We've been having an unusually high yield of pineapples in this part of the world lately. It's been interesting to see how versatile this tropical fruit is, and how easily it lends itself to improvisation-we've jammed it, juiced it, chopped it and eaten it with chaat masala- you name it, we've probably tried it. We've even made a yummy curry with it (recipe coming soon!). But the most delectable things to come out of this abundance of fruit are mini upside down cakes.
There is something about butter, brown sugar and pineapple that takes it to a different level once baked together.The cake is impossibly moist, thanks to the sweetness oozing out of the caramel and pineapple. Although it looks like it takes a lot of skill, this retro dessert is actually- excuse the expression- a piece of cake. So those of you who are beginners, don't shy away! It makes for a impressive center-piece and is a good idea to bring out for an afternoon tea.
Although the cake will keep nicely in the refrigerator, it is at its flavourful best when served on the day it is baked. At home, we like to eat the cakes just as they are, but feel free to top it with a dollop of whipped cream if you are so inclined.
Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes:
For the topping:
12-hole muffin tin or a 9'' cake tin
12 slices of canned pineapples (or if fresh, stewed with a little sugar and water)
50 gm butter melted
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
For the cake batter:
1 &1/3 cup flour
1&1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
50 gm butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
To make the topping:
Divide the butter evenly between the muffin holes. Next, do the same with the brown sugar. On top of the butter and sugar, place a slice of pineapple and half a cherry in it's center (you might need to trim the pineapple slice to fit the muffin hole).
To make the cake batter:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. To this mixture, add the milk, eggs, butter and vanilla essence and beat with a mixer for a minute. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula and beat again on medium speed for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture changes colour (it will turn lighter). Pour the batter into the prepared muffin holes and bake in the preheated over for around 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs on it. Take out of the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges of the cakes. Place a large platter over the pan and invert the cakes onto the platter. It can either be served warm, or at room temperature.