Monday, February 1, 2010

HCB - Individual Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

This week's recipe for those of us in the Heavenly Cake Bakers baking group is: Individual Pineapple Upside Down Cakes. This was a very exciting week for me because I never made a Pineapple Upside Down anything before! The only time I've eaten it is when someone brought it to work and I'm pretty sure it was from a box. Rose's individual cakes can be baked in ramekins (which is what I did and that worked great). You could also buy a special pineapple shaped mini bundt pan.

First, you make a pineapple juice flavored caramel which is poured into the ramekins. You place a pineapple slice into each ramekin and put a cherry in the middle. I cheated (twice). I used canned pineapple which is already sliced to the right thickness. Instead of running to the store to pick up canned cherries (even though I would have preferred frozen/thawed cherries), I used what I had in my pantry which is maraschino cherries.

This is my caramel at 260 F. After this, the temperature went up pretty fast.

My caramel came up to 302 F. For easy distribution, the caramel is poured into a glass Pyrex cup that's coated with non-stick spray.

The caramel hardened pretty quickly after it was poured into the ramekins. Although I had 8 round ramekins, I wanted to use the 2 heart-shaped ones I had and see how that would look.

In with the pineapple slices and the maraschino cherries. I couldn't help myself and made one smiley face. Isn't it cute? :o)

The batter came together very easily. Rose chose the high-ratio mixing method for this recipe, also called two-step mixing method. You basically mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and leavening. Then you add butter and some of the liquid ingredient, in this case yogurt (but I used sour cream instead), and mix again. The final step is adding the remaining liquid ingredients (egg, yogurt and vanilla) to the batter in two steps. I like pineapple and orange together, so I added orange zest to the batter.

This is the flour, sugar, salt, leavening, orange zest, butter and sour cream. You mix these until moistened and then increase speed until fluffy before adding the remaining liquid ingredients.

The batter is pretty thick.

Fill each ramekin about half full. Rose also gives us the exact amount of batter to use in each ramekin, so I used my scale to make sure they're all the same weight. This might seem like unnecessary work but if all the cakes are the same weight, they will all bake at the same rate. Also, I'm a scale-geek so I don't mind at all :o)

After a mere 20 min, the cakes were golden brown!

The ramekins were placed on a large cookie sheet before hitting the oven. The cakes baked in 20 minutes in my convection oven at 340 F. They were golden brown and delicious. As soon as they come out of the oven, they need to be inverted onto a serving plate. So that's what I did. I was a little disappointed by how much caramel remained in the ramekin instead of being top of the pineapple and in the cake. Oh well, it gave me something to nibble on from time to time. It's really good.

Here's the array of individual pineapple upside down cakes. The round ones looked great, so did the heart-shaped ones. The smiley face as obvious as before it went into the oven but still cute :o)

A close-up of the round cake.

I took my first bite when the cakes were still slightly warm (I don't usually do that - I prefer to
wait but not this time!). There was an immediate fruit explosion in my mouth. Wow! First, the buttery and orange flavor of the cake hits your taste buds. Then the cake's texture hits you: wow, this cake is so soft, moist, and tender but still sturdy enough to hold the pineapple. And then you bite into a juicy piece of caramelized pineapple. It was quite an adventure. Delicious! Although this was my first pineapple upside down cake from scratch, it will certainly not be my last.

The very first bite. Fruity. Cakey. Sweet. Simply delicious!

Rose also offers an optional pineapple caramel glaze to serve with the cake. I had set aside 1 cup of pineapple juice for it. But when I tasted the cake, I didn't think it needed the glaze so I drank the juice so I wouldn't change my mind :o)

Final thoughts/tips:
  • Hubby had only 1 bite so far and liked it. I LOVED it. My friend, Wafae, came over briefly and tasted it. She too liked it a lot. She especially liked the orange zest addition. One minor piece of constructive criticism she had after looking at the picture in Rose's book: use the apricot glaze to give the cake some extra shine. Point taken, Wafae! :o)
  • As I mentioned earlier, I added orange zest to the cake batter. To be exact, I added the zest of 1 navel orange.
  • The cakes baked up golden brown in 20 min in my convection oven at 340 F.
  • Instead of full-fat yogurt, I used an equal amount of full-fat sour cream.
  • Because I didn't have any canned cherries on hand, I used halved maraschino cherries instead.

20 comments:

  1. Your cakes turned out beautifully! I especially like your heart shaped ones.

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  2. I love your heart shaped ones too! Looks very yummy!

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  3. I love the smiley face! Its good to have humor around food, it means its going to come out yummy.

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  4. Beautiful! Try the cornmeal cake too (;

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/pineapple-upside-down-cornmeal-cake-recipe/index.html

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  5. :) - they're all so cute. Love the smiley face!

    :)
    ButterYum

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  6. So cute. Love the different shapes ramekins. And the smiley face. I also like your tasting description. I didn't make this cake this weekend but I might make it for the free choice week.

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  7. Love your smiley cake. The colour of your cakes is beautiful.

    Great tip about the orange zest.

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  8. My gosh! They are so pretty and perfect. Next time I'm definitely adding orange zest. Great idea!

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  9. Adorable--especially the heart-shaped cakes. And the orange sounds like a good addition too.

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  10. I LOVE pineapple upside-down cake! I'm definitely bookmarking this!

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  11. This looks wonderful, your pictures are adorable. It's fun seeing what this group is baking. I'm trying to take a break from buying cookbooks, but I think I'll see if my library has that book.

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  12. ב''ה

    You've got to love that smily face. :)

    All your cakes look great!

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  13. Despite the fact that pineapple upside-down cake don't look as shiny as Rose's Book's picture. they certainly look gorgeous esp. the heart shaped ones that I haven't actually seen live. Let me tell that I'm probably the luckiest to see all your beautiful baking products live; sometimes even in the process of baking, such a privelege...
    my kids, hubby, and I loved the cake; we had it that same night with herb tea and a book:):)

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  14. How cute! I love the idea of individual sized upside down cakes.

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  15. oh i have ramekins that are BEGGING to be used for this!! how adorable!!

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  16. Oh, Hanaa, the miniature pineapple upside-down cakes are heaven! I love them.

    Well, my blog changes are due to a software program I bought called Artiseer. I am having trouble getting Google blogger to accept the templates, which is why the blog keeps changing. The Artiseer software is brilliant but does not seem to like Microsoft software, although I am still trying. Currently the whole thing is driving me nuts. I do not think Artiseer has gotten all the bugs out of their program. I have already received an update download.

    I totally understand about life being crazy so no worries. I am just glad to say hi and hope all is going well? Talk to you soon, Shandy

    BTW, I took my daughter Ashley to our first spin class not to long ago and thought it was the worst thing I could possibly do to myself. We are going again tonight. . .go figure =D!

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  17. Who knew pineapple upside down cake could be so alluring?! I can almost taste the caramel, and the cake looks light and has a perfect crumb!

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  18. I love your heart shaped ramekins and the smiley face cake is too cute. Great job on this weeks cakes.

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  19. I love your heart shaped pineapple upside-down cakes, so cute! Great tips, as always!

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  20. Your pictures look really good! Inspiring me to make this in my new mold. Mmmm. joan

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