbread

We found this one in a recipe book when we were at the hospital for Mom's chemotherapy. Since it has such a rich, strong scent, we were able to alter it slightly to add protein powder to help sustain Mom through the chemo time. I wouldn't use more than two cups of the protein, and add it to the "dry" ingredients to allow for mixing without show - and reduce the dry ingredients to half, or the cake will overflow its pan. But then - I always add too many apples anyway, so a larger pan is "a good thing".

Planning tip: Best made just before serving

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
3 medium Golden Delicious apples (1 1/4 lb), peeled, halved and cored
[Optional: more apples, other varieties, to taste]

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp each baking soda and ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp each ground cloves and salt
1 large egg
1 cup light (unsulfered) molasses
3/4 cup boiling apple cider (see Tip)
2 cups all-purpose flour
[Optional: 1 to 2 cups protein powder]

Accompaniment choices:

  1. softly whipped cream
  2. vanilla ice cream
  3. vanilla frozen yoghurt

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x2 inch square baking pan with nonstick spray.

  2. Put 1/2 stick butter in pan. Heat in oven until melted. Remove from oven; sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar evenly over melted butter.

  3. Place 1 half apple, cut side down, on work surface. Cut crosswise in thin slices. Holding slices together to keep sliced half intact, place round side down in upper left corner of pan. Gently press down on the apple so slices fan out and cover half the length of the pan. Repeat with remaining apple halves until bottom of pan is completely covered with rows of apple slices.

  4. Cake: In a large bowl with mixer on high speed, beat butter, sugar, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt 3 minutes or until lighter in color. Beat in egg and molasses until combined (mixture will look curdled). On low speed, beat in cider, then flour until blended. Pour evenly over apples.

  5. Bake 55 to 65 minutes (batter will rise to top of pan) until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge; unmold on a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature topped with whipped cream.

Serves 12

Prep: 40 min
Bake: 65 min
Cool: 15 min
Cost: $4.37

Per serving: 356 calories, 3 g pro, 60 g car, 1 g fiber, 12 g fat (7g saturated fat), 49 mg chol, 290 mg sod *

Tip: Bring 1 cup apple cider to a boil, then measure it again to get 3/4 of a cup.

*before addition of protein powder

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