We are fans of the dinner party, my friends and I.  Tonight, the dinner is in honor of my friend’s sister coming to town.  On the menu is halibut curry, inspired by the excellent food at Twin Lakes Cafe in Juneau.  My contribution is dessert — and what else would you have after a thai inspired dish than the 1950’s phenomenon of Pineapple Upside Down Cake?

Ingredients:

3/4 cup organic light brown sugar
pineapple slices (fresh or canned — Dole’s really are the best)
marischino cheeries (10-12, without stems and patted dry)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup organic sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs pineapple juice
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup light vanilla soymilk (you can use plain milk, I just didn’t have any)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
 
 
How I Made It: 
Spray a 9 inch springform pan with Baker’s Joy (non-stick spray with flour).  Wrap the bottom in foil (in case of leaks).  Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt half of the butter (8 tbs) in a saucepan over low heat.  Add the brown sugar.  Stir until dissolved.  Do not let it stick or burn. Pour the brown sugar mixture into the pan.  Arrange the pineapple slices in the bottom of the pan, in a flower like design.  Place a single marischino cherry in the center of each pineapple slice, and then in the little chevrons in between the slices around the perimeter.  Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) together in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, cream the rest of the butter with the white sugar, until light and fluffy.  Beat in th eegg yolks, one at a time, and add the vanilla and pineapple juice.  Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the milk, until well mixed.  It will be very thick.  Whisk the egg whites in a third bowl, with the cream of tartar.  When frothy and white, fold into the cake batter with a spatula.  Beat for 30 seconds of less, until the batter is lightened.  Gently spoon the batter into the cake pan, careful not to disturb the pinepple bottom.  Smooth the top of the cake.  Bake for 50 minutes or until a cake tester comes away clean.  Let cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then slide a knife around the edge to loosen the cake.  When thoroughly cool, remove sides of springform pan and then turn upside down onto serving plate.  Serve with cool whip (no retro dessert should be served without it!).
 
The Results:
 
Wonderful!
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