Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tropical Fruits Upside-Down Cake

A far cry from the traditional cake made with canned pineapple and candied cherries, this cake arose from the fact that we had a number of such "tropical" fruits on hand all needing to be used up at once. That, and I'm still trying to use up my vanilla-infused rum, and this recipe helped a lot! This presentation would be stellar (pun intended) with the use of sliced starfruit and kiwis side by side. Please note, however, if using bananas, be sure to serve the cake as soon as you can, otherwise the bananas turn brown-black.

I did not use the typical upside-down cake recipe, but instead, my standby coffeecake recipe for the base. Also, I baked it in an 8-inch square pan, but I thought the cake part was a bit thick as a result; I suggest using a 9-inch pan for better cake-to-fruit ratio.

For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (white/whole wheat combination)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbs rum (optional)
For fruit:

  • 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced thickly
  • 2 pineapple slices, quartered
  • 1 small banana, sliced thickly or quartered
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 Tbs rum
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs butter, melted
For topping:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 Tbs sliced almonds
  • 2 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine butter, brown sugar and rum in baking dish, swirl or stir briefly to combine. Lay fruit slices on top of sugar-butter mixture. Stir together dry ingredients. Add remaining cake ingredients and stir just until combined. Pour batter over fruit and bake for 25-30 minutes or until done. Meanwhile, combine topping ingredients in a small skillet and briefly toast, stirring constantly, until coconut and almonds begin to brown slightly (about 4-5 minutes over medium-high heat). Set aside. Remove cake from oven and let sit 2-3 minutes. Invert onto tray or platter (the best way to do this is to invert the tray/platter onto the pan and carefully flip the whole thing over, tap the pan gently to remove the cake and fruit). Sprinkle coconut-almond mixture on top, slice and serve.


Anonymous said...

Hold everything. Vanilla-infused rum. Wow. Let me think about how fantastic that sounds a moment longer! And, the rest of the cake sounds great too.

Lydia said...

Yes, the vanilla-infused rum is quite a treat! Simply split open a couple vanilla bean pods and cover them with rum (or other liquor of choice) in a bottle. Let them steep as long as you can, giving the bottle a good shake from time to time. This was my first attempt at making homemade vanilla extract; needless to say, everything I make with it tastes more like rum than vanilla, but that's OK with me. For the future, I will use vodka for the vanilla extract, but I still like the rum flavor (my preference is Pyrat Rum for its fruitiness but anykind will work).