Sunday, June 22, 2014

Coconut Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Coconut Pineapple Upside Down Cake - made June 17, 2014 from American Baking Competition
Ever since I watched the American Baking Competition last year, I've been wanting to make this recipe. I found it from the show's blog and it's from my favorite baker in the competition, Elaine. Unfortunately, Elaine wasn't the ultimate winner but I still liked her down-to-earth ways and her recipes.From a quick glance at my pictures and the ones on the original blog (recipe title link), um, you can tell mine didn't come out the way it was supposed to. I never intended to put a raspberry in the middle of each pineapple ring anyway which was just as well because you can see the cake batter baked right over most of the pineapple rings so it doesn't have that traditional pineapple upside down cake where you can actually see the pineapple. Oops.
I don't usually make pineapple upside down cakes as most of the ones I've tried (made by other people) were always a bit too sweet. Plus I have that prejudice-against-most-fruits-in-desserts going on. This has coconut in it though so it was a little bit different than the standard pineapple upside down cake so I wanted to try it. A couple of things I didn't expect: first, this doesn't make much cake batter. I was glad I baked the cake in an 8" round pan instead of a 9" or it would've been even thinner. Second, I thought the melted brown sugar/butter would produce more caramel syrup which would then bubble and pour out as a syrupy glaze over the cake when you turned it upside down. Instead, most of it baked into the cake so while it kept the top moist, there wasn't a lava flow of caramel at all. Which worked out fine because if it would have done the lava flow, I think it would've been too sweet.
As it is, I liked this cake. The chewiness of the coconut was a nice texture addition and the sweet tartness of the pineapple kept the brown sugar/butter part of the topping from making the cake too sweet. I think it could've used a little more cake but this makes for a nice little summer dessert nonetheless. I don't know how to solve the problem of making the pineapple not get buried into the cake as it bakes though. Because the batter is so thin, it seeps right under the pineapple when you first pour it into the cake pan and hence bakes right over it. That might've been avoided had I actually used the pineapple bits called for in the original recipe to lay down a good base on pineapple but I don't like pineapple bits (waste of chewing effort) so I left them out.
¾ c butter, room temperature, separated
¼ c light brown sugar, packed
1 8 oz can crushed pineapple, reserve juice 
2  - 8 oz cans sliced pineapple, drain, reserve juice and pat dry (I omitted these since I don't like pineapple bits)
½ c sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1 ¼  teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup granulated sugar
½  cup milk
1 extra large egg
3 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice
¼ teaspoon salt
Fresh Raspberries (optional, I left it out)
Apricot Preserves, slightly heated (optional, I left it out)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix ¼ c butter and brown sugar in 9" cake pan.  Heat in oven until sugar and butter begin to turn dark but not burnt. Add crushed pineapple and coconut. Mix and spread evenly in pan.  Place pineapple slices around edge of pan and one slice in center. 
  2. Combine remaining ingredients together and mix at low speed to blend.  Mix at medium speed until well blended.  Pour over pineapple in pan.  Bake 40 minutes or until cake test done.  Invert onto serving platter and garnish with raspberries in center of each slice.  Glaze each berry with syrup from preserves, if desired.

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