To celebrate completing another trip around the sun I chose this recipe for my birthday cake. The lure was that, while I love these ingredients individually, I had never considered combining them in one cake and I was curious as to how all those flavours would taste in one bite.
This is the sort of cake that could go either way –divine or horrible. I would never gamble with someone else’s birthday cake but felt happy to do so with my own. Luckily the cake was divine...fortune favours the brave!
The flavours work really well together and don’t compete for attention. The tropical cream filling lightened the richness of the chocolaty sponge; the ginger lurked in the background perhaps a little too subtly – I would add more next time.
I would never have thought of putting chocolate with pineapple but it was a revelation – we all loved it and, surprisingly, the cake wasn’t overly sweet or sickly; it was actually rather refreshing. Having pineapple, chocolate, cream, sponge in one cake was food (if not calorie) heaven – but then one only has to think of the famous Erma Bombeck quote to lose any notion of guilt: “Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.”
For the cake:
175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
275g soft light brown sugar
250g self raising flour
25g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
50g milk chocolate chips
150g Greek yoghurt
For the filling:
425g tin of pineapple rings
300ml double cream
2 teaspoons caster sugar (optional depending on the sweetness of the pineapple)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
Line a 20cm springform round tin with baking paper.
Beat together the butter and brown sugar until soft, creamy and well combined. The mixture won’t turn fluffy as it would if you were using caster sugar.
Beat in the eggs one at a time; add a little of the flour if the mixture starts to curdle.
Fold in the flour, cocoa and ginger.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Fold in the yoghurt.
Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and level the surface.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin until you can safely handle, then remove the tin and leave the cake to cool completely on a wire rack.
You can make the cake a day in advance of serving and store it overnight in an airtight tin.
Now make the filling: drain the tin of pineapple and reserve some for decorations. I only reserved one to put in the centre of the cake.
Chop the pineapple into small pieces.
Whip the cream and sugar lightly – you want it of medium firmness so it doesn’t collapse when you add the juicy pineapple.
Fold the chopped pineapple into the cream and refrigerate for 10 minutes so it firms up a little.
Cut the cake in half horizontally and place the bottom half on the serving plate.
Spread virtually all of the pineapple cream over the sponge then place the top half of the sponge onto the cream. Avoid pressing down too hard.
Use the reserved pineapple cream to place the reserved pineapple ring on top for decoration.
Dust the cake with sifted icing sugar, if desired.
Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have made.