This is hopefully the first of a few recipes featuring vintage ideas with a modern twist. I hope you like it!
When coming up with this recipe I began by looking at baking in the 1930s. I wanted to start with a vintage recipe and decided to go pre war. Recipes during rationing could have won prizes for inventiveness but not necessarily for taste! The 1930s were a time of relative prosperity in the UK. This meant that afternoon tea became something of a regular thing so many cake recipes from the time are less extravagant than those of the 1920s. Another huge change during this decade was the rise of the supermarket. Large shops selling canned goods from all over the globe were a new and exciting thing. So the pineapple upside down cake, invented in 1930 quickly became a firm favourite in Britain. This version brings in extra flavour and reflects the multicultural nature of the UK today. It also tastes really good!
You will need a square; 10-inch, non-stick cake tin. It must not be loose bottomed! Serves 9 with neat little squares.
2 tablespoons of light muscovado sugar
9 slices of canned pineapple rings (with juice). You might need to buy two cans to get nine rings
At least 2 tablespoons of glace ginger
150g plain flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
150g butter (make sure it is soft, take out of fridge at least an hour before using).
150s caster sugar
For the syrup
2 sticks of lemongrass, roughly chopped
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of water
Make the syrup. Put the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Then simmer for 15 minutes and drain.
Preheat the oven to 190C / Gas Mark 5. Sprinkle the muscovado all over the base of the tin and put on the hob to caramelize the sugar. As soon as it has melted turn off the heat and arrange your pineapple rings. Then sprinkle the glace ginger in the middle and in between the rings.
Make the cake batter. Put all the other ingredients into and food processer and whiz till smooth. Then pour in 4-5 tablespoons pineapple juice and whiz again.
Pour the batter over the pineapple rings and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes depending on your oven. Let it cool a little before turning it out onto a plate. You can either serve the syrup on the side or have your cake drizzle style by piercing the cake all over and pouring the syrup onto it.