PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE – Welcoming Spring….
Pineapple upside down cake is probably one of the most visually appetising cakes and definitely a flavourful one. I have had some serious failures in attempting this classic cake and had vowed never to come back to it again, only to find myself staring at a can of pineapples at the far end of the refrigerator. I had brought those cans for making a simple pineapple cake for son’s birthday. The lone survivor was daring me to try the upside down once again.
‘Basant panchami’ ‘बसंत पंचमी ‘ marks the official onset of spring season in a Hindu calender year, which is widely celebrated by worshipping Goddess Saraswati in the eastern India. Come winter and spring, our terrace garden wears a colorful look with hubby’s orchids in their full bloom. My most favourite among the whole collection is an apple green one (also featuring as a pretty prop in my pics) . The reason being- the color is so fresh and full of life, its mere sight makes the morning vibrant and energetic. Though I know I cannot do justice to its beauty with my amateur photographic skills, I had to freeze it along with the pineapple cake, before it withers away with the onset of harsh summer.
The recipe for the base is my most widely used and fool proof one for cakes, which I modify according to the flavour. I strongly suggest using tinned pineapples for this recipe, as the fresh ones will not give the same effect. Bright red cherries sitting atop caramelised pineapples, makes the most easiest and prettiest decoration.
For caramelising pineapples:
- Brown sugar- 4 tablespoon
- Butter- 2 tablespoon
- Water- 3-4 tablespoon
- Canned Pine apple pieces – 5 to 6
- Cherries/ tooty fruity- 1/4 cup
- All purpose flour- 2 cups minus 4 tablespoon
- Baking soda- 1 and 3/4 teaspoon
- Baking powder- 3/4 teaspoon
- Corn flour/ custard powder- 4 tablespoon
- Castor sugar- 1 cup
- Vegetable oil- 1/2 cup
- Yogurt- 1 cup
- Pineapple essence- 1 teaspoon
- Chopped pineapple pieces- 1/4 cup (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, grease and dust only the sides of a 9 inch round pan or a 8 inch square tin.The bottom of the tin will have a layer of caramalised pineapples, so leave it ungreased. ( The tin I have used is slightly less than nine inches in diameter and three inches in height)
- Open the can of pineapple, drain the liquid (don’t throw it away,you may need to add it to the cake to adjust the consistency), place the pineapple pieces on a clean kitchen towel so that any excess liquid is absorbed.
- Heat a pan, add brown sugar and butter stir well till they melt.
- Add 3-4 tablespoon water to adjust it to a pouring consistency.Pour the mixture into the bottom of the cake tin, spread it evenly.
- Arrange pineapple pieces and cherry/ tooty fruity according to the space available and keep the tin aside. I used tooty fruity as the holes in the pineapples were too large.
- Sift all the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, soda, cornflour.
- Add castor sugar and whisk all the dry ingredients well with a hand whisk.
- Beat oil and yogurt till well combined, add pineapple essence.
- Mix both the dry and wet ingredients,if the mixture is too thick, adjust the consistency by adding the liquid from the drained pineapple pieces.
- Fold in some diced pineapple pieces (optional).
- Pour into the cake tin, tap it on the kitchen counter to remove any air bubbles, bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes until toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Demoulding the cake:
- Once the cake is done, take it out of the oven, let it cool for 10-15 minutes, when the cake leaves the sides of the tin.
- Gently invert it into a plate and allow it to cool. You can also do it on a cooling rack and shift it to a plate once it has cooled completly.If some pieces get stuck to the tin, gently remove it and stick it onto the cake.
- Once cooled serve it with whipped cream or as it is !!