If there is one thing that reminds me about summer it is the all-famous pineapple. Pineapple souffle, upside-down pineapple cake, pineapple topped pizza, and even pineapple drinks. There’s just something about the tangy sweetness and the tart scent of pineapples which makes everything taste so much better. And the funny part is that I’ve never really been a huge fan of the actual fruit itself, just the flavour that you get when you combine pineapples into almost anything. Upside-down pineapple cake was something I posted up on my blog during the earlier days when I was still experimenting with what I call the ‘blogosphere’, where my amateur blogging and photography skills were still in the trial and error phase. I like to think that I’ve come a long way from that and hopefully someday I can write another post on Upside-Down Pineapple Cake, as it seems to be a summer favourite for a lot of people.
Summer in Sydney is a beautiful season. There’s always a delicious smell of fruits and flowers in the air, and even though the glare of the sun seems a little too much at times, its still a lot better than the dusty extreme heat in Dubai! So as tribute to the beginning of summer I thought it was time to pay respects to summer pineapples again. Also, it was father-in-law’s birthday and Eid on the same day so I baked a Coconut Pineapple Loaf Cake adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipes. I was looking for a different take on the basic butter cake, which I hate baking because it just seems so bland. I really wanted to make something new and I’ve already tried out Coconut Cake. So after an online search I came across this recipe.
I had a few problems with this cake. First of all, it took forever to bake. I think I had to leave it in the oven for more than an hour and a half. But then again, my oven is one of those with the heating element at the bottom so everything takes so much longer to bake than usual because too much heat causes burning at the bottom of the pan. Secondly I doubled quantities of the recipe and baked it in a square 8 x 8 in baking pan. I also forgot to toast the coconut initially, so I didn’t get much of a toasted coconut taste. However, I was still very happy with the result. The coconut goodness is perfectly balanced by the sweet and sourness of the pineapple. I personally thought the cake wasn’t sweet enough so I’ve increased the amount of sugar from 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups in the recipe. But feel free to use 1 cup if you prefer a milder sweetness. However, I still think it could be increased up to 1 3/4 cups sugar for better taste. If the top of the cake starts getting too brown while being baked, use aluminium foil to cover the top and continue baking. This will prevent the brown coloring.
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup full-fat yoghurt
1 can (450 grams) pineapple chunks in juice, drained well
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Spread coconut on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, tossing occasionally, 6 to 10 minutes; set aside. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan; set aside.
2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low, and alternately add flour mixture in three parts and yoghurt in two, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix just until combined.
4. Using a spatula, fold pineapple and 1 cup coconut into batter. Spoon into prepared pan, and sprinkle the top with remaining 1/2 cup coconut. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 65 to 70 minutes. Let cake cool in pan. Remove from pan, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.