I love the holiday season!
I love the magical feeling when you see holiday lights wrapped carefully around trees, lighting up the night with a sparkling sea of colour. I love going downtown to see the special window displays created for children with moving puppets and animals. I love going to see the Nutcracker performed by the National Ballet Company. The splendor of the costumes and the grace of the dancers sweeping across the stage make me feel like a child again.
I spent the afternoon on Sunday watching the Santa Claus Parade and reminiscing about watching it with my daughters when they were young. We would all cuddle up in front of the TV and wait patiently for Santa to arrive. We had a tradition of watching the parade together while munching on home baked cookies and sipping hot chocolate. Those were moments that I will always remember.
I also love to entertain. This is a wonderful time of year for spending time with friends and family over special meals. I was looking for an additional dessert for those who do not like traditional pie with their holiday meal and I came across this recipe. The cake is spiced with rum and cardamom making it have richer and more complex flavours than the traditional white cake version.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
For the Topping:
½ medium pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced to 3/8 inch thick rounds
¾ stick unsalted butter
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
For the Batter:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. ground cardamom
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¾ stick unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. dark rum
½ cup orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Choose a nice pineapple slice for your center, set aside. Slice the remaining circles into 4 quarters.
Melt butter in a skillet. Add brown sugar and simmer over medium heat, stirring, 4 minutes. Add the pineapple sliced and stir until slightly softened, 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Pour sugar mixture into a parchment lined, greased 9 inch spring form pan. Arrange pineapple on top of the sugar mixture in circles working from the center to the edges, overlapping rows slightly.
Sift together flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. Beat butter in a large bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar while mixing. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla and rum. Add half of the flour mixture and beat on low speed just until blended. Beat in orange juice; add remaining flour mixture, beating just until blended.
Spoon batter over pineapple topping and spread evenly.
Bake cake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes, or until golden and tester comes out clean.
Let cake stand 5 minutes and then remove outer sides of pan and invert on to a cake plate.
Serve cake warm with a dollop of whipped cream (optional).
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com