Sunday, 11 March 2012

Pineapple upside down cake, with a twist

After the disaster of my first attempt at this cake, I finally had the opportunity to give it another go. Thankfully it turned out slightly better this time. The break also gave me the opportunity to change a few things with the recipe, a much welcome treat.

The reason its not your usual pineapple upside down cake is because not only is it a sandwich but I also gave it a tropical twist: the caramel had a touch of chilli flakes, the sponge was coconut and lime and I made a coconut butter icing for the middle.

All in all I was very happy. The chilli in the caramel gave a nice heat and the variety of textures and complimentary flavours meant that each mouthful was different; quite unusual for a cake. Improvements might be to make it even more coconutty by investing in some Malibu (for the cake and icing?), maybe try a cream cheese based filling and maybe gild the lily by decorating with a simple icing made with coconut milk.

Pineapple upside down cake, with a twist

For the caramel:
120g dark brown sugar
60g butter
~50ml pineapple juice (either from the tin or from blending the off-cuts)
scant ½tsp chilli flakes
For the cake:
1 pineapple, cut into thick rings (or 2 tins of pineapple rings) and halved
2oz dessicated coconut
150ml coconut milk
2 limes
7oz plain flour
8oz caster sugar
4 eggs
1oz cornflour
1tsp baking powder
For the icing:
1oz dessicated coconut, lightly toasted
3oz butter
6oz icing sugar
Coconut milk

1. Firstly, prepare the coconut for the cakes. Add sufficient coconut milk to the lime juice to make 150ml. Warm this until nearly boiling. Pour this over the dessicated coconut, cover and leave to soak for an hour.
2. To make the caramel, melt the butter and sugar together in a thick bottomed pan. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the chilli flakes and pineapple juice (remember to only swirl the pan don't stir, to prevent sugar crystals forming) and simmer on a low heat for about 3mins. Remove from the heat before the caramel has reached a "perfect" colour as it will continue to cook when the cake is baked.
3. Pour the caramel into a buttered 8" spring-form cake tin and cram as much pineapple in as possible in a single layer.
4. To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and light.
5. Add the eggs one by one (add a spoon of flour between each egg to prevent curdling)
6. Sift the flour, cornflour and baking powder together and fold into the mix.
7. Gently stir in the dessicated coconut and liquor as well as the lime zest.
8. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake tins. Bake at 180°C.
9. The cake without the pineapple should be ready after 25mins. The pineapple cake will require a little longer, so start checking every 5mins after 30mins has passed.
TIP: Be careful when you turn the pineapple cake out! Place a large cake over the top of the tin. Hold the plate and tin together firmly and flip in one smooth bold motion.
10. To make the icing beat together the ingredients, adding sufficient coconut milk until the required consistency is reached.
11. To construct the cake, once cooled slather the single cake with the icing. Top with the pineapple cake (pineapple uppermost!).

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