February 16, 2012

Sundays in the Kitchen #2

"Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius." - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Happy Valentines Day. Here's a nice soppy song I was listening to today.

So, back to the kitchen. I actually did bake this on Sunday, it just took a while to post it. 

Another birthday calls for another cake. This is a recipe that I've loved making not because of the taste but more because of how it looks. Even if the top is uneven or if it cracks or looks ugly, you just flip the cake and it's beautiful. Very deceptive, since it is actually a really simple recipe.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake:

I did this a bit different to the recipe; mostly because I was lazy! In the recipe, you're supposed to use fresh pineapple and poach them with sugar, cinnamon, allspice and ginger. But I took an easy shortcut and used canned pineapple. Would have been much nicer with all that extra flavour.

Line a round baking tray (preferably one with a removable base. It makes it a lot easier to take out) with baking paper. Pour about 1/4 cup of melted butter into the pan and then add 1 cup of sugar (recipe asked for brown, I only had white) . Mix together and evenly spread on the base of the pan. Then carefully arrange the pineapple and place cashew-nuts and fresh cherries (I used dried cranberries. Raisins may also work) in the leftover space around the pineapple. Remember that this will become the top of the cake, so take care to arrange it properly.

For the batter, sift together 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 tsp of baking soda and a pinch of salt. In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, 3/4 cup of brown sugar (I only had white sugar), a tsp of vanilla essence and 3 large egg yolks. Whisk till it's nice and light. Then add the flour mixture alternating with portions of 1/2 cup of curd. Don't mix it too much otherwise you'll get rid of all the lightness. Lastly, beat up the egg whites with 1/4 cup of sugar to form nice soft peaks. Fold this into the rest of the cake mixture. 

Pour the cake batter over the pineapple, put into a 180 degree oven and bake for 40 minutes. Test it with a toothpick before taking it out. Let it cool slightly before inverting onto your cake plate. Peel off the paper and voila! 
Best eaten slightly warm.

Note: I forgot to mention that I added cinnamon to the butter and sugar mixture that I put at the bottom of the pan.
Also, while it is baking, sometimes some of the syrup leaks out of the pan into the base of the oven. It happened this time, and the whole oven was a bit smokey! Be careful that the pan is closed nice and tightly, and that the paper you line it with seals the edges.

Happy Birthday Shruthi! :)

And I'd like to add, that I have overcome a bit of my laziness by waking up at 6:30 and going for a swim every morning. The first day, I froze! It was so cold, that even when I came home, my skin was still thawing. But today it was so much better and I thoroughly enjoyed it. :) Woohooo!!

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