Almost all the food websites and blogs are splashed with pictures and recipes of special treats for the upcoming Valentine's Day. A majority of the foods are red or pink in colour. I followed this trend for the past 2-3 years and now I am simply bored of it. Does everything need to be red? Is that the only colour that stands for love? Love doesn't have to be the mushy, romantic types between a man and a woman. Love blooms in different forms - the love between parents and their children, between siblings and friends. This year I didn't think too hard about what to post for V-Day as I had already prepared this lovely cake last week.The Pineapple Upside Down Cake has been on my mind like forever. Ever since my cousin Prema sent me pics of the cake I have been dying to make it. I looked for umpteen number of recipes before that and after she told me that she got it from Smittten Kitchen, I looked it up and compared it with the one I found on The Joy of Baking and found them to be almost similar with the exception of rum.
Adding rum will bring out a very nice flavour but you can leave it out if you don't want alcohol in your cake. This recipe is really simple to make especially if you are using canned pineapple. Initially I was very apprehensive and thought such fancy dessert cakes were rocket science but my fears were put to rest as I started to make it.
The cake was much loved by all the adults. The kids (my brother's and my little fellow) found the sticky pineapple topping a bit too gooey and refused to taste it. Eventually I coaxed my little man to try at least the sponge beneath the pineapple and he willingly ate and enjoyed it.
The big boy of the house couldn't resist eating more than one slice per day. I had to eventually hide it in the fridge to avoid overeating. We warmed it up in the microwave the next day for about 20 seconds and wolfed it down greedily. This cake will serve you well for a formal or informal party. It's a showpiece for sure. Trust me, it will light up your dining table and be the charm of the party. And just in case you don't need an excuse to make it, just prepare it on any boring weekday and watch the smiles on everyone's face!
P.S: A tin of pineapple has approx 10 slices in it. I used 7 for this cake and guess what I did with the remaining? Pineapple Sheera ofcourse. Get the recipe here
Prep time: 20 mins | Bake time: 45mins | Yield: 9 inch cake, 8 servings
For the topping:
- 1/4 cup / 55 grams unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 3/4th cup / 160 grams packed, light brown sugar
- 1 medium pineapple, cleaned, cored, quartered and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces or about 7-8 slices from a 20 oz can (560 grams) - I used Delmonte
- 10-12 Maraschino cherries or candied/glacé cherries (optional)
For the cake:
- 1-1/2 cups /195 grams all purpose flour/maida
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup /113 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup /200 grams granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs separated (place each yolk in a separate bowl and whites together in a bowl)
- 1/2 cup (120ml) milk or 1/4 cup thin yogurt plus 1/4 cup reserved syrup from the can
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
- 1 tablespoon rum (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Grease (or use Pam spray) a 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pan.
2. To prepare the topping, place the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and stir until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Allow it to cook for a few minutes without stirring, until bubbles just start to appear around the outside edges of the mixture. The sugar will start to caramelize. Remove from heat and pour into the prepared cake pan. Spread the mixture evenly with a spoon. Arrange the pineapple slices on top of the sugar caramel and then place the cherries in each hole. Keep aside.
3. Next, to prepare the cake batter, sift the flour, baking powder and salt twice and keep aside.
4. In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla extract. Beat once and then add the egg yolks one at a time beating well after each addition.
5. Add the flour mixture in three parts alternating between milk in two additions (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour). Gently fold the mixture with a spatula once flour is added, do not beat.
6. In a separate bowl take the egg whites, add the cream of tartar to it if you are using it. It will help the egg whites achieve the fluffiness and hold firm peaks. But its optional. Beat the egg whites till stiff and add this mixture to the cake batter in two additions folding the batter gently as you add.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smoothen the surface.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until the top of the cake has browned and a toothpick inserted into the cake (not pineapple) comes out clean.
8. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 10-12 minutes. Then use a sharp knife and run it around the edge of the pan and carefully invert the cake on to a serving plate or cake stand.
9. Cut and serve along with whipped cream or ice cream.