This sweet and sticky dessert had me licking my fingers long after I’d finished eating it (a disturbing image I know). This is a dense, warm and crunchy cake (from the added pecan nuts) to share on a plate of vanilla ice cream or warm creamy custard.
The creation of the ‘Rum’ syrup was a very think on your feet moment today; although I don’t drink, I really wanted to make this cake with the sweet sticky albeit rum glaze. I have eaten a few pineapple cakes in my time but they were either very dry or looked way too dated with the huge pineapple rings and ‘red eye’ of the cherry staring up at me. No, it’s time pineapple cake had some refresher training.
The ingredient combination for the ‘Rum Syrup’ work very well together, you get the warmth from the ginger and the spice from the cloves, the closest you may get to the real thing, if you want to substitute it that is.
Lifting off the cake tin is the most exciting part of the whole recipe: make sure you let the cake rest before doing so at least for 15 minutes, then it should just slip out. The cake is quite dense which is another reason why you shouldn’t add too much glaze with the pineapples as syrup will just get absorbed in the cake and make it stodgy.
Puerto Rican Pineapple 'Rum' Cake
For the ‘Rum’
1 1/2 cups Pineapple Juice
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tsp Angostura Bitters
1 tsp Almond Extract
For the Glaze and the Pineapples
1 cup of Rum mixture (above)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 pineapple, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
For the Cake Mix
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups Granulated White sugar
1 tsp almond extract
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ‘rum’ mixture
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup crushed pecans
1 tsp ginger powder
1 (9-inch) square cake pan
Vanilla ice cream for serving
For the ‘Rum’
1. Pour all the ingredients into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
2. Bring the heat down to allow it to simmer for another 5 minutes before taking it off the stove and straining it through a sieve.
For the glaze and pineapples:
3. In a small saucepan over moderate heat, combine the brown sugar and 1 cup ‘rum’, and bring to a simmer.
4. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about a third.
5. Stir in the butter. You should have a dark brown syrupy mixture.
6. Add the pineapple slices, gently stirring to coat them in the glaze, then let them sit for about 3 minutes.
7.Transfer the pineapple slices to the bottom of a 9-inch square cake pan, with a little of the Rum Syrup (not all, save most for after baking) arranging them to cover the bottom.
Make the cake:
8.In a mixing bowl (preferably electric), combine the butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
9. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until fully incorporated.
10. Add the vanilla, pecans and rum, and beat for 30 seconds.
11. Fold in the flour and salt. pour the batter over the pineapples in the pan.
12. Bake under Gas Mark 4 (180 C) until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
13. Let the cake cool on a rack for 15 minutes then flip it onto a serving plate so that the pineapples are on top.
14. Pour any extra Rum Syrup over the pineapples or vanilla ice cream you choose to serve it with.
15. You can keep the cake at room temperature for up to 10 hours, that why it retains it sticky glaze