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Recipe: Pineapple-Coconut Upside-Down Cake

Coconut-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Coconut-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I was nervous when I made this Pineapple-Coconut Upside-Down Cake. Why? Admittedly, I’m not the best baker although I’m getting a lot better. Also, I was cooking this as a birthday cake for my mom so no pressure or anything.

Turns out my worrying was unwarranted. This cake is moist, delicious and full of tropical flavor. I made it while I was on vacation so I didn’t have access to my iron skillet, but I’m sure using it would have taken it to another level. That said, the level this cake is on is already pretty high.

Ingredients:

For the topping:

  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1 cup, packed light brown sugar
  • 1 can of pineapple rings in pineapple juice(you won’t use them all)
  • 2 TBSP Malibu coconut rum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Coconut-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

    Coconut-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Close-Up

For the cake:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes, plus another 1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. For the Topping: Melt the butter in a well seasoned 9” cast-iron skillet or pot (if using cake pan), over medium-high heat. Melt the brown sugar with salt, stirring constantly, until bubbling, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat, add pineapple rings in one even layer in skillet or round cake pan, and set aside.
  3. Coconut-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Topping

    The topping for Coconut-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

  4. Mix the butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until creamy.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Add 1/4 cup coconut flakes and stir in. Beat in vanilla and Malibu coconut rum.
  7. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat on low speed just until blended.
  8. Add the pineapple juice and mix to incorporate, add remaining flour mixture, beating until just incorporated.
  9. Spoon the batter over the pineapple/brown sugar topping, smoothing the top evenly.
  10. Bake on the center rack of the oven until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes.
  11. To remove from the skillet, run a sharp knife around the edge to release the sides. Invert a cake plate or service platter over the skillet and invert the cake onto the plate, keeping pan and plate firmly pressed together. The cake should drop from the skillet onto the plate.
  12. Drizzle the cake with additional Malibu coconut rum, top with toasted coconut flakes, and serve.

I made this Pineapple-Coconut Upside-Down Cake while I was on vacation at the beach and it really fit the bill for a beach birthday.

If you’re a fan of coconut and/or pineapple this is the cake for you. I also envision this recipe making some great cupcakes if you place a single pineapple ring in each cupcake slot.

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3 Comments

Posted by on September 19, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Coconut Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry


I’m pretty sure is the third curry recipe I’m posting, but the stuff is just so damn good. This one is a sort of a hybrid of coconut shrimp and Thai curry, hence the name Coconut Shrimp Curry.

Curry is so full of flavor, it’s quickly become one of my favorite dishes. And it’s not that hard to make — especially with the assistance of a food processor.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry blends shrimp, vegetables, pineapple and toasted coconut in a Thai curry.


Ingredients:

For the curry sauce:

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, minced
  • 1 TBSP dried chili flakes (less if you don’t want it too spicy)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced
  • 3 TBSP fish sauce
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 TBSP light brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Gulf Shrimp in Coconut Curry

    Gulf Shrimp in Coconut Curry

  • 1 TBSP ketchup (or tomato paste)

For the curry:

  • 1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1/3 cup dry toasted coconut

Directions:

  1. Place all curry sauce ingredients in a food processor and process well. Alternatively, whisk the ingredients together and stir well to combine.
  2. Pour sauce into a deep pot and heat over medium-high heat until boiling, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium. Add the vegetables, pineapple and shrimp, stirring to mix. Simmer until shrimp look plump and turn pink.
  4. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm while you toast the coconut.
  5. Toasted Coconut in Curry

    Toasted Coconut in Curry

  6. Place dry shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat. “Fry” the coconut, stirring continually until it turns golden-brown and is fragrant. Then turn off heat.
  7. Add half of the toasted coconut to the curry and stir to combine.
  8. Taste for salt and sweetness, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough, and more brown sugar if you want it sweeter. Also, you can also add chili sauce if you’d like it spicier.
  9. To serve, transfer curry into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the rest of the toasted coconut on top of each dish and serve (over rice if desired).

As I live in New Orleans, I’m lucky enough to have access to fresh Gulf shrimp. They really make this dish stand out from using frozen shrimp, but you gotta use what you have access to. I recommend fresh over frozen any day.

As this is a curry, it goes great over rice, but it’s good enough to eat it without. The choice is yours. Enjoy this Coconut Shrimp Curry!

 
3 Comments

Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, One-Pot Wonders, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Blueberry Crunch

Blueberry Crunch

Blueberry Crunch

My mom told me I “had to” try this recipe for Blueberry Crunch because it was “too die for.” She got it from a friend and tried it for the first time last weekend. Basically, crushed pineapple, fresh blueberries, yellow cake mix, pecans, sugar and butter are layered then baked to perfection.

When I got an invitation for dinner from a friend and she asked me to make dessert, I figured it was time to give Blueberry Crunch a try. However, she asked for a healthy dessert and this definitely does not fit the bill. So I ignored her, and it was a hit.

Ingredients:

    Blueberries

    Blueberries are the star ingredient in Blueberry Crunch

  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 8-oz. cans of crushed pineapple (with juice)
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar (divided into 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup)
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Pecans and Yellow Cake Mix

Pecans and Yellow Cake Mix top Blueberry Crunch


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a 9×13 pan, layer pineapple, blueberries, 3/4 cup sugar, and cake mix.
  3. Spread pecans over top then drizzle with melted butter.
  4. Sprinkle remaining sugar (1/4 cup) on top.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until browned and bubbly.
  6. Let cool slightly (for about 5 minutes), serve and top with whipped cream or ice cream (if desired).

When I make it again, I’ll probably omit the 1/4 cup of sugar on top, but one of my friends said that was her favorite part. I think it could stand to be just a tad less sweet.

All in all, it’s an easy dish with lots of flavor. It’s got a nice crunch, hence the name Blueberry Crunch, and is buttery, sweet and rich.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on June 14, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Loaded Carrot Cupcakes

Loaded Carrot Cupcakes

Loaded Carrot Cupcakes

Let’s be honest, carrot cake is some pretty damn good stuff. These cupcakes don’t come from the most traditional carrot cake batter mix, but they’re loaded with goodness. That’s why I’m calling them Loaded Carrot Cupcakes.

I added shredded carrots, crushed pineapple, pecans, walnuts and coconut to the batter to really load them up with a variety of ingredients. The batter is pretty minimal so it’s these ingredients that form the majority of these cupcakes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 TBSP ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • Carrot Cupcake Batter

    Carrot Cupcake Batter

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin or cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and center. Form a hollow center then add oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
  3. Mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in carrots, pecans, walnuts, pineapple and shredded coconut.
  4. Carrot Cupcakes in the Oven

    Carrot Cupcakes in the Oven

  5. Pour batter into cupcake liners until each is about 1/2 full (optimist!). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cupcakes will rise while baking then settle some once removed.

This recipe should yield roughly two dozen cupcakes. I whipped up a cream cheese frosting for mine and garnished with some of the remaining shredded coconut.

The pineapple ensures the cupcakes remain moist and the nuts give the cupcakes a nice crunch. I wasn’t sure how these would turn out given my lack of success with baking, but they turned out delicious and (dare I say it) I was proud of the effort.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 13, 2011 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

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