From the SCCC Kitchen: Cake or muffins? Either way, it’s upside down

Riddle me this, cake crusaders: When is a pineapple upside down cake not a pineapple upside down cak

“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers Daily Gazette readers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s nationally accredited American Culinary Federation culinary arts program. Recipes selected by SCCC instructors can easily be prepared at home. Today, senior technical specialist Ellen Heekin offers a dessert snack that is part cake, part muffin — Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

Riddle me this, cake crusaders: When is a pineapple upside down cake not a pineapple upside down cake?

The answer is creatively delicious: When the cake is served as a muffin.

Ellen Heekin likes the “grab-and-go” part of her dessert. People don’t need plates or forks, just a free hand to peel the paper from the muffin and nibble away.

“It’s just not baked in a cast-iron skillet,” Heekin said. “This is a moist cake.  . . . A cast-iron skillet would hold the heat and dry out the cake.”

She suggests an aluminum muffin pan for the pineapple cake, which also includes a taste of cherry. The chef also suggests patience once the muffins are out of the oven.

“Leave them in the pan for 10 minutes to cool down,” Heekin said. “Taking them out too soon prevents the moisture from staying in this kind of cake.”

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

1 1⁄2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1⁄2 cup shortening (You also may use 1⁄4 cup shortening and 1⁄4 cup butter)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup milk

3 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 can crushed pineapple

4 tablespoons brown sugar

12 maraschino cherries

For cake batter: Beat sugar, eggs and shortening until light and fluffy (about five minutes).

Add all the dry ingredients — the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat until blended, add the vanilla and then add the milk slowly.

Using jumbo muffin pans, put paper wrappers in pan. Place one cherry on the bottom in the middle of the cup. Place 1 to 2 teaspoons crushed pineapple on top of the cherry and spread evenly (you may have to add more pineapple to cover the cherry).

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon brown sugar on top of the pineapple. Pour cake batter to fill two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes — until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cupcake. Cool completely.

Unwrap the cupcake and invert on serving plate.

Categories: Life and Arts

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