Saturday, June 02, 2007

Cakes: Celebrating my birthday month

How do people find time to up-date their blogs on a regular basis? Between working, getting ready for a new job, preparing to move over the hill, and taking a trip to Minnesota this past week, the time just seems to slip through my fingers.

Till I can get on track with cooking (I haven't gone grocery shopping since I got back into town in the wee hours of Friday morning, and the cupboards are bare), I present to you a pineapple upside-down cake, which I baked in honor of my cat turning three on May 16. (The cake, obviously, was for the humans in the household. Sabriel got some of his favorite canned tuna.)

While making this cake, I learned an important lesson: Don't make upside-down cakes in a springform pan. The recipe called for a 2-inch deep cake pan, and since mine was only 1-1/2 inches deep, I thought the springform pan would be the next best thing, being that it was made extra deep to hold delicious mile-high cheesecake goodness. Well, when the sound of splattering on the bottom of the oven got my attention, I realized all the lovely brown sugar and butter that the pineapple was supposed to cook in was slowly making its escape. The resulting cake was fine, though it lacked a sugary glaze and, therefore, some sweetness.

Stay tuned for more of my favorite cake recipes as we count down the days till my Cancerian birthday.

Fresh pineapple upside-down cake
(courtesy of Gourmet magazine)

1-2/3 c all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 fresh pineapple, halved lengthwise, cored, and peeled
1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c packed light brown sugar
2/3 c granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk (I did the "cheating" method of mixing 1 tablespoon of white vinegar into 1 c milk and letting it sit for 5 min)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix together flour, baking powder and soda, and salt into a bowl. Cut pineapple crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick wedges.

Butter a 9-inch round cake pan (2 inches deep) lightly on side and generously on bottom of pan using 1/2 stick butter. Sprinkle all of brown sugar evenly over bottom and arrange pineapple over it, starting in center of pan and overlapping slices slightly.

Beat together remaining stick butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer at medium speed, about 2 min, then add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with flour and mixing just until batter is smooth.

Spread batter evenly over pineapple and bake until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 min. Cool 15 min in pan on a rack, then invert cake onto a plate and remove pan. Cool to room temperature.

Serves 8 to 10.


sher said...

Well, I think that cake looks wonderful. I saw the picture and started to drool a little. I love upside down cakes. YUM!!!

Michael Doss said...

Mmm. Cake.

I need to find a present for you!