Pineapple, Chestnut and Caramel Upside Down Cake

Going crazy with using chestnuts these past few days lead me into dessert realm. If I could keep my hand out of the jar and stop snacking on these tasty morsels, they would actually make it into more things.

Alas, what to do?

Pineapple Upside Down Cake is one thing you can do. Please, forget about those horrible neon glaring cherries Betty Crocker used. This is a cake for adults because it has rum in it. Of course you could leave it out or use rum flavoring, but there isn’t anything quite like Pyrat Rum.

Upside down baking is a rather nice idea actually and can be adapted to may other fruits as well. One you may have heard of is the French famous Tarte Tatin. Flip the baked cake or tart over onto a plate and the bottom of the pan becomes the most wonderful caramelized fruity topping.

What a novel idea, upside down baking.

I found a can of baby pineapple rings at a gourmet store that were screaming to be made into a cake. With waning warm weather, this cake brings you smack dab into a nice tropical get-away.

Pineapple, Chestnut and Caramel Upside Down Cake

Ingredients:

For the caramel and pineapple topping:

1 can mini pineapple rings

You can use regular pineapple rings too. You may want to cut them to make an overlapping pattern.

3 ounces butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup chestnuts cut in half

You want enough so every hole has a chestnut. Or sprinkle chopped chestnuts over pineapple.

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Drain the pineapple, reserving juice for the cake batter.

Using a 9″ heavy bottomed saute pan, melt the butter and the brown sugar. Once melted, allow to simmer for 4 minutes, do not stir once simmering begins.

After 4 minutes, remove from heat and carefully place the pineapple all over the surface of the caramel.

Be careful about touching the caramel as it is very hot.

Arrange pineapple over caramel, place a chestnut over each hole or sprinkle them on.

Overlapping the pineapple, cover the entire surface of  the pan. Fill each hole with a chestnut half. If chopping, sprinkle the surface of the pineapple with the chopped chestnuts.

For the cake batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Sift these together and set aside.

  • 3 ounces soft butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoons good quality rum (Or 1 teaspoon rum extract)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice ( left from straining the pineapple)

Using an electric mixer, whip the soft butter until it is light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and then the eggs, one at a time.

Add the vanilla and rum then add the pineapple juice.

The mixture will separate and look like a mess, but move on.

Add the flour in two stages. Once the flour is added, the mixture looks just fine.

Pour the batter over the fruit and caramel. Bake.

Pour the batter over the pineapple and chestnuts.

Place the pan into a 350°F oven for 45-50 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. When it comes out clean, the cake is done.

Remove the pan from the oven. Keep a cloth on the handle so no one burns their hands on a hot handle while the cake cools.

Cool for 10 minutes.

Lay a folded towel on the counter. Place the cake pan on the towel. Place the serving plate over the pan.

Fold the towel over the plate and holding it all tightly together, flip it so the cake turns out onto the plate.

Hopefully, all the pineapple will also follow. If not, just replace them.

If you like, sprinkle a bit of rum over the top of the cake. Totally optional.

Exploring Upside Down Baking is on the agenda for this winter.

What about an Upside Down Banana’s Foster Cake?

 

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In My Kitchen November 2012

I think I just wrote one of these the other day. Where is the time going? Celia at Fig jam and Lime Cordial hosts this wonderful segment of sharing what’s in your kitchen this month.

This month I have these wonderful eggs brought to me by one of my students. They raise their own chickens and have such healthy diets. The wonderful thing about these eggs is that the inside of the shells are colored too.

I love the way they look and taste.

In my kitchen are some lovely flowers my son Tyler sent for my birthday.

In my kitchen is a fabulous jar of chestnuts! Actually, I’ve gone a bit chestnut crazy.

The FAB French Chestnuts!

I adore them. Eating them just out of the jar is so easy, I need to be careful not to eat the whole thing. They have around 10 calories each, no sodium unless you add it, fiber, vitamin C, B complex,protein, minerals and a great taste.

Last night I sautéed chestnuts with Brussels sprouts. Tasty!

Next I’m making a pineapple upside down cake with caramel and chestnuts. And then chestnut stuffing, sweet potato and chestnut pancakes, and chestnut ice cream. I might need more chestnuts.

And all these chestnuts…

I even have “Smiling Chestnuts!” How great is that?!?!?!

The best part is being able to buy them without having to peel them!

I found this stylized Buddha hand that is perfect for offering beverage napkins. Bev naps are a “thing” I have. I can’t stand a glass sweating all over the table so here is a bev nap for your drink.  I have bev naps for nearly every occasion.

This weeks Bev Naps

“Care for a Bev Nap?”

Our weather is becoming cooler. We sit outside in the late afternoons and evenings sipping cider or wine talking about our days. It is the time of day I enjoy the most. As the days turn colder, it feels so good to wrap your hands around a warm cup of tea and feel the crisp fall air on your face, laughing and talking the evenings away with my wonderful Robert.

Full Moon over Margarita

Full Moon over Margarita (Photo credit: bilbord99)

We watch the full moon rise between the big trees and marvel at how fast time is passing.

In the meantime, bread still rises, the grill still fires, dishes get used and washed over and over again as we pass through this circle of life.

Life is good.