Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Time!

    

     Good God, has it actually been a month? I missed all you lovely people. I missed cooking and I missed photographing, but most of all I missed writing. Writing English essays is one thing, writing endless reactions over and over again (organic chemistry anyone?) is something entirely different, but writing these blog posts keeps me sane. Oh the joy of writing what I Want to write! Of spilling out what I really and truly feel. Thank you for being here to read my ramblings, thank you oh so much.



     And here with my ramblings I am back to present...another cake! I seem to be on some kind of cake-roll, but when I am stressed beyond belief, cake is my savior. Cake makes me happy, baking cake gives me an opportunity to blast music and sing and run around the kitchen while its in the oven...and end up with such a delicious product! I know its not the healthiest option, but my sweet tooth will never understand.


     This cake is also so seasonal. The sun is shining almost too brightly, I'm wearing a skirt and a tank top, and I bought a whole pineapple from Trader Joe's on Friday! I have never bought a pineapple before. I'm not sure if or when I've even eaten fresh pineapple before. Let me tell you, I was intimidated when it came down to cutting and peeling and coring this thing, but thankfully I just followed Deb at Smittenkitchen's step by step pictures.


 

     I also came up with this cake recipe (almost) all by myself! I based most of the ratios off of Deb's recipe but the effect is entirely different. Oh my this cake was so good. I wanted something light, something I could eat for breakfast and with tea, after lunch and after dinner, and never get tired of. Boy, did I succeed. (Did I really just say Boy? Writing again makes me overly euphoric..) Bursting with pineapple chunks, moist beyond belief, and just barely sweet, this cake keeps you coming back for more and more and more. Just like writing is going to bring me back again so soon!

 
    Happy Spring time!


Pineapple Chunk Cake
Very loosely adapted from Smittenkitchen

1 Medium Pineapple
1 1/2 cups Water
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
2 tbsp Rum (I had light, but I bet dark would be good)
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 stick Unsalted Butter (or Margarine)
2 Large Eggs

First, cut off the top of the pineapple and quarter it lengthwise. Then, core it by cutting out the middle section, and peel off the skin making sure no knobs are remaining. I then cut the pineapple quarters lengthwise in half again, and just chopped those up. If you would like smaller chunks of pineapple in your cake, dice more finely, it is up to you!

In a large saucepan, heat the water, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the rum at medium heat. Once it is boiling, stir to make sure all the sugar is dissolved. Then, add in your pineapple chunks. Reduce the heat to medium low, and allow the pineapples to simmer in the syrup for 15 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and transfer the pineapple chunks to one bowl and the syrup to another. Let them cool.

Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9-in cake pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl, cream together the butter (softened first in the microwave) and the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Add to this one egg at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Next, stir in 1/2 cup of the syrup, then fold in 1/2 of the flour mixture. Repeat this once more so you have incorporated 1 cup of syrup total, stirring just until everything is incorporated. Last of all, fold the drained pineapple chunks into the batter (the remaining syrup will be used as a glaze). Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the middle comes out clean. Take it out and allow it to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, turn it out onto the rack. Place a large plate or cutting board under the rack, and pour the remaining (I know its super watery) syrup carefully all over the cake - you want as much to soak in as possible. Once that is done...try to wait for it to cool at least 5 minutes longer. Then eat! Or let it cool all the way if you can.