Sunday, 22 April 2012

Famous Faces’ Favourite Fancies – Pineapple and chilli upside down cake

I have to confess, in most things, to being a fogey before my time, but particularly with music.  My radio is set to Absolute 80s where it shall stay until they set up Absolute 40s.  I’m more Andrews Sisters than Destiny’s Child, more Bing than Bieber...I’m sure you get the idea.

So, when a modern singer comes along who I really like it’s exciting for me – I get to buy CDs (sorry, I haven’t caught up with this new-found downloading of music yet) on the day they’re released; it reminds me of being young again.  (For the record, I am in my thirties...I know, I know, I sound about 70!)

Paloma Faith is such a talented woman –songwriter, singer, actress, style icon (with a nod to the vintage fashions of days gone by) and also incredibly witty and likable when interviewed.  And she’s from Hackney, just like Mr CC.  OK, I admit it – I totally have a girl crush on her!

Her debut album “Do You Want the Truth or SomethingBeautiful”  has been in my car stereo for so many months now that I think I could sing it in my sleep.  I can’t wait for the new album “Fall to Grace” which is out in May.

I’m also very excited that Paloma picked one of my favourite cakes – a pineapple upside down cake.  Then I hit a problem; I’ve made a pineapple upside down cake before and most pineapple upside cakes are pretty similar.  How could I make a cake different from the norm and worthy of Paloma?

This recipe was the perfect answer to my prayers.  I’ve been a slow and suspicious adopter of chilli into baked goods but this recipe tickled my taste buds.  The syrup that bakes on the bottom of the cake (and becomes the top on turning out) is spiked with chilli and lime meaning that the cake is infused with a sweet spiciness that is also fresh and light.

 The sweetness of the syrup takes all the sting from the chilli just leaving a sweet chilli taste; I think next time I might be tempted to leave a few chilli seeds in there as I do like my spice.  Apart from that, it was classic pineapple upside down cake all the way...i.e. extremely pleasant!

250g golden syrup
1 fresh red chilli – deseeded and chopped as finely as you can
Grated zest of 1 lime
430g tin of pineapple rings in juice (not syrup) – this is the weight of the whole tin, not the drained weight; keep the juice as it is used in the cake
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
225g self raising flour

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Take a 20cm round springform tin and line the inside with foil, then a paper liner – if you have an all in one paper liner it will save you the stress of the syrup oozing out whilst baking.  I went for the belt-and-braces approach of foil and a liner and that worked fine.

Start by making the syrup: place the golden syrup, chilli and lime zest in a saucepan and heat, only for about2-3 minutes, until the syrup has loosened up.

Pour just over half the syrup into the prepared tin and swirl the tin around so the syrup is evenly distributed.

Place as many pineapple rings as you can in the syrup without overlapping them too much.  I got 6 in.

Now make the sponge: beat together the butter and sugar until light and whippy.  Don’t skimp on this stage.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Stir in the flour and enough pineapple juice from the can to make a nice smooth dropping consistency.

Chop the remaining pineapple from the can and stir into the sponge batter.

Carefully spoon the batter into the tin taking care not to disturb the pineapple rings and syrup.
Spread the batter to the edges of the tin to try and seal in the syrup and stop it from bubbling up over the edges whilst cooking.

Stand the cake tin on a baking tray with lipped sides – just in case any syrup sneaks out during cooking!

Bake for approximately 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Mine actually took a bit longer – just over an hour.

Leave the cake to cool, in the tin, for 20 minutes then turn out i.e. invert onto a serving plate.  Tempting though it is to wait for the cake to cool completely before turning out, you run the risk of the syrup being glued onto the baking paper!

When you come to serve the cake, remember that you have just under half the syrup left – if you warm this gently it is very nice poured over the cake.

Serve the cake warm with ice cream or at room temperature with cream.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Nom! The Indulgent Baking Blog said...

Oh wow I love this! What a great post, the hint of chilli sounds brilliant too!


