Friday, February 17, 2012

Pineapple Rum Upside Down Cake

I've made a glorious pineapple upside down cake before.  I've also tried a wonderful spin called the banana foster's upside down cake.  But never have I tried a cake containing so much butter or so much rum.  What better way to round out our tropical adventure this month than by saying Aloha with this boozy treat.

The Ingredients:
for the sauce
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large can pineapple rings (about 10)
1/4 cup Meyer's dark Jamaican rum
1/2 cup heavy cream

for the cake
2 cup sifted flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temp
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
2 tsp Meyer's dark Jamaican rum

for the glaze:
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Meyer's dark Jamaican rum

The Process:
Combine butter and brown sugar in a large skillet and heat until bubbly. Add pineapple and caramelize to a deep golden brown, turning once. Remove and set aside. Pour rum and cream into the skillet and cook over low heat 5 minutes, until thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat.

Butter a 10-inch round cake pan (a cheesecake pan with removable sides works well) and line with parchment paper. Set on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any leaks. Arrange pineapple rings to cover bottom of pan. Blot cherries with a paper towel and place them in the center of the pineapple rings. Pour rum and cream sauce over pineapple and set pan aside.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, sift together flour and salt. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add sugar gradually and continue beating for five minutes, or until the mixture is fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add rum. Fold in the dry ingredients, mixing just until the batter is smooth and blended.

Pour into prepared cake pan. Bake at 325 degrees. between 1 hour and 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Prepare the glaze shortly before the cake is done so it will be warm.
Remove cake from oven when done and poke several holes in the cake with a small wooden skewer. Carefully pour this mixture over the warm cake, allowing it to seep into the holes and drizzle remaining over the top. Let it soak in for a few minutes.
Invert onto a serving platter.
Allow to cool completely before serving

The Review:
This cake was dense and wonderfully moist.  The sides and and edges caramelized into a beautiful crunch, but the center was disappointing soggy.  Granted, there is a lot of rum and fruit weighting the cake down.  I'm curious to try the cake again in an iron skillet to see if I'd have better luck  The sauce poured over the pineapple at the begin just didn't seem to get hot and bubbly enough in the spring form pan to create the decedent caramel I was envisioning. 

While fresh the cake had a dense wonderful texture, but again succumbed to the soggy weight of fruit and sauce.  A frustration with my crappy hand mixer may be the culprit.  With a mixer that jams at the slightest provocation I couldn't beat the sugar and butter as creamy as this cake desires.  Reading through a few reviews, it does sounds as though sifted cake flour, instead of all purpose flour, makes a noticeable improvement.

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