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I believe that salt is to food, what food is to life. In right proportions, it can heighten the taste of what you eat..and in the wrong - destroy! Even the most delicious sweets come added with some salt...to taste!

As for me, I've never enjoyed cooking. And as contrary to my owning a food-blog as it may sound, I always think about daily, routine cooking as a chore. But my tryst with the pots and pans began when I got a kitchen all to myself...I began experimenting and exploring new worlds in my own home. Some outcomes were excellent and some plain disasters. Then sprouted the need to keep track of all those good ones...and hence this blog!

Here, I share those experiments that pleased more than one palate!

September 14, 2010

Pineapple Pastry

Did'nt I just make my first Black Forest Cake like a blink ago? Yes, I did. But once it was over, I was almost intoxicated by the rich tastes and memories it left behind...and not to forget, a great learning experience. And since it turned out so good, I was waiting to try my hand the next best pastry I've ever eaten (Oh yeah, chocolate comes first...at all times!) - The Pineapple Pastry. And as if God heard my prayers it happened to be my cousin brother's 15th wedding anniversary just a week after the idea grew in my head. What better excuse does an obsessed baker need?

Making this one is pretty much on the lines of making a Black Forest Cake. Just that you need to interchange all of the Chocolate and Cherry works with everything Pineapple! That said, I am going to get a wee bit lazy and make complete use of the Copy and Paste features that we're all blessed with on our computers, so that I save a little time on typing out all the similar aspects of making these two pastries.

And just because I said I will be copying a good chunk of the procedure from the Black Forest Cake does not mean I wont  guide you at all. I will give you additional information along the way, where required, so stay awake and start reading up this humongous recipe. This is not just drool-able but VERY do-able, too!

Just the way I explained the Black Forest Cake, I have used the three-step procedure for this one too. Each of these can be done on three separate days or all on the same day.

Now for the recipe. Here goes:

STEP I - Baking the Pineapple Cake Base
STEP II - Layering and Basic Assembly
STEP III - Decorating the Cake to a Finished Product

STEP I - Baking the Pineapple Cake Base

This step involves baking a pineapple cake which acts as a base to the entire finished product. If you intend making a Pineapple cake anytime, save this right now!

Ingredients for the Pineapple Cake (Base of the Pineapple Pastry)
1 Cup All purpose flour (Maida)
1 Cup Confectioner's Sugar/Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Butter - Unsalted, at room temperature
3 Extra Large Eggs, at room temperature (If you are using small eggs, use 4 nos.)
3/4 tsp Baking powder
3/4 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Pineapple essence
1/4 Cup Milk
A pinch of salt

- Preheat oven to 350F and prepare baking dish by smearing oil/butter all over the insides. Dust flour to evenly cover all parts of the dish to prevent the cake from sticking to it once baked
- Cream together butter and sugar and set aside
- In a large bowl, sift together all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Repeat the sifting process into another large bowl to make sure you have a homogenous mixture of all these dry ingredients
- Now, break eggs into another bowl and beat until fluffy/frothy (about 10-15 minutes) and doubled in quantity
- Pour the beaten eggs into the creamed sugar-butter mixture and beat again until well mixed
- Add the pineapple essense to this wet mixture
- Slowly pour and fold in small quantities of this wet mixture into the dry ingredients using a flat spatula, as you combine it all together to form a smooth batter
- This batter may be thick, so pour in the milk gradually until such a point where you are easily able to maneuver your spatula in the same and batter is creamy and luscious
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish (I have used a 9" round dish) and bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when pierced in the center of the cake
- Once baked transfer the cake onto a cooling rack to allow the cake to come down to room temperature

If you intend continuing to STEP II, make sure the cake is completely cooled. But if you want to go to STEP II the next day, go ahead and place the cooled cake in the refrigerator overnight.

STEP II - Layering and Basic Assembly

This step involves cutting the cake into layers, dousing them in sugar syrup and topping them off with whipped cream and chopped pineapple pieces. Sound's easy breezy, does'nt it? Go ahead and do it!!

Take your cake out of the fridge and place it on your contertop until you grab the ingredients required to layer and frost it. This will allow the cake to come back to a warmer temperature before you flip it over your cake board/plate (The one on which you intend cutting it in the end). Now, get hold of all the following things from around your kitchen/pantry.

