Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

It's one of those days when I'm searching for something that I haven't tried baking before and rightly my mother in law had given me organic pineapples all the way from Kerala. So to put them into use I went onto my all time favorite website Joy of Baking and followed her recipe to the tee!


4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
3/4 cup, light brown sugar
1 medium pineapple (peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick)

For the Cake Batter:
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) All purpose flour
2 teaspoons Baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) Unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) Granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
2 large Eggs, separated
1/2 cup Milk
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 180 C. Butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) a 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pan with three inch (7.5 cm) sides.

Topping:Place the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking, without stirring, for a few more minutes or until bubbles just start to appear around the outside edges of the mixture (the sugar starts to caramelize). Then remove from heat, and pour into your prepared cake pan. Evenly arrange the fresh pineapple
slices on top of the sugar mixture.

Cake Batter: In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture (in three additions), alternately with the
milk (in two additions), ending with the dry ingredients. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar just until the whites hold a firm peak. With a large spatula gently fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter in two additions. Pour the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top. Bake in preheated oven
for 45 -55 minutes, or until the top of the cake has browned and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan (a toothpick inserted into the cake (not the pineapple) will come out clean). Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan and then invert the cake onto your serving plate. Serve with softly whipped cream.

Thattukada Style Beef Fry

This was really long long ago during the Kuwait Invasion and we were in Ernakulam for a short time. The weekends Appa would step out to buy parota and beef. I remember once when me and my brother hopped on the scooter with him to buy "parcel dinner". And while Appa ordered at the thattukada (street vendor - with the cart selling hot food on the go)  me and my brother would watch the thattukadakaaran throw some onions and curry leaf into a huge kadai and then once that is browned thrown in a ladle or two of cooked beef (that's his preparation) and sprinkle in some soya sauce, toss it all up and quickly wrap it all up into banana leaf with hot parotas bundled up in a newspaper. The aroma of the hot beef being cooked and steaming parotas, is something that's stuck onto my memory and would be for a long time! Those were indeed some days......down below is my version of the thattukada style beef fry that should be eaten with Kerala Parota.

Beef - 500gms
Onions - 3, sliced finely
Ginger-2tbs julienned
Garlic - 4 - 5 plum pods sliced
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon sticks - 2, 1"sticks broken
Peppercorns - 10-12 crushed
Turmeric Powder - 1/4tsp
Kashmiri Chili powder - ½ tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Fennel Seed Powder -1/2 tsp
Soya Sauce - 1-2tbs (depending on one's preference)
Salt to taste
Curry leaves- 2 sprigs

Cut the beef into bite size pieces. Add julienned ginger and garlic, turmeric powder, chili powder, fennel seed powder, coriander powder into a pressure cooker along with the beef and cook for about 5-6 whistles or alternatively into a non stick pan with enough water until cooked and the pan juices are well coated. Heat oil onto a non-stick pan and fry the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and crushed peppercorns till they release their aroma and tip in the curry leaves. Add in the sliced onions and fry till golden brown. Then add in the cooked beef and saute it all on medium heat till nicely browned and then dab in the soya sauce. Coat the beef with the soya sauce and turn off the flame. You could garnish with chopped onion, lime wedges and some more fried curry leaves.

Cinnamon Crumble Apple Cake

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