Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I want to turn this whole cake upside down.

Two evenings ago I had the sudden inspiration to make a pineapple upside down cake, inspired by the fact that we had some passable fresh pineapple that would have served, better in preparation rather than eaten fresh. So I took a look online and found this recipe by Verushka on allrecipes. 

Today I was disciplined and actually set up my mise en place. However, a number of other mistakes and substitutions were used which I don't think did the recipe justice.

Adapted from allrecipes:
Here we have:
3/4 cup of butter
3 eggs
3/4 a cup of pineapple puree (original recipe calls for pineapple juice)
A pineapple
2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 cup of white sugar
1 and a half cups of flour
3/4 a cup of brown sugar
and vanilla extract, which we need 1/2 a teaspoon of.

Handy tip! After taking the butter out of the paper, I put the paper and the pan I was using into the oven for a minute, then used the paper to grease the pan.

5 tablespoons of the butter is mixed with the brown sugar and 1/4 a cup of the pineapple juice.
It turned into this beautiful butter brown mass.
Which is then spread into your baking container. I was having reservations on the size of the pan here, thinking it was a bit shallow and I think I was right.
The remaining dry ingredients are mixed together.
And the eggs separated. Note that you only need two yolks, but all three of the whites.
The whites are beaten until stiff but not dry.

And the yolks are beaten til bright yellow, then mixed with the remaining wet ingredients, then combine with the flour.
Here's where I think things started to go a bit off. I think substituting puree for the juice created a denser batter than ideal. This required a bit more aggressive folding of the egg whites, which really isn't folding at all.
Next pour the mix onto the pineapples, ah wait let me do that.
Here it is. I believe the slices were cut a bit too thickly. I felt that since the bowl was so shallow I had better split the recipe, so I also used a ramekin for a mini pineapple upside down cake.
A bit of the brown sugar/butter/pineapple mix went into the bottom of this as well. And I also remembered to butter it!
Laid some slices on top and all around.
And some dried cranberries for color, as I didn't have any maraschino cherries handy.
Ready for the oven!
I wish this was more of an action shot, as in the right one my feeling that there was a bit much sugar lining the bottom seemed to be true, with lots of awesome bubbling sugar action. A deeper cake pan probably would have alleviated this, giving more surface area to absorb more of that goodness.

Still, the cakes made it through without any real disasters. Ten minutes to rest, then the plating.
The larger one came out like this, with a lot of the sugar still sticking to the pan.
The mini turned out much more well behaved.

Finally I decided not to waste, and scooped out the brown sugar as best I could and rearranged it on the large cake. It's like candy!

So lessons learned is that with some substitutions and winging it, I was able to avoid a trip to the grocery store with what I had on hand. I'm fairly confident I could do the same thing next time with greater success, by using a proper pan, and increasing the amount of pineapple puree to make up for its lower liquid content.

Happy eating everyone!

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