4t to 5 Cups - Whipped Cream/Topping (I used store bought ready-made whipped cream to save me some time. If you intend making it from scratch, go right ahead. Just whip together, in a chilled bowl, 3.5 Cups of heavy whipping cream along with 1/2 Cup (or more if needed) of Confectioner's sugar until it forms soft peaks)

1 Can of Pineapple Slices in syrup or in its own juice (I used pineapple slices in their own juice)

3/4 Cup Water and 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar/Regular sugar to make Sugar Syrup. If you want to skip using sugar syrup you can just use 1.25 Cups of Pineapple Juice

- In a saucepan, combine the water and granulated sugar and set to a boil
- Once the sugar melts, turn off the heat and set aside to cool
- Now, head back to your cake and flip it over your cake board/plate. If you feel the cake is giving you a hard time flipping over (and if you have used a microwave safe dish to bake it) then toss the cake, prior to struggling to get it out of the baking dish, into the microwave for about 15-30 seconds. This will warm up the cake and allow for it to be easily lifted off (by slowly tugging at the sides using a broad off-set spatula) and flipped over onto your cake board. Yet, be careful as you do this so that you dont end up with a broken cake!
- If your cake seems to wobble, turn it back onto original position and smooth away any bulging parts (using the serrated/ridged knife) and flip again onto your cake board so you have a sturdy base to work with. You could place a paper towel below your work area for all the (yummy) mess that follows
- Using a serrated/ridged knife cut the cake into two slices horizontally to form a three layered cake. Remove layers and set aside. Remember in which order and direction you have placed them, lest you end up placing them back in the opposite/wrong way leading to an odd shaped cake after its all done!
- Separate the pineapple slices from the syrup/juice. Do NOT discard this. Keep aside in a bowl.
- Chop the pineapple slices randomly into small pieces and set aside in another bowl
- Now, take about 5 tbsp of the pineapple juice and mix it with the cooled down sugar syrup to give the cake some extra fruity flavouring. You could opt to skip using the sugar syrup and use pineapple juice entirely if you have enough on hand.
- At this point you should have one layer (the lowest one for the final cake) on your cake board. If not, place it on the same and mount it on your turn-table (Or put together a make-shift turn-table like I do - I just flip a large steel plate to place the cake, and then I mount this on my round chapati rolling stand. Works just perfectly!)
- Lightly drizzle about 1/3rd of the quantity of the pineapple-sugar syrup (or pineapple juice) over this layer of the cake, covering the entire surface area. This step is what gives the final cake that super moist texture!
- Now, scoop about 1 Cup of the whipped cream and drop the humongous dollop onto the lowest layer using a frosting spatula
- Spread all over the layer covering it completely such that you have a thick layer of whipped cream on it. Add more cream if you think your cream layer is not too thick since this is dependant on what size of a baking dish you used/size of your cake. A 1/2 to 3/4th inch thick layers of cream seem fine to me, but indulge if you like more!
- Now, sprinkle the chopped pineapple pieces over this cream layer
- Place the middle layer on top of this. Smooth out any cream that seems to be seeping out between the layers and place in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes to set
- Pull out and mount the cake back on the turn-table. Repeat application of the the sugar-pineapple syrup/pineapple juice  Top up this layer too with the whipped cream and pineapple pieces and place the top-most/final layer
- To this top-most layer just drizzle the sugar-pineapple syrup/pineapple juice
- Now, using the frosting spatula pick up a dollop of whipped cream and roughly smear it all over the cake (both on top and around the sides). Smooth out rough parts and pop the semi-finished cake back in the refrigerator to allow the flavours to marry overnight before you finish up the main finishing with whipped cream and final decoration

STEP III - Decorating the Cake to a Finished Product

This step involves coating the cake with a smooth layer of whipped cream and topping it up with all that you desire. I have explained how I have decorated the cake you see up here, but go ahead and get creative!

Yup, yup! We're almost done and I am SO proud that you've read this far. Keep going...your divine dessert awaits you at the end of all this.

