The more I bake and make Brazilian desserts, the more I find out what made me like these treats so much when I was a kid - they're full of fat and sugar! I can't lie, most Brazilian dessert recipes are not for the calorie counting health conscious individual - and this pie is no exception. But it's oh so nice and bright and happy and moist - plus, it has pineapple on it, so it must be healthy right? It could one of your 5-a-day! Just double your booking with your personal trainer for this week and jump right in. The more experienced cake makers among you will notice that the cake part of this recipe is pretty much your regular sponge cake, with a bit of milk added. It's also covered in a golden pineapple juice syrup ('cause we laugh on the face of calories!!).
For the cake: - 225g unsalted butter - 225g caster sugar (plus more to coat the mould) - 4 medium eggs - 225g self-raising flour - 1/2 cup milk - 1 large fresh, ripe pineapple - 6 stoned prunes (yo man... I'm all wrinkly and sweet... far out...)
For the syrup: - 2 cups water - 2 cups caster sugar - Pineapple offcuts - 2 stoned prunes (duuuuude!)
HOW TO PREPARE
- Grease a 9inch (23cm) springform cake tin with a generous coating of butter and dust all the walls with a thick layer of caster sugar (especially the bottom)
- Peel the pineapple, leaving no eyes or spikes. (From here on, bear in mind that you'll want to keep every bit of pineapple off-cut to make the syrup - appart from the leaves of course)
- Cut the pineapple into thin round slices (around 1/4inch / 6mm). You should end up with at least 5 similar-sized slices and a couple of smaller ones. Use a biscuit cutter to trim 5 slices into equal diameter. Trim one of the slices to be smaller. Use a smaller biscuit cutter to punch out the centre of the slices.
- Arrange the slices on the bottom of the tin to make a pattern with the smaller one in the centre. Then push a prune into the hole in the centre of each slice.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180c/340F/Gas 4
- In a separate bowl, cream the sugar and butter together, than slowly add the eggs one by one, make sure they are well incorporated.
- Fold the flour in using a wooden spoon or spatula, then add the milk and keep folding gently until fully incorporated
- Pour the cake batter into the tin, covering all the pineapple slices. Place in the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 35-40 mins until firm.
- Remove from the oven and remove the side of the springform straight away. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, but no longer than that or the pineapple slices will stick to the tin.
- Trim any dome or peak that may have formed on top of the cake and turn it over a plate. Carefully peel away the bottom sheet of the tin, making sure all pineapple slices remain on the cake.
- Pour a good amount of the pineapple syrup on top of the pineapple slices and spread around with a baking brush. Repeat until all the surface of the cake is saturated with the syrup.
To make the syrup:
- Place all the saved pineapple off-cuts (including peel) into a small saucepan.
- Add the water and the prunes and cook on a high heat until it forms a runny syrup
- Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove the pineapple and prune chunks and return to a medium heat and still with a wooden spoon until the liquid turns thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.