Friday, April 6, 2012

Pineapple Upside Down Cake...with a cottage cheese twist

There are some innovations in this recipe. Like many innovations, mine sprang from necessity - in this case, finding only self-raising flour in the cabinet, and having tons of cottage cheese in the fridge. Conventional recipes tend to use all purpose flour and salt, and sour cream. Having experimented due to necessity the first time, the warm reception of the cake at a dinner party convinced me and I've stuck to my recipe since. But feel free to swap the self-raising flour with all purpose flour, and the cottage cheese with sour cream - my cake tends to have a more caramel feel and taste to it.

Ingredients:

Topping:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 can pineapple slices
Maraschino cherries

Cake:
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
2 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup cottage cheese
  • Prepare the caramel topping by melting the butter in a saucepan over a medium flame
  • As the butter melts, mix in the sugar so it melts and bring it to a consistent bubbling mix
  • Take it off the flame before it burns and pour it into your baking dish - preferably either an 8 in. or 10 in. round pan
  • Take the pineapple slices out of the can, and arrange them as below over the caramel mix, packing as many as you can in a layer
  • I suspect you could put the cherries in the middle of the pineapple hollows, but I've tended to put them on after the cake is done 
  
  • Bring the oven to 325 degrees
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar to a smooth consistency - if your kids are older then 8, as mine are, they'll love being in charge of the beating and mixing! Stand by, of course, since you want to watch the little fingers and all the high speed splatters this can engender!
  • One by one, crack the eggs into the mix, and beat thoroughly
  • Mix the self raising flour and baking powder (sifting together is best, but I'm challenged to find my sift every time, and find that being thorough in mixing meets my needs)
  • Fold in the flour and beat to a smooth consistency, then fold in the vanilla and finally fold in the cottage cheese
 
  • Carefully pour the cake mix over the layers of caramel and pineapple
 
  • Bake for 1 hour and test at the end of that period. If baking with kids, they'll like to have their toothpicks to test the center of the cake, and you can each see if you get a clean toothpick out which is the sign of a perfectly done cake
  • Let it cool and gently tip it out so the pineapple topping is undisturbed - I tend to place a plate right on top of the cake in the baking pan, hold the dish and plate securely then flip over, then gently pull up the baking pan
  • The kids will also enjoy popping the cherries into the centers of the pineapple hollows
  • Slice and enjoy!