Tiny chocolate cups are for chumps.
All the best tourist guidebooks seem to agree that they’re entirely traditional and absolutely vital when it comes to imbibing ginjinha — that delicious Portuguese sour cherry liqueur — in Lisbon, or Porto, or anywhere else on its Iberian home terrain. But while I have nothing but respect for good old Rick Steves and his globetrotting colleagues who write these things, on this one small point, I must disagree.
For the sake of full disclosure, you need to know that this recipe for sour cherry upside down cake is recycled with only a little modification from last year’s model: a peach cake in the same style. In the previous edition, I claimed that the point of the recipe was to rehabilitate the upside down cake genre, which has been saddled with all manner of unfortunate business like canned pineapple rings, cheapy maraschino cherries, and an aesthetic that screams at the top of its little pastry lungs: I’ve just come from the 1950s, and I’m here to help!
In that post, I said that this cake calls for two key modifications that make it a delight, rather than a chore, to eat: 1) I use real fruit and only real fruit in this recipe, eschewing the canned stuff in favor of whatever is local and in season; and 2) I’ve turned this into a yogurt-based cake, which leads to a texture that is moist but not soggy, and that adds just the tiny bit of creamy tang you need to complement the acidity of the fruit.