Following on my Peach Melba Cake I started to come up with other recipes I could develop for tinned fruit. I rarely eat pineapples but am always impressed by the appearance of an upside down pineapple cake, they're so pretty. In order to put a bit of a twist on this classic I thought I would scatter cardamom and black pepper over the top. These two spices really compliment pineapple rather than overpower it. Originally I experimented with making a coconut whipped cream to top the cake with but it didn't work out. It seems that although you can whip coconut cream it doesn't last very long. It was because of this I turned to cashews and made a thick yet pourable cashew cream. If you like you could just serve the cake with dairy-free yoghurt but I do think you need something with a bit of body. I had hoped to add dairy-free coconut yoghurt to my cashew cream but alas my supermarket only had vanilla. Basically use whatever flavour you like to compliment the cake and most important of all enjoy!
Hands-on Time 30 minutes (plus cooling)
Baking Time 35 minutes
100g Cashew nuts
Oil for greasing (flavourless e.g. sunflower or vegetable)
5 Cardamom pods
1/8 tsp Freshly ground Black pepper
65g plus 1 tbsp Soft dark brown sugar
50g plus 1 tbsp Caster sugar
Tin of Pineapple slices in fruit juice, large (approx. 430g undrained)
3 Eggs, medium
125g Ground almonds
Fine salt, couple of pinches
150g Dairy-free yoghurt (I recommend coconut or vanilla)
2 tbsp Icing sugar
20cm Fixed or push bottom cake tin
Pestle and mortar
Mini chopper or blender
2 Mixing bowls
Add the cashews to a small bowl and cover with water. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C (Fan)/325°F/Gas mark 3.
Cut a piece of baking parchment into a circle for the base of the cake tin.
Grease the tin with oil and line with the parchment.
Peel the cardamom pods and remove the seeds. Discard any husk from inside.
Add the seeds along with the ground black pepper and 1 tablespoon each of the soft dark brown and caster sugars to the pestle and mortar. If you don’t have one you could put them into a food bag and try and crush using a rolling pin.
Grind the seeds and pepper together with the sugar. You may find the seeds aren’t too fine but this doesn’t matter. As long as they have all separated and the pepper is a little more ground.
Scatter the powder over the bottom of the tin.
Drain the pineapple slices. Drink the juice, don’t waste it!
Pat the slices dry using kitchen paper.
Add 100g of pineapple slices to a mini chopper or blender, setting aside the rest, and pulse.
Separate the eggs between the two mixing bowls.
Add the blended pineapple and 65g of soft dark brown sugar to the egg yolks. Beat with an electric whisk on a high speed for at least a minute.
Clean and dry the beaters.
Whisk the egg whites until you have a foam. Keep whisking and gradually add the 50g of caster sugar until you have stiff peaks.
Add the ground almonds, cornflour, and a pinch of salt to the beaten egg yolks and combine using a spatula.
Add a scoop of the egg whites to the mix and beat to loosen it up. Add half of the egg whites and fold into the mixture. Add the remaining eggs whites, folding again until there are no specks.
Place the pineapple slices you set aside into the tin on top of the sugared spiced powder. You may need to trim the pineapple slices with a knife to get them to all to fit.
Pour the mixture over the pineapple slices and smooth using a spatula. Give the tin one tap on the worktop before placing on a middle shelf in the oven and leaving to bake for 35 minutes.
Remove the tin from the oven and leave the cake to sit for 15 minutes.
When the time is up carefully turn the cake out onto a wire rack and remove the baking parchment and turn pineapple-side up. You may need to run a palette knife around the edge of the cake to loosen the sides. Leave the cake to completely cool.
Just before serving drain the cashews and add them to the blender or mini chopper along with 100g of yoghurt. Blend until smooth.
Add the remaining yoghurt, pinch of salt, and icing sugar and blend again. You should have a thick pourable cream.
I recommend you serve the cashew cream in a bowl and allow people to help themselves.