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Culinary team member Ben Perez shares his slightly Asian twist on upside-down cake, putting freshly grated ginger in the batter and white miso paste in the caramelized apples. "I think most people associate miso with savory cooking," he says, "so it's fun to add it to a dessert. It adds this sweet nuttiness and also salt, which is crucial with desserts." He created the cake for an event he did with Rach, and as she explains it, she loved the "beautiful, gorgeous, elegant dessert" so much that she "begged him to share it with everyone on the show." Now, you can make it at home!
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick spray, line with a parchment round and spray again.
For the apples, in a small saucepan, melt butter and miso. Add brown sugar, let dissolve, then cook the mixture until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Arrange sliced apples in a decorative pattern on top of caramel, remembering that this will be the top of the finished cake, so make it pretty! Set aside while you prepare the batter.
For the cake, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides, as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla and ginger and mix until fully incorporated.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cloves, allspice and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add half the dry ingredients, then half the milk. Repeat the process and mix until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and use a rubber spatula to give the batter a final mix. Pour and spread batter over the apples and caramel and smooth the top.
Bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes. Allow cake to cool in pan for 30 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of the pan and invert the cake onto a serving platter. Serve warm with ice cream (if using).