I’m back! And with a lovely cake!

Here I am! Are you excited? You should be.

I’ve been absent for more than six months. Why? I’d simply lost inspiration, that’s all. Other than the fact that I had been obsessed with school, I was completely overwhelmed with things. I’d like to first share an email I received a few months ago (to which I replied!).

Dear Simplyfoodtales,

I just happened to run across your blog. I’m not sure if you’re still writing it, but if you are I had a suggestion for you. I read your post asking for ideas.

Like you, I love to cook. But I also have a problem when choosing a recipe. Sometimes, I know what I want, but others, I’m confused. I would suggest that you first look at what you like to cook. And then stick with that. If you become tired of it, that’s fine, move on, come back. It’s your cooking – so cook what you want.

Look forward to read more,

Joanne*

*name changed

Thanks, Jo. I really could use that advice. So then I started making lists of the types of cooking, what I like to cook and I’ve come up with the first thing to cook. I love to bake. I know, right? How could people resist warmth filling their house on a cold winter day. Chocolate, cinnamon, love… you get it. Baking doesn’t only mean sweet stuff. That oven can produce some really tasty savoury stuff too. My first adventure: Upside down pineapple cake. I needed to make a cake for my bff’s birthday, so here it is.

Servings: 8-10ingredients

2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
2 tbsp (25 mL) packed brown sugar
Pinch cinnamon
6 round slices (1/2 inch/1 cm thick) fresh pineapple, cored
dark rum Sauce

Cake:
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, softened
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) sour cream

Dark Rum Sauce
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
1/4 cup (50 mL) corn syrup
3 tbsp (50 mL) granulated sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon
2 tbsp (25 mL) dark rum
1/2 cup (125 mL) whipping cream

directions

Grease 9-inch (2.5 L) springform pan; set aside.

In large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat; stir in sugar and cinnamon. Add pineapple; cook, turning once, until golden brown and caramelized, about 8 minutes. Overlap in circle in prepared pan. Set aside.

Cake: 
In bowl, beat together butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy; beat in vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir into butter mixture alternately with sour cream, making 2 additions of flour mixture and 1 of sour cream. Spread over pineapple.

Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes. Invert onto serving platter. (Make-ahead: Cover lightly and set aside for up to 6 hours.) Serve with rum sauce.

Dark Rum Sauce
In small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; add corn syrup, granulated and brown sugars and cinnamon. Bring to boil, stirring; boil until glossy, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Watching to avoid spatters, stir in rum. Return to heat. Whisk in cream; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until smooth and reduced to 1 cup (250 mL), 3 minutes.

http://www.cbc.ca/bestrecipes/2010/03/pineapple-upside-down-cake-with-dark-rum-sauce.html

Now there are changes I made to this recipe.

– used canned pineapple – nice even slices and the DOLE was on sale

– did not do the rum sauce – instead I whipped some fresh whipping cream, added some brandy (about 3 tbsps (it’s the holiday season after all)), and some brown sugar. I served this as a dollop beside the cake

– also remember that a springform pan is best for this. Wrap it in foil to avoid spills, and line it with parchment – this is really important – the parchment is key – measure, measure, measure!

– when I laid down the pineapple, I put some maraschino cherries in the pineapple slices – added some great colour

– I added half a cup of crushed pineapple into the cake batter, but beat it in. So we got some really great pineapple flavour, but not the texture I wanted. I will try folding it in next time.

 

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