Sunday, 9 October 2011

Pineapple upside-down cake

To commemorate the legendary Thomas Keller 'popping up' with his French Laundry at Harrods, I thought I'd put up a really great and easy recipe I found in his book Ad Hoc at Home. Again I've anglicised it a bit, but still think you get a really lovely result. Although this uses pineapple you can substitute for whatever you fancy!

Prep time: 20 Mins
Baking time: 40 Mins
For the 'Pan Shmear'
115g Unsalted Butter (At room temperature)
1 1/2Tbsp Honey
1/2Tsp Dark Rum
220g Light Brown Sugar
1/4Tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Extra Sweet Pineapple

For the cake batter
180g Plain Flour
2Tsp Baking Powder
115g Unsalted Butter (At room temperature)
125g Caster Sugar
1/2Tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs
1Tbsp plus 1Tsp Milk

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and grease a 23cm cake tin. In a bowl combine the butter, honey, rum, sugar and vanilla then beat until smooth. Using a spatula spread the schmear over the base of the tin until it's covered, then sprinkle lightly with salt. You will have some left over, so you can keep that for next time in the fridge (up to a week) or freezer (up to month) until you need it again. Peel/Core the pineapple then slice into pieces a few mm thick. You can freestyle here and make them whatever shape you fancy. Lay the sliced pineapple, slightly overlapping on top of the schmear.

Now for the cake mix. In a fresh bowl mix together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time. Beat in the milk, then sift in the flour and baking powder about a third at a time. Spread the batter over the pineapple and bake in the centre of the oven. After about 15 minutes rotate the tin, then bake for another 20-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the tin for about half an hour, then comes the tricky bit!

Run a palette knife around the edges of the cake, then invert onto your serving plate and remove from the tin. This is a really nice one to serve warm, but you can keep the leftover cake for a few days in an airtight container and devour at your leisure!

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