Seems all things retro are in vogue once again. Fashion, furniture and even food. There’s even a Pinterest collection of vintage and retro recipes if you’re interested!
Now this probably has nothing to do with being retro, but I was totally intrigued when I saw an article talking about why maple syrup bottles have tiny handles. I’m sure you know what I’m referring to – those glass bottles with a tiny handle that you can’t put your finger through but is on nearly every glass bottle of maple syrup? Do you know why? Apparently, the handles are a remnant from the old days where liquids were stored in large earthenware jars. Maple syrup was probably stored in such containers. And all the good marketers of the world decided that tiny handles means ‘real maple syrup’. And so, the handles kept their place in years to come even though they are no longer useful but have become a ploy for consumers like me who gets sucked in through packaging. Ahh, the effects of nostalgia…
Nostalgia and retro food in this case brings me to one of my hub’s favourite – Pineapple-Upside-Down Cake. The Americans have the pineapple upside down cake, the French have Tarte Tartins…same same but different. Cook the cake/pastry and then flip it upside down to serve….thus the name.
This cake is all about the caramel and pineapple topping. Gooey, buttery and sometimes crunchy bits of caramel, paired with sweet and juicy pineapple slices takes the otherwise simple yellow cake base to a whole different level. If you want to create the ultimate retro look – place halved marachino cherries in the centre of the pineapple rings. As usual, I couldn’t be bothered but hey, it tastes great anyway!
PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE
- 60g butter, softened
- ½ cup (100g) packed brown sugar
- 225g can sliced pineapple rings, drained but reserve 1/4 cup of the syrup for the cake
- 90g butter
- ½ cup (110g) caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1¼ cups (185g) self-raising flour
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat the oven to moderate (180°C/350°F). In a non-stick cake tin (I used a 9″ square tin), melt topping butter on medium heat and add in brown sugar. Stir till dissolved. Remove from heat. If your cake tin is not able to withstand direct heat, you can make the caramel separate in a pot before transferring to the cake tin. Avoid using a springform tin in case of leakage.
- Arrange the pineapple rings on top of the caramel and set aside.
- For the cake, beat the butter and caster sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until just combined between additions. Stir in the sifted flour, the milk and the reserved syrup in two batches.
- Spread the cake mixture over the pineapple in the pan. Bake in a moderate oven for about 40 minutes or until cooked when tested. Stand the cake for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.