“I have a weakness for pineapple cake. It was the most popular cake in the bakeries of Jabalpur: a light sponge cake without eggs, with fresh cream and pineapple on it,” explains Chetna Makan.
“As with many ingredients, the cream in the UK tastes different to the cream you get in India. So, I made my own version.
Recipe for pineapple and elderflower cake
Ingredients:(For 8-10 people)
For the cake:100g unsalted butter, softened plus more for the tin 220g tinned pineapple chunks, coarsely chopped 200g caster sugar 100g ground almonds 100g self-rising flour ½ tsp baking soda 3 large eggs 130 g plain yoghurt 2 tablespoons elderflower syrup
For the cream:300 ml fresh cream 30 g caster sugar 1 tbsp elderflower cordialElderflowers to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/thermostat 4. Butter two 20 cm round cake tins and line the bases with non-stick baking paper. Spread half the pineapple in a box.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric whisk or a mixer fitted with the spatula, combine all the cake ingredients except the remaining pineapple and whisk for one minute until smooth and pale. Stir in the remaining pineapple chunks. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 35 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Let cool completely.
3. Whip cream, sugar and elderflower syrup together in a bowl with an electric whisk until soft peaks form.
4. Put the cake without pineapple on top of a serving plate and spread all the cream on it. Place the second cake, pineapple side up, on top. If you can find elderflowers, place them on top of the cake and serve.
5. This cake can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days. Bring it to room temperature before serving.
Chetna’s Easy Baking by Chetna Makan is published by Hamlyn, priced at £20. Photograph by Nassima Rothacker. Available now.
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