Kate@whatkatebaked said...

Paloma has mighty mighty good taste- Pineapple Upside Down Cake is a a Top Fave in our house too! Inspired addition of chilli too

MissCakeBaker said...

Pineapple upside down cake brings back so many childhood food memories! I love the addition of chilli. Delicious!

Katie said...

Wow looks wonderful and bet it tasted delicious. Love the idea of adding chilli and lime to the syrup. Very tropical.
As always your cake is gorgeous tall!

Don't worry you are not the only one who doesn't like too much modern technology. I'm in my 20's and yet don't own an i-pod or download music either. I'm also not on twitter or facebook. People think I'm strange but whats wrong with the radio and a phone!!

Gloria said...

Look absolutely delicious!!

Kezia said...

Beautiful, you can't really go wrong with a slice of sponge with pineapple on top! I love the idea of using chilli with the pineapple to balance out the sweetness.

Susie @ Fold in the Flour said...

I love the idea of chilli and lime in the syrup, with the pineapple it seems almost Thai inspired - if you know what I mean. The sponge looks lovely and light. I've never tried pineapple upside down cake (I must admit - haven't really tried a lot of baking with fruit), but this looks so lovely, and with flavours I love, it's on my list to bake! :)

Cakelaw said...

I love the sound of this cake - and it looks so beautiful with its yellow and red. I have never heard of Paolma before - I shall have to hit Youtube!

Asmita said...

This cake looks so moist and full of flavor. I Love it!!!

The KitchenMaid said...

This is SUCH a clever idea - and a lovely cake to boot. Sigh, I have blog envy!

Hannah said...

Gorgeous looking cake! The red chilli flecks make it look really special!

Anonymous said...

I love pineapple upside down cake! That looks so good. I'm also a fan of Paloma's music, she is a fantastic singer :-)

Jean said...

That cake looks wonderful.
I have yet to try using chillies in any kind of cake or biscuit so thanks for the inspiration.

I agree about CD's. I still buy them and love having them on the shelf to look at and choose from, to open and read the cover notes. Downloading music just doesn't appeal to me.

Maggie said...

I have to admit to being timid when it comes to using chilli in sweet baking. The cake looks very inviting and I would like to try a slice.

Caroline said...

Wow! Love the depth of that cake and it looks so moist and gorgeous too. I like the idea of pepping it up a little with the chilli too - I bet it cuts the sweetness perfectly. Pineapple upside down was one of the few cakes my mum occasionally made but I haven't had it for years and years!

Lucy said...

I love the twist on this cake! I've never used chillies in baking but can see how it would work so well here.

Jo said...

Ah, Paloma has great choice. Got to love an upside down pineapple cake!

I must admit to being old before my time as well, especially with music. Did you catch that programme the BBC did about the Andrew Sisters? I think it was first on two years ago on BBC4 although I'm sure it has been repeated. I absolutely loved it!

Gem* said...

Wow CC I've always wanted to make Pineapple Upside DOwn Cake. You are one inspirational lady! thanks for bringing some sunshine on this rainy day :)

sensibilia said...

You made me laugh! So I'm not the only fogey on the internet. Will try out Paloma Faith. Can't bear chili in any form though.

Choclette said...

Your sponge always looks so light and gorgeous. Highly approve of the chilli addition to this and it looks pretty too speckled with flecks of red.

Truly Scrumptious said...

What a brilliant idea. I simply adore this blog! I can't wait to try this recipe out - makes a nice change from baking children friendly cakes!

Dipika @ The Very Hungry Baker said...

What a great idea! I'm a huge fan of chilli in anything and everything. Will definitely give this a go - thanks!

Baking Addict said...

I'm also quite wary of chili in baked goods. The chili and lime sounds great with the pineapple - I'm sure it tasted good!

Lauralovescakes said...

What a lovely looking upside down cake...strangely I've seen quite a few about this week and I've just made an apricot version! Chilli is a great twist too...and perfect for Paloma Faith! :-)