Pineapple upside-down cake

Serves 6-8
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Indy Lifestyle Online

My introduction to proper cooking came when I opted for domestic science in the fifth year at school. I loved woodwork, but found metalwork painfully dull. Filing away at a piece of metal for four weeks seemed a dreary way to get a key ring. That was when, for the first time in history, boys could do domestic science instead of another subject. Only about four of us joined Miss Bell, a young Delia lookalike, for proper cookery lessons, but we had a bit of a laugh, and our first achievement was pineapple upside-down cake. When we recently put it on the menu at J Sheekey, it brought back fond memories of school.

My introduction to proper cooking came when I opted for domestic science in the fifth year at school. I loved woodwork, but found metalwork painfully dull. Filing away at a piece of metal for four weeks seemed a dreary way to get a key ring. That was when, for the first time in history, boys could do domestic science instead of another subject. Only about four of us joined Miss Bell, a young Delia lookalike, for proper cookery lessons, but we had a bit of a laugh, and our first achievement was pineapple upside-down cake. When we recently put it on the menu at J Sheekey, it brought back fond memories of school.

1 small pineapple, peeled and cored
60g butter, melted

for the cake

250g butter, softened
4 large eggs
250g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
2tsp baking powder
50g ground hazelnuts

Take a round, 30 x 5-6cm deep gratin dish or deep cake tin. Halve the pineapple lengthways, peel and cut into 1/2cm slices. Mix the 60g of melted butter and sugar together and brush f the mixture up the sides of the dish or tin, letting the excess fall into the base. Arrange the pineapple slices so they completely cover the base of the dish or tin.

Pre-heat the oven to 175°C/gas mark 4. Put all the ingredients for the cake in a mixing machine or food processor and mix together for a minute or so until smooth. Spread the mixture over the pineapple evenly and cook for 45-50 minutes, until the top is golden. Leave to cool a little, run a knife around the edge of the tin and turn out the cake on to a plate or serving dish.

Serve hot or warm with thick cream or crème fraîche, or wait until it's cool and eat as a cake.

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