Pineapple Gateau

Another item on my to-do list was to make Pineapple pastry. It's not rocket science really, but I never managed to make it at home. It's not too difficult to make, it doesn't call for fancy ingredients, but it was one of those things I never got around to making. So when I got the chance to make a Birthday cake, I knew which cake was calling me. This. And I knew everyone liked Pineapple pastry. So there.

(Also in the interest of full disclosure, I did make the cake in the class but ate it too fast, to get a single photograph - I had made it the first time, so I couldn't be bothered about photos and such, all I wanted was to taste it. Please don't judge me)

You know, this one cake which is one of those deceptive looking cakes that's a standard in any and every bakery in this city. There will always, always be the standard 'Pineapple Pastry' stocked in the bakery counters. But like I said, deceptive. A well made Pineapple pastry is so refreshing to eat - it's light as air, and despite all the cream, not rich. The sweet and the tangy hit from the pineapple syrup and pieces of pineapple in between the layers contrasts really well with the sweetness of the cream and the airy texture of the cake (Uhhh...ummm.. did I just sound like a cookery show food taster?).

Pineapple pastry, cake
My improved icing skills

To make the gateau:
Cake adapted from Nigella's Buttermilk Birthday cake

The cake is good for this particular pastry as it holds it shape well - and is a good match for any flavour. Although using this is not traditional - because this really isn't sponge cake - it was the first time my cake was the official party cake so I didn't want to take any chance with a sunken cake - as you may remember from here. Also I used fresh cream to decorate and fill - this gave the cake frosting an almost cheesecake like flavour and texture - a total surprise  and one that I highly recommend.

250g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
200ml buttermilk - I used 80 ml fresh yogurt with 120 ml whole milk.
125g unsalted/white butter, softened
150g powdered sugar
3 large free-range eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Line 23cm round cake tin with butter paper.

1. In a plate, sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate and salt together and set aside.

2. Mix the buttermilk with the vanilla and set aside.

3. In a bowl cream the butter and sugar together until it turns pale and light - which takes around 5 minutes at a medium speed with a hand held mixer.

4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture until the egg is incorporated. Then 1/3 of the flour, mix until incorporated and then add 1/3 of the buttermilk. Do this alternately, until both are well incorporated into the batter.

5. Pour the batter into your lined cake tin and bake for 40 mins until a done - risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

6. Once it is baked, cool the cake completely. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap/cling fill and then freeze overnight. The next day morning, cut the cake into 3 - horizontally (if you are like me, and did not make 3 separate cakes).

For the filling and icing:

400 ml fresh cream or non-dairy whip topping
10 slices of tinned pineapple - chopped + a couple more to decorate
Glace cherries - to decorate
Syrup from the tinned pineapples

Whip your fresh cream over ice - this prevents the cream from splitting, but to be on the safe side, go slow. Stop whipping the moment the cream is thick and holds its shape. This way you can pipe it easily (Also- don't freeze whipped cream - I did and mine lost all shape - and it couldn't be whipped again.). Take the top most half of your cake and lay it on your cake board/cake stand. Brush the cake layer with about 2 Tbsp of the pineapple syrup. Then spread a layer of the whipped cream (about 1/2 inch). Spread about half the of the chopped pineapple on this. Once this is done, lay on the next layer of cake - and make sure it is aligned on all sides. Repeat - syrup + cream + pineapple and then lay the on the final layer.

Take a small amount of the cream and spread it evenly on the cake and sides - this is crumb coating. Chill the cake for an hour (and chill the icing too). Once cold, spread about a cup of the whipped cream on top and sides with a pastry knife - so that the cake is evenly covered. Fill a pastry bag with the remaining cream and chill it before decorating.


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