The addition of ghee (clarified butter) in this Pineapple Upside Down Ghee Cake will change your life! ❤
Ever cooked/baked something so good, one bite in you know you’ve outdone yourself? You’re flying; but almost instantly you feel a bit flat, a little voice in your head saying, ‘Will you ever be able to top this?’ That’s the story of me and this Pineapple Upside Down Ghee Cake…
I have had quite a few such moments, when I’ve stood at the kitchen counter, staring down at my creation in awe, thinking, ‘This is it. I might as well hang my apron now’. I’m talking about amazing Orange Saffron Syrup Cakes kind of moments, where I thought I had hit the peak of my recipe creation abilities. But this Pineapple Upside Down Ghee Cake is winning, and how!
I baked this cake a few weeks ago, and when it turned out perfectly from the cake tin, I ran up to my brother and said, “Best looking cake ever, huh? Huh?” He just looked at me knowingly, with an expression that said, ‘She’s going to be this way all day!’ I don’t blame him, I’m quite a handful when I’m excited.
I did a quick photoshoot; as hastily as possible (only stopping to give our cat an earful for cheekily trying to bite the flowers!). Because, boy did the cake smell good. The sweet and tangy perfume of pineapple with the rich notes of ghee… I couldn’t resist! Every shot was better than the last, that glorious sheen and gloss, the perfect caramelization. I was enraptured.
Then I cut into it. And took my first bite. And knew that for a long time, I would be using ghee is pretty much everything I baked. It was a game changer. It IS a game changer.
Here’s what you need:
For the Caramel:
- Unsalted Butter – 2 tbsp
- Light Brown Sugar – 1/4 cup (50 g)
For the Cake:
- Canned Pineapple Slices – 500 g
- Sugar – 1/4 + 1/8 cup (80 g)
- Ghee – 100 ml, melted
- Egg – 1 large
- Fresh Cream – 1/4 cup (35 g)
- Flour – 3/4 cup (100 g)
- Baking Powder – 1 tsp
- Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
Here’s how you make this divine Pineapple Upside Down Ghee Cake:
- Prep the cake tin: Grease and line a 7-inch circle cake tin with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat the oven to 170 ºC / 340 ºF.
- Make the caramel: In a pot placed on low heat, melt the butter. Add in the light brown sugar and melt until the sugar completely dissolves. Take it off the heat and pour the caramel into the cake tin. Spread it evenly over the base of the tin and let it cool.
- Pineapple pattern: Drain the pineapple slices of any syrup/liquid and line the base of the cake tin with the pineapple in any pattern you prefer. I cut the slices into three portions and lined them up in concentric circles, overlapping each piece just slightly.
- Make the cake batter: In a large bowl, beat sugar, melted ghee and the egg until pale and creamy. Sift in the flour and baking powder and beat until just incorporated. Add in the fresh cream, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of water and beat until the batter is airy and creamy, about a minute. You can add more water, a tablespoon at a time, if you feel the batter is still quite thick and dense.
- Bake the cake: Pour the cake batter over the pineapple slices and even out the surface with the back of a spoon. Place the cake tin in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Once done, take the cake out and leave it to cool completely on the counter.
- Serve: Place a serving platter on the cake tin, hold tightly, and in a swift motion, overturn the cake tin and platter upside down. Tap the surface of the tin softly to ensure the cake has come away, then slowly lift it upwards, to reveal this gorgeous Pineapple Upside Down Ghee Cake!
When Nik Sharma, author of the brand new ‘Season’ cookbook and ‘A Brown Table’ Blog, wrote a column for the San Francisco Chronicle celebrating gay rights in India, with a recipe for this gorgeous Fig Upside Down Ghee Cake, I was awestruck. Not just by his moving story, but by this beautiful creation that he tied so lovingly with his words. (Read the article!) Hence, I was inspired to create this Pineapple Upside Down Ghee Cake. While I didn’t adapt or use his recipe as a reference, the idea stemmed from his brilliance.
The soft, rich cake; easily crumbling, but supremely flavourful, oozes with the deliciousness of ghee. The sponge melts in the mouth effortlessly; the experience is magical. Perfectly offsetting the richness is the zingy pineapple, gloriously caramelized, yet subtly tangy and freshening. This Pineapple Upside Down Ghee Cake is the epitome of balance. For it combines strong flavours, richness and sweetness, to make a flawless delicacy that you will adore!
I realize that this post may come across as boastful or self-lauding. I promise, this is not my intention. I turned 25 a week ago. And while I hadn’t given how it would feel to be halfway through my twenties much thought, I do feel I’ve come a long way in the past year. I refuse to be self deprecating (and if you need help with the same, I suggest you watch Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette on Netflix. She’s a hero!). Or to wait for someone to tell me I’ve done a good job. I know myself better than I ever have. I love myself better than I ever have. And so I’m willing to tell myself the truth. When I feel like I’ve outdone myself, I will acknowledge it. Just as I will when I bomb. That’s not to say that I’ll stop trying to do better, because there’s always better right around the corner. And if we stop where we are, we’ll never discover better. And if we don’t acknowledge better, we’ll never get to good.
I do hope that you do the same for yourself, Dear Reader. We’re here to celebrate great food and to share a love of baking and cooking. But we’re also here to build a community tied together with love and understanding, so I thought I’d put a bit of positivity out there while I’m at it.
Okay, now back to this Pineapple Upside Down Ghee Cake. Make it. No seriously, make it. It’s a dream, and you deserve something as incredible as it is! ❤
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