When I was younger, my family and I became great friends with our next door neighbours.
It was very Wisteria Lane, and by that I mean, very friendly and fun, except my mother wasn’t a redhead, wielding baskets of cookies and my neighbours were happy cheerful people from El Salvador, not homicidal people my mysterious pasts, hell-bent on revenge.
I used to spend a lot of time over at the neighbours’ home and as a result, spent many meal times sharing food with them around their tiny table in their cosy kitchen. Over the years, I tried pupusas and curtido, tamales and a wonderful time of pineapple cake/bread, the taste of which stays with me to this day and I often crave. I never did find out the name of it and many hours of scouring the web hasn’t turned up anything that was exactly the same as what I tried, but with this cake that I made recently, it replicated those flavours beautifully- a nice crumb with lovely sweetness and the warmth of the caramelised pineapple on top of the cake and a rich caramel/toffee to finish it off.
It was an experiment to see if I could replicate the flavours and I’m proud to say that it is as close as I will get after all these years.
If anyone out there happens to know the name of the pineapple cake/bread, feel free to post a comment…or even better, a recipe!
A few notes about this recipe: I used pineapple pieces because I didn’t have any rings on hand. I also reserved the juice from the can and used it instead of milk, which the original recipe called for. I also made an extra batch of the caramel/toffee in addition to the recipe to pour over the top as it didn’t come out caramelised enough on top for my liking.
- 440g can pineapple thins in natural juice, drained
- 125g butter, softened
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp mixed spice
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups self-raising flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup plain flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 75g butter, melted
- 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 6cm-deep, 22cm round (base) cake pan. Line base and side with baking paper.
- To make the topping, whisk butter and sugar together in a bowl until combined. Pour into prepared pan.
- Pat pineapple dry with paper towel. Arrange pineapple over caramel, pressing down into caramel. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Add flours and milk. Stir to combine. Spoon mixture over pineapple. Smooth top.
- Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre of cake comes out clean (cover loosely with foil if over-browning during cooking). Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out upside down onto a plate and drizzle with extra caramel.