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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

One of my favorites. This cake is so pretty. My mom used to bake this occasionally as a treat. I remember my first attempt at baking this cake several years ago. The pineapples got stuck to the base of the cake pan and had to be removed and placed back on to the cake. Though the cake tasted great, I was quite disheartened by the experience and didnt try to bake it again.

Anyway, fast forward several years and I found myself facing a pineapple can. Was I  ready to face the challeng? Did history repeat itself? Will I ever make it again? Stop biting your nails and read on.

2 cups all purpose flour/maida
1 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
3 eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup pineapple syrup
1 can of tinned pineapple slices - cut one slice into bite size pieces
5-6 cherries (canned) or few cranberries

For the caramel
4 tsp sugar
1 tbsp water

Sieve the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and soda together three times. Add the sugar to this flour mixture. Separate the egg yolks and white. Beat the egg white till its foamy and stiff. Add the vanilla to the the egg yolks and whisk it. Take the butter in a bowl, to this a little flour and sugar mixture. Alternate the flour with the egg yolks mixture. Once all the egg yolks have been incorporated, alternate the flour with the egg white. Do not over beat the batter and gently fold in the egg white. Once all the flour and eggs have been added, fold in the pineapple pieces. Add the pineapple syrup a little at a time so that the consistency of the batter is such that it falls easily when its is dropped from the ladle. 

To prepare the pan
This is an important step so that your pineapple slices don't end up sticking to the base. Grease the pan with butter, then cover the pan with a butter paper. Next pour some caramel syrup to cover the base of the paper lined pan. To make the caramel, heat the 4 tsps of sugar till its turns brown and caramelizes. Add half to one tbsp of water to thin it out. Arrange slices of pineapple around the base. Add the cherries/cranberries in the center of each pineapple slice. Pour the cake mixture over this. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 F.

Grease the pan well, do not skim on the butter else the pineapple slices will stick to the base. Peel the paper carefully away from the cake after removing it from the pan after it has cooled down a bit. If its too hot, the cake might crumble, but if the cake is too cool, the paper will tend to stick.


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