Second: Please pay note to the GIVEAWAY at the bottom of this post. I’m making cards and cookies for one of you delightful people!
Now, to cake. Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
When I think of being four years old, I’m transported to a small kitchen in Houston, Texas. My mom’s lips are painted bright red and she’s balancing my newborn sister on her hip. In between bringing me a bowl of cheerios and setting Noelle down for a nap, my mom pulls out my easel. Being named Monet, ensured that I received a hefty dose of art time as a little girl.
I preferred to paint in the nude, and my mom indulged my proclivity for expression as long as we were the only ones home. I would take out my palette of water colors and with confident brush strokes, color my canvas (and my body). After a few masterpieces, I’d need nourishment. My mom would cut up fresh fruit and sit with me as we watched Sesame Street on PBS.
Those were the days.
The cake Krystal wanted happened to be one of my favorites: A Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Now this cake can be made in a lazy fashion. You can buy a can of pineapple, some yellow cake mix and a jar of maraschino cherries. I won’t even argue that the cake will taste pretty good. But if you want to elevate this classic American dessert to a new level of deliciousness, follow this recipe. This recipe is so good that you just might decide to buy your own pineapple plantation and sell these for a living (I know I did!)
I adapted this Pineapple Upside Down cake from a recipe I found here. Elise always does a great job with her sweets so I knew it would be a pleasure to work with. This Pineapple Upside Down cake is hands down the best I've made or enjoyed. I only made a few changes, and if you want to add or omit the “extras”, feel free. The basic recipe is great on its own.
For my version, I added some lightly toasted coconut and made a mixture of ground almonds AND macadamia nuts. Instead of baking this in a large, 10 inch wide, 2 inch high cake pan. I split it into two, standard size cake pans. The cake wasn’t as thick, but it meant that there was more of that gooey caramel topping we all love. And then of course, it allowed me to keep one cake for myself and give the other to a friend.
Now to the PRIZE part. I wish I could give all of you cookies and hugs and cards. Over the course of this year, my life has been very stressful. We’ve experienced our fair share of tragedy, and even as the months pass, I still have some very hard days. But time and again, my blog readers have offered me love, support, kind words and sweet treats. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
So…I want to bake cookies and send out a pack of homemade greeting cards to one of my readers. The cookie options? My classic Chocolate Chip Cookie, Sour Cream Cut-Outs, or Oatmeal Raisin. The greeting cards? Well, those will be a surprise! To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment below telling me about a favorite memory from childhood (and like me on facebook!). I’ll draw for a winner on Tuesday night. Due to shipping costs, only US residents are eligible to win cookies and cards. But if you live outside of the US, I’d be more than happy to still send you a package of greeting cards (I just don’t think the cookies can survive that long of a trip!)
1 cup of firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 can (20 oz) of pineapple slices
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
6 Tbsp cake flour
6 Tbsp of ground almonds and macadamia nuts (from about 2 oz of nuts)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups of sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
4 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup lightly toasted coconut, unsweetened.
1. Begin with the caramel topping: Combine brown sugar and butter in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium high until sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbly. This should take 3-6 minutes. After sugar melts, do not stir. Pour mixture into two 8 inch diameter, stick-free cake pans. Arrange pineapple slices in a single layer on top of the mixture (I was able to use 5 slices in each pan).
2. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Whisk the flours, nuts, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the sugar and butter together until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream in 2 additions each, beating well after each addition. Pour cake batter over caramel and pineapple in pans.
3. Bake cakes until tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool cakes in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto a platter and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Anecdotes and Apple Cores