So this delightful and easy peasy cake is a recipe I learnt in school. It’s so simple to make, tastes yummy and you don’t have to always use pineapples – tinned peaches or apricots would make nice variations too. This is probably my favourite cake to bake, not because of how easy and fast it is but because it makes one of my favourite fruits into a gorgeous caramelised sweet topping. The cake itself (a madeira mixture -substituting milk for pineapple juice mind) is moist but firm – perfect for slicing! It also looks kinda cool too.
To line the base of the tin;
50g / 4 tbsp /1.76 oz butter/margarine (I prefer butter for a more caramelised flavour) & a little extra for greasing
50g/ 1.76 oz brown sugar
1 small tin of pineapple rings (drained) in juice – about 4-5 rings
4 or 5 glace cherries (optional- you’ll see from my image I didn’t have any so went nuts with the nuts!)
4 or 5 walnuts (whole) – I sometimes use chopped walnuts so about a handful is enough for a topping.
100g / 3 1/2 oz / 8 tbsp butter or margarine chopped up & at room temperature
2 free-range eggs
1/4 tsp baking powder
100g / 3 1/2 oz caster sugar
125g / 4 oz plain flour
1 tbsp pineapple juice ( instead of milk to moisten)
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
7 inch (18cm) tin , two mixing bowls, spatula & mixing spoon, hand blender (not a necessity with elbow grease!) & wire rack
*Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas mark 4 & grease the tin well with the ‘extra’ butter*
For lining the tin – blend the butter and brown sugar into a creamy mixture and spread this over the base of the tin. Arrange the pineapple rings (cherries) & walnuts in an attractive pattern over this base. I usually fit 5 rings and fill in the spaces with the nuts and cherries.
Next make the madeira mixture.
Start by ‘creaming’ the butter and sugar until combined into a pale and creamy mixture.
Beat in the two eggs, one at a time adding a tbspn of the flour after the 2nd egg to prevent the mixture from curdling.
Sift the flour and baking powder and fold into the rest of the mixture and blend (this is where a hand blender is well, handy) until smooth.
Add the tbsp of pineapple juice to moisten & vanilla essence for more flavour and blend some more, until the mixture falls slowly from the spoon.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with the spatula and spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin, taking care not to lift the fruit and nuts out of place as this will spoil the ‘decoration’.
Smooth down using the back of the spoon.
Bake for about 30 minutes and then reduce the oven heat to about 150°C / 300°F / Gas mark 2, for a further 10 minutes until cooked through – 40 minutes in total.
The cake should be golden and have pulled away from the edges of the tin.
Leave to cool in the tin on the wire rack for about five minutes before placing a plate over the tin and turning upside-down. The cake should skip out easily.
Enjoy all on its own …or with custard!