Sunday, 3 June 2007

Topsy-Turvy Cinnamon Cake with Caramelised Pineapple

top·sy-tur·vy (tŏp'sē-tûr'vē) :
With the top downward and the bottom up; upside-down.

Ever since I won the charity cake auction for the caramelised upside-down banana cake last month, I have been obsessed about making it myself. But when I had a very ripe pineapple sitting in the fruit basket, I decided to use the pineapple instead.

Pineapple was one of my favourite fruits as a kid and we ate and cooked with fresh pineapple all year round in Singapore. For festive occasions, my mom makes the BEST bite-sized pineapple tarts. They are a labour of love not just because of the size (imagine trying to fill tiny tart shells without messing up & also decorate the top with extra short crust pastry!) but also because the pineapple filling has to be cooked on the stove top for hours (to thicken the filling and get a caramelised flavour). My wonderful mom always has a container of these tarts freshly baked for me whenever I return to Singapore.

Anyway, I digress...To recreate the taste of my mom's pineapple tart filling, I decided to use caramelised pineapple for my upside-down cake.

(own creation)

50g unsalted butter
half of a large ripe pineapple, rind and core removed, then cut into 1cm slices
1/4 cup golden syrup
1/2 cup caster sugar (or less if pineapple is very ripe)
1 tbspn lemon juice
1 tspn vanilla essence

To make the "topping":
Place the butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat and melt. Add pineapple and lemon juice into the pan. Cook the pineapples till it is slightly tender, stirring craefully.

Add golden syrup, sugar and vanilla essence and cook till pineapple is tender.

Remove pineapples carefully with a slotted spoon and arrange in the bottom of a greased 23cm spring-form cake tin. (The juices tend to leak from my tin, so I line it with foil)

Increase heat and boil remaining liquid in the pan for 5 minutes or more until a rich caramel forms. DO NOT be tempted to tasted the caramel at this stage because it is VERY HOT.

Pour caramel over the pineapples in the base of the tin.

Cinnamon Cake
(from "Sydney Food" by Bill Granger)

1oog unsalted butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
4 eggs, seperated, room temperature
1 tspn vanilla essence
1 1/4 cp plain flour
2 tspn baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 tspn ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180 degress C (350 degrees F).

Place butter and sugar in a bowl and cream til light and fluffy.

Add vanilla and egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition.

Gently fold in the sifted flour, baking powder, salt and cinammon. The cake mixture will be quite stiff and dry.

In a small, clean, dry bowl, beat egg whites until stiff.

Gently fold egg whites through the cake mixture with a large metal spoon.

Spoon the batter evenly over the pinapples and caramel. Smooth with a spatula.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a skwer inserted to the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and leave in the tin for 5 minutes. Remove the sides from the cake tin and place a large serving plate on top of the cake. Turn cake over onto serving plate. Remove foil (if used) and base.

Serve warm, with pouring cream if desired.

Tasting notes:The cake was also delicious at room temperature the next day.
Quikong liked it as much as I did, even though he was initially disappointed that I didn't make the banana version.
Verdict: This recipe is a keeper. Next time, I will try making it with caramelised bananas, pears or apples (that was Bill's original recipe).



Susan said...

Mmmm. Nice to see this cake being baked on the other side of the
world. Pineapple Upside Down Cake is an American classic. The only difference is we arrange maraschino cherries among the pineapple pieces and keep the cake plain vanilla. This is a very tempting variation.

valentina said...

Oh, I love the way you combined the cinnamon cake recipe with the pineapple topping. Genius! Also felt had curious about your mum's little gems.

Eva said...

Wow, that looks good! This sort of cake is rather unfamiliar to me (during my childhood, pineapple came out of a can - if I ever had any at all!) but I love all those upside-down cakes!
When I was in Singapore, your sister made sure that I got to try those little pineapple tarts when we had dinner in the Malaysian village - another totally unfamiliar treat but oh so good!

Nora B. said...

Susan - Thanks for dropping by. I like your sense of humour that comes through your blog. Oooh, now I would like to try making this with maraschino cherries. This cake recipe is very moist yet not "heavy", so I can see myself making many versions of this upside down cake.

Valentina - I will have to get mom to show me step-by-step how she makes the little tarts next time I am back in S'pore, and of course I will post it on my blog.

Eva - This cake was sooo good. It's been three days now, and it is still moist and yummy. I am glad that my sis got you to try some pineapple tarts. But they would not even come close to my mom's tarts...& I am not just saying that because she is my mom ;-)

Cassie said...

Oh Nora, that looks delicious! I like any fruit caramelised and never tried pineapple in that way. But I am too nervous about cutting pineapples...the bits under the rinds are so hard to remove. But for this cake, I think that the effort will be worth it.

Lydia said...

I love the combination of the cinnamon cake (which would be delicious on its own, I think) and the caramelized pineapple. Usually pineapple upside down cake here in the US is on a white cake, but yours will have so much more flavor. And Susan is absolutely right about the maraschino cherries -- they are bright red and somewhat artificial, but nothing else will do!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Give me anything with pineapple and I'll be happy forever, Nora - this cake is just wonderful! I love cinnamon too, so you bet I'll be trying this recipe soon.

Freya and Paul said...

We call this pineapple upside down cake but I love Topsy Turvy cake even more! Looks deliciously moist!

Aimée said...

Upside down cakes are such a rewarding bake. This one looks moist and delicious!

Precious Moments said...

Wow you have a great blog. Thanks for dropping mine. Keep in touch. Cheers

Margot at Coffee & Vanilla said...

It sounds very interesting... pineapple and cinnamon!! :)

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I love cinnamon and caramel together. This cake looks totally delicious!