Monday, April 25, 2011

Fresh Pineapple Up-Side-Down Cake with Coconut Ice Cream, and Macadamia Nut Brittle

Fresh Pineapple Up-Side-Down Cake 
with Coconut Ice Cream, and Macadamia Nut Brittle
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate, by Mari (
Inspired by the dessert as served at Tyler Florence's 'Wayfare Tavern' in San Francisco.

First a word of caution, in order to make individual pineapple-up-side down cakes, you'll need to secure baking pans/dishes of the proper size and adjust the recipe according to how many cakes you want to make.   The individual cakes are fun, and make a nice presentation, but quite honestly next time I'll just make the cake in an 8-inch or 9-inch cake pan.

For the Pineapple Up Side Down cake:
I've had this in my recipe box for years, (handwritten, I  believe this recipe is from one of the first editions of "The Better Homes and Garden Cookbook")

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 fresh pineapple - peeled, cored and cut into rings

  • Position rack in center of oven, and preheat oven to 400º F  (205º C).

  • In a small sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat. With a brush, paint the butter on the interior of a 9" square or round baking pan. 
  • Stir 5 tablespoons of the butter with the brown sugar and 1/4 cup of the pineapple juice. Put mixture in the bottom of the cake pan. Arrange the pineapple rings on the brown sugar mixture in a pretty pattern. Set pan aside while you mix cake batter.

Stir together dry ingredients (flour, salt, white sugar, and baking powder)
Separate the eggs. In a small bowl, beat the whites until stiff (but not dry.)
In a separate bowl, beat two of the egg yolks until  well blended. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup pineapple juice, vanilla, and remainder of the melted butter. Add this mixture to the flour mixture. 
Gently fold in the egg whites. Pour batter over the top of the brown sugar and pineapple rings.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. (Use toothpick test, away from pineapple slice, pick should come out with moist crumb, but no batter adhering to it, or bake a few minutes more.)
Allow cake to cool in pan for 10 minutes then cover pan tightly with a serving dish and invert so pineapple side is up. Serve warm, or at room temperature (and it's even good cold from the fridge!)

For the Coconut Ice Cream: 
Makes about 1 quart

1 -15 ounce can "Coco Lopez®" Real Cream of Coconut  (This is the BEST brand for this recipe)
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (whipping cream)
Optional: 1 1/2 cup sweetened coconut shreds (toast lightly in baking pan in oven if desired.)  [I usually omit.]

Combine Cream of Coconut and milk in blender (or food processor) and mix until smooth. Stir in cream (and coconut shreds, if using.)  Freeze in ice cream maker, according to manufacturer's directions.
NOTE: If you don't want your ice cream to freeze rock solid, add 1 Tablespoon vodka during the last minute of blending.  Place in container, cover tightly and store in freezer compartment until ready to serve.

For the Macadamia Nut Brittle:
Recipe adapted from "Spago Desserts", 1994, by Mary Bergin and Judy Gethers

2 cups macadamia nuts (salted or unsalted), your choice
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup water
8 ounces butter, cut into small pieces
Note: 1 teaspoon salt- if using Unsalted butter otherwise a generous pinch of salt if using salted butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Spread nuts on baking tray and place in preheated 350º F, bake for 8 to 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes. Allow to cool, then coarsely chop and set aside for later.
In a deep, medium size saucepan place sugar, corn syrup and water. Place pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil until a layer of bubbles appear on surface (about 3 to 4 minutes.)
Cover the pan with a sheet of aluminum foil, continue to boil 5 minutes longer.
Remove foil, add butter, stir with a wooden spoon until butter is melted. Cook over medium heat until a candy thermometer registers 300º F. This will take approximately 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Immediately stir in the salt, baking soda and chopped, toasted nuts.
While syrup is cooking, coat a 12 x 17-inch half sheet pan with vegetable oil or cooking spray (or use a silicone baking liner in a larger pan). When nut mixture has reached 300º quickly spread the nut mixture in the prepared pan, spreading as thinly as possible with a long, flexible metal spatula.  Sprinkle very lightly with a few grains of coarse sea salt if desired while still warm.
When completely cool, cut or break brittle into desired chunks. Store in air tight container.
My Hint: To prevent hot brittle mixture from seizing up too quickly (before you have a chance to spread it evenly in pan), place prepared pan in a warm oven (low heat) while cooking the nut mixture, this will keep pan warm until it's time to pour the nut-mixture out. Doing this will assist in getting the mixture spread thinly.

Hope you enjoy!

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