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Sometimes my Lobsterface makes me very sad. A few weeks ago he told me that he’d never had pineapple upside-down cake and it made my heart weep.

He’s also never been to a livestock auction, but I plan to fix that this summer.

In the meantime I decided to do something about his pineapple-upside-down-cake-free life. So I threw a party. Well, I didn’t throw a party JUST to have an excuse to make cake (who NEEDS an excuse, amirite?). Lobsterface’s birthday was coming up, so I Facebooked a few friends, bought some festive decorations and got to work.

It’s really dense and the cake part isn’t super sweet (which I like) but the pineapples and the caramel topping are REALLY sweet (which Lobsterface likes), so it was a hit all around. I topped it all off with homemade whipped cream; that recipe is all the way at the bottom. Yay! A twofer!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake (originally from Simply Recipes)
Cook time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
12-14 servings

1 cup of firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 can (20 oz) of pineapple slices
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
6 Tbsp cake flour
6 Tbsp of ground almonds (from about 2 oz of whole almonds)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups of sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream

Topping:
Melt the brown sugar and 1/2 cup (1 stick) of the butter in a saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbly. This should take several minutes. (After sugar melts, don’t stir.) Pour mixture into a 10 inch diameter nonstick cake pan (I also sprayed my nonstick pan with cooking spray) with 2 inch high sides. Arrange the pineapple slices in a single layer on top of the caramel mixture.

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Cake

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Whisk the flours, almonds, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the sugar and 1 cup (2 sticks) of the butter together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream in 2 additions each, beating well after each addition.

I didn’t have any almonds, so I substituted a few extra tablespoons of vanilla extract in the wet ingredients. This approach would also work if you’re making the cake for someone who is allergic to nuts.

You could also put the juice from the can of pineapple rings into the batter (at the same time as the vanilla). I didn’t think to try it, but I bet it would be tasty.

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Pour the thick, fluffy cake batter over the caramel and pineapple in the pan. But be gentle about it, the caramel will still be pretty runny at this point. Then you can either eat the batter left in the bowl yourself or feed it to your Lobsterface who is surfing the internets in the other room. I left plenty on the scraper and ate that myself, Lobsterface got the bowl.

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Bake the delicious cake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes. Then let it cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a platter.

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Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream. Unless you don’t like whipped cream. But I don’t think people like that exist.

Whipped Cream

8 oz heavy or light whipping cream
confectioner’s sugar (to taste)
a pinch of salt

Start with cold whipped cream. It also helps if you chill the bowl you’re using, too. Pour the cream into a nice chilly bowl and whip it on high with an electric hand mixer.

I don’t know why, but I just don’t trust stand mixers. But then, I’m a control freak.

As you’re whipping, add in confectioner’s sugar, tablespoon by tablespoon until you reach your desired sweetness level. Toss in a pinch or two of salt, it adds depth to the flavor. Keep on whipping until the cream is nice and stiff. It’ll only take you about 5 minutes…maybe even less than that.

And that’s it! You’re all done! Put on some coffee and call all of your friends (well, 12-14 of your friends, anyway)!

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