Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I got a new baking pan.

Do you love it?!?

I love it! 

The good people at Williams-Sonoma have been reading my diary.  How else would they know to create a pan like this?  Its like they pulled the idea straight from the depths of my baking imagination.  No matter.  The pan is mine now.  I own it and I will take it on its maiden voyage - and you can come along!

I took this recipe from the back of the cardboard slip that was wrapped around the pan when I bought it.  Its a good one.

Grease and flour a cake pan of your choosing.  I use that baking spray with the flour in it.  Best.  Invention.  Ever.  Set your pan aside.

Start by heating up some butter, brown sugar, and pineapple juice (from the can) in a small saucepan.  Heat it just enough to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar.
Add this wonderful mixture to the bottom of your cake pan and make sure it covers the entire surface.  This will help to release the cake from the pan later, as well as ensure that every bite of cake is deliciously sweet and sinfully buttery.
This, right here, is enough to make me want to stop what I'm doing and just dip my finger in the sauce over and over again until its all gone.  But we must persist.  It gets better, if you can wrap your head around the idea of even more deliciousness. 
Time to add the pineapple.  You can get artsy with this if you have the creativity and freedom to do so.  By that, I mean, if you are using a 9x13 pan there are all kinds of pineapple arrangement possibilities.  Have fun with it.  Because I'm using this pan, there is only one possible arrangement, but that is pretty much the point. If you like maraschino cherries (and I do), you can add a few of those, as well.
Are you squealing yet?  I'm squealing!  Its too cute!  People.  This is going to be a cake.  Its going to be a delicious cake.  You get to eat it.  And BONUS:  Look How Cute It Is!!!
OK.  Deep breath.  Recompose.  Set this darling cake pan aside and prepare the cake batter.

Cream together the butter and sugar.
Add the eggs and vanilla.  Forget to take a picture.  I'm still distracted by that whimsy pan.  Too.  Cute.

Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in another bowl and give it a good stir. Now alternately add the flour mixture and the milk to the batter, mixing after each addition until combined.  Start and end with the flour mixture.  Do this by adding about 1/3 of the dry stuff at a time, and 1/2 of the milk at a time.   Let me demonstrate.
Add dry...


Add milk...



End with the last addition of flour.

Now you have a lovely batter that smells heavenly.  Pour that directly on top of your artful (or manufacturer predetermined) arrangement of pineapples with or without cherries. 

Give it a good whack against the counter top to release any air bubbles in the batter.  Careful, now.  Don't whack so hard that you chip or break your pan.  I usually put a dish towel on the surface to be whacked so that it can absorb a little of the pressure. 

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, depending on the size and shape of the pan you're using.  I baked mine for 30 minutes and, for these individual cakes, that was the perfect amount of time. 


Side note:  Look at this sweet, gooey, buttery, pineappley, gorgeousness.


If you don't make this immediately upon reading this post, you're teasing yourself.  You'll have to fall deep into prayer asking God to forgive you of a number of sins:  Lust.  Coveting.  Slothfulness.  (Because let's face it,  you won't be able to get anything done if you're constantly being distracted by this picture.)


Let this cool for about 15 minutes before attempting the nerve wracking "flip."  Put the cake pan on the counter top and place the "right" side of a platter or cooling rack on the top of the pan, which is really the bottom of the cake.  Confused?  Like this:

Now carefully grab the sides of both the pan and the cooling rack/platter and invert the two.

Now, oh-so-carefully, lift the cake pan straight up to release the cake.  This should be easy if you were generous with the greasing and flouring of the pan at the beginning of this process and if you were generous with the brown sugar and butter syrup that you used to coat the bottom of the pan. 

Hold your breath.




You can let these cool further or you can eat them warm.  I happen to like warm pineapple, so I didn't wait too long.  That, and I couldn't help myself.  The smell was drawing me in.  I caved. 

This is a fabulous recipe!  Go try this!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Recipe
for the syrup:
5 tbsp butter
1/2 c plus 2 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp pineapple juice from can
as many pineapple slices and maraschino cherries as you like

for the batter:
1 1/3 c all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
3/4 c granulated sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c milk

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