I had a French storybook growing up that had about 600 pages; the book was divided into sections: ” To read while eating a tartine (sandwich)”, “To read while having a picnic”, “To read before going to bed”, etc… It was one of my favorite books because the stories were only about three pages and always extraordinary.
Now this cake would fit into the category: “To eat while sipping tea in the afternoon”.
It is light and moist, with the added taste of fresh pineapple poached in a vanilla-scented syrup.
- 1 pineapple, extra-sweet
- 300 g sugar, divided (10.5 ounces)
- 200 g flour (7 ounces)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 3 large eggs
- 100 g of melted unsalted butter (4 ounces)
- 1/2 vanilla bean (can replace with pure vanilla extract)
First step: poaching the pineapple (can be done one day ahead to meld the flavors)
- Cut and peel the pineapple, making sure no knobs remain. cut off the core and discard and dice all the remaining pineapple flesh evenly in small pieces. Place in a bowl.
- Place the vanilla bean in a flat surface and smooth out with the blade of a knife; cut in half lengthwise and scrape off all the seeds.
- In a large pot, place 1/3 of the sugar and 2 1/2 cups of water and the vanilla seeds and bean; bring to a boil and when it starts boiling, stir until the sugar is dissolved, then add the pineapple pieces, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
- Place the pineapple pieces in a bowl, cover with the syrup and let the mixture cool. Remove the vanilla bean, wash and dry and keep for another use.
Second step: Making the cake batter
- Place the three eggs in the mixer bowl; start mixing, adding the remaining sugar gradually. Mix until the mixture is turned pale yellow.
- Sift the flour and salt into the egg mixture, gradually at first, until the flour mixture disappears into the egg mixture; add the baking powder to the cake batter. Add the melted butter slowly until the butter is incorporated. Add the drained pineapple pieces to the cake batter, folding gently to mix throughout.
- Butter a nonstick cake mold and pour the batter into it. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for about 30 minutes or until the cake is golden and puffed up. (Insert a toothpick to check if the cake is ready).
- Remove from the oven and prick the cake all over with the toothpick; pour the pineapple syrup on the cake; let the cake absorb the syrup and cool. Serve.
Recipe from Chef Guillaume Gomez, Elysée Palace, Paris, France. Recipe was adapted.
NOTE: The pineapple peel can be boiled for 20 minutes or so with some sugar and makes a delightful juice.
The pineapple should have very bright green leaves; it should say extra sweet on the label, if possible.