It's pineapple night
I feel much better that I did not succumb to my laziness and my Secret Garden addiction tonight and had some kitchen activity for a change. First, I made Pineapple Upside Down Cake for my co-worker who celebrated her birthday a few days ago. I told her I'll make it up to her whenever and tonight seems to be it and it was. I have at least three pineapple upside down cake variations but I used the simplest one. Don’t be surprised though if I do a pineapple upside down cake mini series.
I’ve seen a lot of people try to shy away from pineapple upside down cake because they think it is uberly sweet. I guarantee that mine isn’t. The topping looks pretty with caramelized pineapple but the syrup need not be too thick or heavy because the maraschino cherries are already sweet. And then cut down the sugar content for the cake batter in half and just let the sweetness come from the pineapples and cherries. How easy is that? And there, you can enjoy a moist cake and no headache or itchy throat after eating a big slab. Here's the recipe :-)
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 (20-ounce) can sliced pineapple
6 maraschino cherries
whole pecans, toasted
1 cup flour, sifted*
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 extra large eggs, separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
8 tbsp pineapple juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Melt butter and sugar in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer.
Add the pineapple slices and vanilla and cook for about five minutes
Transfer to a round baking pan arranging the pineapples nicely.
Place a cherry inside each slice lace a cherry inside each one.
Arrange the whole pecans in between the pineapples, set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine sifted flour, baking powder and salt, and stir.
Using a hand mixer, in a metal or glass bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until fluffy. Set aside.
In a separate bowl beat egg yolks with sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add pineapple juice, and vanilla extract, and beat well. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, and beat until well combined. Fold in the egg whites with a rubber spatula. Pour cake mixture evenly over the fruit, and smooth with the spatula.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before inverting into a serving platter.
Pineapple-Cream Cheese Strudel
I love strudels and my favorite is pineapple with cream cheese. For this I used fresh pineapple chunks which I cooked in unsalted butter, brown sugar and vanilla then thickened with cornstarch. I also added some panko bread crumbs and chopped pecans for crunch. They look like huge burritos and only when you slice them will you see the luscious filling which is a combination of sweet, tangy, creamy and delicious with the flaky crust which I made from scratch. Please refer to my pie crust recipe somewhere in this blog. I know - this is a lazy attempt at making strudel because I did not use the more apt puff pastry which I haven't done nor attempted to make- ever; but that will be my next project :-) And by the way, these strudel wanna be's are yummy in an empanada way ha ha ha.