Tuesday, June 24, 2008

7. Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes (p. 716)

My wife and I went out to dinner on Saturday with our friends, Travis and Jodi, and so we invited them back to our house for dessert.

But what to make? The last time I cooked for Travis and Jodi, I made these Profiteroles from the March 2008 issue of Gourmet. I needed something equally impressive.

Inspiration came in the form of an Edible Arrangement that my in-laws sent us for our anniversary. The too-cute flower-shaped
pineapple slices (see photo below) whispered to me, "Pineapple Upside-Down Cake."

This recipe, which according to The Book, is based on Hali'imaile General Store's cake, "tweaks" the traditional recipe by making the cakes single-serving. It's a nice touch that makes this kitschy dessert a bit more fancy. I love recipes like this that produce something really showy and impressive, but that aren't at all difficult to make. (It makes it much easier to be falsely modest, "No, it was no trouble at all!")

The Book says to cook the cakes in a muffin tin with extra-large (1-cup) cups. I have such a muffin tin, but the cups are tapered, and the bases of the cups were too narrow for the pineapple slices. So, I used my ceramic ramekins instead, and it worked just fine.

The upside-down topping is simply brown sugar, melted butter and a pineapple slice. The cake is a basic buttery pound cake-style recipe. The cherry on top isn't called for in the recipe, but I think that pineapple upside-down cake without a cherry on top isn't really pineapple upside-down cake.

These little cakes were delicious. The topping was sweet and tangy as the caramel and pineapple flavors blended in each bite. The cake is more than just a vehicle for the topping. It was moist and buttery, with just the right amount of sweetness and density.

We had two cakes left over, so we put them in the fridge and had them for dessert the next night. The cake seemed to dry out a bit overnight. It was still good, but much more crumbly than the night before. My recommendation is to eat them all in one sitting. (Don't worry, I won't judge.)

Date Cooked: June 21, 2008
Degree of Difficulty: Medium
Rating: A

1 comment:

Kiki said...

With the flower shape, it looks like we're stealing a page from this site:


Is it wrong that I wish I had one of these cakes right now? It's like the perfect breakfast muffin. And it's even got a healthy dose of fruit!