Left over whipped cream (Or about 1.5 Cups)
12 pieces of pineapple, drained completely, washed and wiped down gently to remove any syrup or juice(I just quartered the canned slices to get equal sized pieces)
12 Maraschino stemmed cherries, drained completely, washed and wiped down gently to remove all the syrup and water
Cake Icing Comb OR A long piece of cardboard about an inch wide (I will tell you why you will need this in a wee bit!)
Piping bag(s), star nozzle

Method to finish the cake with whipped cream
-Take small dollops of whipped cream and apply a layer of cream over the sides of the cake as you simultanuously rotate your turntable. Use smooth back and forth motions to cover the entire cake (sides) evenly. Dont worry too much about tiny peaks and valleys. We'll work on them in a few steps.

- Drop about 1/2 Cup of whipped cream on top of the cake and spread out evenly using a flat spatula
- Run your spatula against the top edge to remove any excess cream between the sides and the top of the cake
- Now dip a steel frosting spatula in cold water (Yup I had said hot water in my Black Forest Cake but I tried cold water and you can see it has worked wonders for the finishing!). Wipe dry with a towel and spread out any uneven parts of the frosted cake as you rotate the turntable, to get a smooth finished look

Method to decorate the cake the way I have
- Measure the height of the cake using the cardboard and cut at cake's height.
- Using scissors, make ridges on the length-side of the cardboard to resemble a comb
- Place this ridged cardboad piece alongside the side of your cake in one position and rotate the cake in an anti-clockwise direction to get the lines on the sides. Follow this video for a more clear idea. They've shown a cake icing comb here. I dont have one, so I did the above steps using the cardboard make-shift comb!
- Make sure you carefully left of the comb and drop all the left-over icing aside
- Now, attach the star nozzle and fill your piping bag with whipped cream
- Pipe 12 equidistant swirls on the edges of the cake (This is considering your cake is a 9" round. Work your way up or down the number of swirls depending on the shape/size of your cake)
- Place stemmed maraschino cherries on each in a slightly diagonal position
- Place pineapple slices between the swirls in a diagonal position
- Again using the star nozzled piping bag pipe continuous swirls on the base/bottom of the cake and you are all set to devour this fantasy!

But just before you do so, I would recommend that you pop the finished cake back in the fridge (I know you are like - "What the hell...do I ever eat it?") for a few hours more just to set the decoration and then it is ALL yours!

Here is a pretty sad picture of the slice that I managed to click. What a lousy way to wind up such a great recipe! Well, you cannot blame me...we got too busy eating the cake and this is all I ended up with. So, how about you baking one for yourself and sharing the picture with me? Go to the nearest supermarket right now and get baking, will ya?!


  1. Wowwww gorgeous and beautiful looking pineapple pastry..looks fantastic and delicious:)..Great work!

  2. Wow, that is a lovely looking cake, beautifully decorated and presented.

  3. Pineapple cake looks awesome Iam drooling at the look of it.

  4. Lovely creation! Pastry looks gorgeous.

  5. There you go again...working your magic with these wonderful babies, tempting everyone, making them lose their resolve to eat healthy, and what not! Do I hate you or what? Boy, I'm glad you dont live close by, else I would've just swooped down on your house and stolen this baby, and your cousin bro's anniversary party would have been without this cake...muhuhahahaha!!

  6. Madhuri- ROFL. Here's what I'd do to stop you from stealing the cake. Invite you over for a party the next time I make this, instead. What say?

  7. hey deepti ..guess wat ..i tried this beauty as well ..we had some friends coming over and bcoz the black forest had turned out such a success i thot i will try my hand at this ....and truuuuly wonderful it was ...thanks once again for a great detailed recipe.
    p.s ..i m madly recommencing ur blog to all my friends who ask me for the recipe...

  8. Hey Zarina!

    Looks like I've managed to ignite some passion for baking in you. More than glad to know you tried this and it, too, turned out great. Do keep trying recipes from here and leaving me notes on whatever you feel - good or bad! Thanks heaps. Happy cooking and most importantly happy eating!


  9. Looks yummy..!! I'm totally baking this for my hubby's birthday. :) I'm confused though. I wanna buy ready made whipped cream too. But there are so many options (frosting, icing, extra creamy!!!) Could you please tell me which one to use to get those curls?

    1. Hi Serea!

      I know I am so late at replying your comment that you are probably a professional at baking by now! Anyway, I would recommend you buy Cool Whip whipped cream. Use the regular rather than the light version. Pipe them with a proper piping bag and icing tip and you're certain to get amazing curls, too! Hope this helps.