I am not much of a baker. I think that good cooking requires an understanding of balance and flavour combinations, whilst baking requires precision. Baking is as much about controlling a reaction, as it is developing flavours, and I just don’t have the experience in the genre to be able to do it well.
My style of cooking usually involves looking a recipe and using it as a base for inspiration, taking the concept and making it my own. Vary from a recipe for a cake, or a cookie, at your peril. You’re not just altering the taste, you’re altering the behaviour. And whilst that’s not quite as important in general cooking, when baking you can be left with disastrous results.
So, when my family requests something for desert, I usually shudder a little on the inside.
Fortunately, here is a recipe that I have been able to tweak and reproduce consistently. I am not going to say I’ve “mastered” it, because I haven’t. In fact, tonight this cake ended up being cooked in two sessions. The second session because the first slice through the middle demonstrated that I had cooked a very pale looking lava cake. Unfortunately, this cake should not flow.
- 60g Softened Butter
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 x 440g Sliced Pineapple (in juice, not syrup)
- 125g Softened Butter
- 1/2 Cup Caster (or Superfine) Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 1/2 Cups Self-Raising Flour
- 1/3 Cup Milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
- 1/3 Cup Crushed Pineapple
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease and line a baking dish with baking paper. Drain the pineapple slices, and dry them on a paper towel or absorbent cloth. Whip the brown sugar and 60g Butter until creamy and spread the butter/sugar mix on the bottom of the pan. Place the pineapple slice on top of the mix.
Cream the remaining butter and sugar, then beat in the vanilla, and the eggs, one at a time. Add the milk and self-raising flour, 1/3 at a time, alternating each addition. Stir in the crushed pineapple.
Pour the batter onto the pineapples, and smooth the top using a spatula.
Cook in the 180 degree oven for 45 minutes, and test with a skewer for doneness before removing (a step I failed to do).
Let cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a dish and peeling away the paper. Let cool a little longer and serve!
Anyway, cooking time aside, the result was delicious. The texture of the base (which obviously becomes the top) is such a great contrast to the moist cake and soft pineapple.
I would certainly recommend serving this whilst still warm, with a generous scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream. Unfortunately for us, we were fresh out of ice-cream (or cream for that matter). Still, the cake was delicious enough by itself.