Here’s one I made earlier! That is, I actually made this cake some time last year but since I’ve been threatening to write a food blog (or zine) for years and have only recently got around to actually starting it, I have a bit of a substantial backlog of photos to base entries around. And this is the first of those retrospectives.
Now, unfortunately I don’t actually remember where I found this recipe as it’s scrawled down on a scrap of paper (amongst many others) on the cookbook shelf in my kitchen. This means it’s not from any of the 3 dozen or so cookbooks I own. Oh well, I’ll post the recipe as I made it and if anyone happens to take issue or anything, then I’m happy to credit (or remove if asked).
I’m a MASSIVE fan of ginger. Most people that know me are no doubt well aware of this fact. It’s pretty much my favourite flavour, so when I decided I wanted to make a pineapple upside-down cake for when my parents came to visit on my birthday last year, naturally I had to see if it was viable to make a gingerbread cake the basis of this delight. And as you can see, it most definitely IS viable! The pineapple itself is coated in a rich, sticky caramel that’s not too firm that it won’t run down the sides of the cake when you turn it out onto a serving plate, but that just adds to the mouthwateringness (yes, that’s a real word. Well, it is now anyway) of this incredibly moorish dessert.
I used fresh pineapple to make this too. I think the flavour and texture of it is far, far superior to tinned pineapple slices, and if you’ve never bothered with them they are a lot easier to prepare than you probably think. As long as you have a good sharp knife, but if you don’t then you shouldn’t be in a kitchen really! I won’t go into detail here on how to slice a pineapple up though, but yeah, do that. If you really can’t be bothered and insist on using tinned pineapple slices, make sure you use the ones in fruit juice rather than syrup, and drain them as much as you can before putting them into the bottom of your pan/dish or your cake will be mushy and rubbish. And nobody wants that, especially not me. Also, I used a circular ceramic oven dish to make this in. I’m sure you could use a metal cake tin equally as well but I’d avoid using a springform one as the caramel and fruit juices are liable to leak out of it all over your oven. Right, here’s the recipe:
- 2 cups plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 & 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup rapeseed oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup molasses (I used blackstrap which makes the cake intensely rich but milder is fine too)
- 1 cup soya milk
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons soya margarine
- 3-4 slices of pineapple
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 180C/350 F.
Melt the margarine in a stainless steel saucepan and add the brown sugar, dissolving it to make a caramel. Pour mixture into a 10 inch diameter non-stick or oiled cake dish with 2 inch high sides. Arrange the pineapple slices in a single layer on top of the caramel mixture leaving smallish gaps between them. No need to pack them in super tightly as the cake and caramel will fill in the gaps.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices in a large bowl. In another bowl whisk the rapeseed oil, maple syrup, molasses, soya milk, vinegar and vanilla.
Stir the wet mixture into the dry until just barely mixed. Pour the cake mixture into your baking pan/dish until it’s around half full. It needs room to rise; it’s a cake after all!
Put it in the oven and bake for around 35-40 minutes. Test to see if it’s done- it is ready when a toothpick or small knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Put it on a cake rack still in the dish and allow it to cool for 10 minutes or so, then turn it out onto a serving plate.
This cake is delicious served still warm with vanilla Swedish Glace non-dairy ice cream, but it’s still good once it’s cooled to room temperature too. If you have any left for that long, that is.