Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chocolate Almond Upside-Down Cake

Pin It
Can you smell Christmas in the air?? I love the holidays. Mostly because of all the cookies, holiday drinks and jolly-ness that everyone seems to have. Although, not so much about my birthday and Christmas gifts all rolled into one. Too bad my birthday is at the end of the year. I never get two separate gifts and all my friends are usually on holiday in some exotic warm place :(
Wow. I whine. A lot.

Now for some interesting facts on how retailers use psychology to make you spend more!
Sometimes I can't help being enamored by the extravagant window displays or the huge signs that say "up to 80% off". And then I get home and I think, "Why on earth did I get that?"
Your Five Senses on Overload
SIGHT: Christmas colors red and green influence our mood and spending! Did you know that waitresses wearing red receive 14-26% higher tips and eBay shoppers bid more aggressively for products shown on red vs. blue backgrounds?

SMELL: Oh that holiday scent of pine, peppermint and gingerbread. These smells can evoke feeling of happiness, physiological arousal and creates more alert shoppers who will shop longer.

HEARING: Studies show that nostalgia elevates positive moods and helps people feel better about themselves and what they're buying.

TOUCH: Retailers carefully design stores with merchandise roadblocks and sneaky displays. Physically holding products can create a sense of psychological ownership and drive "ZOMG I NEED THIS" purchase decisions. You see how Apple does this to you?
Research also shows that waitresses who touch restaurant patrons earn more tips (!!) and customers drink more when "innocently" touched by female bartenders.

TASTE: I admit that I go around Costco and get free food samples... Sampling drives people to want more of anything that's rewarding.

Read the full article here ... and now onto an easy Christmas Cake to Bake!

Chocolate Almond Upside-Down Cake
From Martha Stewart with slight tweaks

Caramel Topping
4 tbsps butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 cup toasted almonds, slivered

1 cup + 2 tbsp All purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar (I mixed equal parts white and brown)
3 large eggs
1 cup yogurt (fat-free)
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F and butter a 10 inch cake pan. I wouldn't recommend a spring form pan because I did that and I had butter leaking everywhere.
  2. Melt the 4tbsp of butter into the pan, sprinkle the brown sugar, then the honey and almonds evenly at the bottom of the pan.
  3. In a large bowl, sift flour, coca powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In another bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Easier if you use a beater. But I just used elbow grease and that was okay. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  5. Now mix alternating between the dry mix and yogurt into the butter+sugar mix. This should be at low speed or gently folding. Add in the vanilla here.
  6. Pour batter into the pan over the almonds.
  7. Bake for 40-50mins and until toothpick poked in the middle comes out dry.
  8. Invert pan onto your serving plate immediately and let the caramel topping soak through your cake for about 5 mins.
  9. Lift the pan and you can use a fork to get any topping that stuck and put it back on your cake. Let cool and dig in!

No comments:

Post a Comment