In An Upside Down World, Try Pineapple

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Ever since I saw this episode of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack in 2009, I have quoted and sung it on and off again (to myself, to my friends, to my mom, and to my dogs). It has stuck to me like maple syrup. I decided enough was enough and I was going to actually attempt to make a pineapple upside down cake.

Pineapple contains an enzyme called “bromelain” (primarily found in the fruit’s stem) which aids in digestion through the breakdown of proteins. This cluster of fruits possess anti-inflammatory benefits which help prevent blood clots and can help soothe arthritis, as well as act as an immunity booster. In addition, it can help improve breathing in asthma patients. It is also used to stop cold beer from clouding!

About pineapple, bromelain and baking:

http://www.naturalnews.com/035804_bromelain_enzymes_inflammation.html

http://www.worldhealth.net/news/bromelain_pineapple_enzyme/

http://chemistry.about.com/od/foodcookingchemistry/f/pineapple-jello.htm

I am not a huge fan of cake (although I do love raw cake batter and LOVE pineapple), so I did not want to go to the extremes of making this a huge ordeal. I had found a recipe on EasyBaked.net and wanted to give it a try. I made some of my own adaptations, and experimented with a few different ingredients. I wanted the cake to be moist and fluffy, so I added an extra egg and a packet of instant vanilla pudding, in addition to Lactaid milk in substitute for water.

The troubles: The cake took a while to bake, and I had to turn the oven up half way through the baking process to ensure it would cook through. In addition, the syrup began dripping out of the bottom of the springform pan I used, and burned. It definitely steamed up the kitchen in a way I would rather not recreate again. I would highly recommend using a different dark, non-stick pan, one with a solid bottom that will not leak.

For next time: Besides baking the cake from scratch, I would obviously use a different pan. However, the cake came right out of the pan when I flipped it over, and it turned out better than I had expected. Apparently Duncan Hines calls for egg whites to bake their classic white cake, however, the box did not specify – that probably would have been a good idea. According to my mom, “See, shows you that you can do whatever the hell you want” – and that is what baking and cooking should be about – taking risks and trying new things. If it comes out, great. If not, whatever, at least you tried!

Keep pushing through those difficulties, especially in the kitchen, they may serve to further in the end. You always learn a lesson for the next go around!

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Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Adapted from: http://easybaked.net/2012/07/05/mini-pineapple-upside-down-cakes/

Ingredients:

  • One boxed white cake mix (plus 4 brown eggs, Lactaid milk, and vegetable oil to make the cake) (I used Duncan Hines)
  • 1 packet (1 oz) of Jell-O sugar free instant vanilla pudding (added to cake mix)
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter, unsalted
  • 1 fresh pineapple, cut into rings then cut into chunks (you won’t need the entire pineapple)
  • Maraschino cherries, to top (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (I started at 325, but turned the oven up to 350 mid way through)
  • Spray the bottom of the pan (I used a round springform) with a non-stick butter spray
  • Spoon half of the sugar mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan, spread evenly
  • Place the pineapple chunks at the bottom of the pan, spread evenly
  • Melt the butter and mix with the dark brown sugar to create a semi-thick paste
  • Prepare cake mix according to box with a stand or hand held mixer (for a moister and fluffier cake, try something along the lines of 4 eggs, 1 cup Lactaid milk, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and 1 package of instant vanilla pudding)
  • Spread the batter evenly into the pan on top of the pineapples, ensuring they are covered
  • Place pan on a cookie sheet (important– these will leak a little!!!)*****(this is ESSENTIAL – the syrup will burn!)
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 to 50 minutes
  • Allow pan to set and cool (I flipped it right away and only a few pineapples stuck to the bottom of the pan)
  • Pour what is left of the melted butter and dark brown sugar mixture overtop of the pineapples and cake (you may have to heat the mixture in the microwave for a few seconds to regain its texture)
  • Top the cake with cherries (optional)
  • Allow the cake to cool for a few minutes, eat while warm or save for later. Enjoy!

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