Monday, 22 April 2013

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

To be honest, there aren't many things you can do with an overripe pineapple. So I was thinking, why not do something using the excess sweetness and slight alcohol tint to complement something which is perfectly nice on its own, but could do with a bit of spicing up.
It's paramount to have fluffy egg whites, because juice from the pineapple drips into the cake (like a tarte tatin) making it a bit wet, and therefore making an otherwise light dessert, dense.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Serves 6

1 small pineapple, cut into chunks
3 eggs separated
150g slightly salted butter, softened
150g caster sugar
150g plain flour (you can add baking powder for an extra lift)
a few spoonfuls of muscovado sugar
caster sugar to water in the units of 1:3 (respectively)
a teaspoon of chilli flakes

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Preheat your oven to 200C and grease a cake tin.
Beat together the egg yolks and sugar until you get a smooth, creamy consistency.
Stir in the flour until you get a sort of wet crumble-looking mixture. Yes it should look like that.
Beat in the softened butter until you have a more typical cake mixture.
Then, whisk the egg whites until they're stiff like meringues.
When you add the egg whites to the rest of the mixture, don't add it from a height or you'll lose some of the air.
Stir the mixtures together until fully combined and you have a fluffy mixture. Yum.
Turn the oven down to 180C as you're nearly to put the cake in.
Put the pineapple in the cake tin, neat and evenly spaced, or dropped in (authentic).
Evenly sprinkle muscovado (or another dark brown sugar, maybe treacle) over the pineapple. This creates a kind of caramel, nuttifying the pineapple.
Completely cover the pineapple with cake mixture, and put in the oven for 40 minutes or until a fork comes out of the cake with a few crumbs. Check the cake at 35 minutes though.
When cooked, turn the cake out and leave to cool- if you leave it in the tin, it continues cooking, drying the cake out.
Over a medium heat, bring caster sugar and cold water to the boil in a saucepan.
Then turn the heat down, add the chilli flakes, and continuously stir until ALL of the sugar is dissolved.
Strain the syrup and leave to cool to remember.
The longer you boil the syrup, the thicker it will be.
Syrup keeps for one month in a sealed container.
Serve a slice of cake with a drizzle of chilli.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
In the syrup I used chilli flakes instead of fresh chilli because I didn't want too strong a flavour.

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