One of the biggest sources of inspiration in the kitchen for me are old and classic recipes. One of my most formative kitchen experiences was working in a innovative diner. It specialized in making everything old new again. Food, much like fashion works in cycles and classics are classics for a reason!
I love taking something that Betty Crocker or Escoffier made classic and updating it for a more modern, seasonal and delicious recipe.
So rather than opening up a can of pineapple and some maraschino cherries, I decided to take some seasonal fruit such as strawberries and rhubarb to update the classic Upside Down Cake.
Melt together 2/3 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 stick of butter.
To have more control over moisture content, slice your strawberries and sprinkle with a few tablespoons of sugar. Let this sit at room temperature while you prep your ingredients and strain off excess liquid.
Arrange strawberry slices close together (your fruit will shrink when you cook it) and top strawberries with a fine dice of rhubarb. The small pieces will fill in any gaps.
Once you have your topping finished, cream together 1 cup of sugar with 3/4 a stick of butter until light and fluffy. Add in 2 eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between adding each egg. Sift together your dry ingredients: 1 1/2 cup of AP flour, a pinch of salt, and 2 teaspoons of baking powder.
Cook the cake at 375 until a toothpick comes out clean, or about 45 minutes.
If you're someone who loves comfort food with an updated twist, check out The Chopping Block's upcoming Chef Dinner (or Brunch in this case) that Chef Tara Arnaud and I have created together. We've combined our vastly different diner experiences into one menu full of diner classics that highlight our favorites dishes and seasonal ingredients. Seats are filling up fast, so reserve yours today!