“I love making food that makes people smile, or brings them joy, whether it’s a fancy beautiful patisserie creation, or a simple but delicious cake.” — Simon Swadling
This easy Salted Coconut & Rum Pineapple Upside-down Cake is loaded down with the flavours of the Caribbean islands and the tropics. Sweet caramelised pineapple slices lay perfectly on top of this light and fluffy coconut-infused yellow cake for a summer treat like no other. It is a play on a piña colada, which is a sweet cocktail made with rum, cream of coconut or coconut milk, and pineapple juice, usually served either blended or shaken with ice.
PREP TIME 20 MINS| COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 20 MINS| SERVES 8-10
For the caramelised pineapple
1/2 a pineapple
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cream
For the cake batter
100g almond meal
100g all-purpose flour
50g desiccated coconut
3 large free-range eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp rum
1 tbsp sour cream
1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 160C (325F or gas mark 3). Grease and line an 8” (20.5 cm) round cake tin with parchment paper.
Caramelised Pineapple: Peel and core the pineapple. Cut into 1cm thick slices and then thirds.
In a heavy-based frying pan (do not use a non-stick pan!), add the sugar and cook on medium heat until it melts and begins to caramelise. Stir to avoid burning ‘hot spots’.
When the caramel is golden brown, mix in the butter and then cream, being careful not to burn the caramel.
Add in the pineapple sliced and cook until soft and semi transparent, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Cake Batter: Add all the dry ingredients into a food processor and blitz to combine. Next, add in the butter and pulse until it is blended into the flour mixture.
In a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients together and whisk. Slowly pour into the processor and pulse until combined and smooth.
Layer the petals of pineapple at the bottom of your cake tin in an aesthetic pattern, adding a little bit of the caramel. Top with the cake batter.
Bake for 55 minutes, or until done. You can tell when it’s done by piercing the middle of the cake with a skewer and it comes out clean. If not, bake further.
Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.
Serve: Invert the slightly cooled cake onto a cake stand or serving plate. Some of the juices from the topping will seep over the sides – that’s okay.
You can slice and serve the cake warm, or cool the cake down completely at room temperature before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
I’ve always loved breakfast, and French toast was actually one of the first things I started making and teaching myself. It’s probably the start of me really getting into food and it becoming my passion – I loved making making either savoury style (parsley and parmesan with bacon) or the more traditional sweet one.
My love of breakfast foods has ended up becoming a family tradition that on long weekends or holidays we will often start off with a fancy brunch/breakfast made by me. This French toast recipe is what I came up with for Mothers day this year, as sweet French toast is my mum’s favourite breakfast. It has some autumnal vibes with the maple and mulled wine flavours, but really the base recipe of the French toast can be paired with any number of different things, so feel free to go off script and try something different!
PREP TIME 15 MINS| COOKING TIME 45 MINS| SERVES 4
For the French toast
Loaf of Brioche bread (the batter will do enough for 4 large slices)*
2 large free range eggs
3/4 cup full cream milk
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
Zest of half an orange
For the poached pears
1 cup red wine
1 cup water
2/3 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
4 small Corello pears**
1 cinnamon stick
For the maple mascarpone
1 tub (250g) mascarpone
Maple syrup, to taste
Dry meringue pieces
Fresh raspberries, or any other berries that you like
*If your brioche bread hasn’t been pre-cut (which is ideal), then cut the brioche into thick rectangular pieces. This means that you’ll get a crispy outside, custardy outer layer, and still some fluffy brioche in the middle.
**If you can’t get your hands on the small pears, use 2 large pears and serve each slice with half a pear instead.
Poached Pears: Combine all the ingredients for the poached pears into a medium-sized saucepan. If the pears aren’t fully covered, then ensure to turn them around every few minutes to get an even colour and even cooking all around. Timing will depend on the ripeness of the pears so simmer until soft when tested with a knife.
Remove the pears, and continue to boil down the poaching liquid until reduced to a syrup-like texture. You may prepare the pears the day before and then warm them through before serving.
Maple Mascarpone: Mix the mascarpone in a bowl to soften and then add about a tablespoon of maple syrup. Adjust to your own personal liking. Set aside in the fridge.
French Toast: Add all the ingredients, except the brioche bread in a shallow dish and mix well until combined.
Heat up a medium-sized frying pan with a knob of butter and a bit of oil on medium heat.
Dip the brioche slice in the egg mixture on each side and allow it to soak a little.
Fry the slice on each side until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat for the remaining slices.
Assemble: Cut the pears in half. Place the French toast on a plate with the pears on top. Crumble the meringue over and serve with fresh raspberries, and a scoop of the maple mascarpone.
Finally, drizzle over a bit of the poaching syrup from the pears and enjoy!
I met Allison 6 years ago in Sydney, Australia where we studied Design together at The College of Fine Arts. We both had a great passion for the chicken schnitzel sandwiches they sold across the road from COFA (with caramelised carrots of course) as well as food in general. Recently I’ve taken my passion for food and cooking to the next level by starting my own baking business “The Bearded Patissier” selling baked goods to people in my area, cakes, tarts, macarons, and desserts all give me an opportunity to combine my love for good design and art with good food.
June 2015: The Bearded Patissier & Amcarmen’s Kitchen on Graduation Day
Here’s my recipe for gluten free blueberry cheesecakes. Making them in a tart means you have a great ratio of biscuit to cheesecake and I would happily just eat the base by itself too – it makes a great (healthy) gluten free cookie!
PREP TIME 15 MINS| COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 15 MINS*| SERVES 12 TARTS
*Includes a minimum of 1 hour chilling time
For the base
150g almond meal
75g unsalted butter, cubed
40g caster sugar
40g raw sugar
1/4 cup fine rolled oats
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tbsp cornflour
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
For the blueberry and pomegranate jam
2 x 125g punnets fresh blueberries
2 tbsp pomegranate molases
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
For the cheesecake
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup thickened cream
1/2 cup syrup from jam (see recipe below)
2 tsp gelatine powder, dissolved in 3 tsp of water
1/4 caster sugar
Base: add all the ingredients for the base into a mixer with the paddle attachment.
Mix on a low speed until fine crumbs start to form, and the butter is well combined into the mixture. Continue mixing until larger crumbs start to form, it should look similar to the size of granola, but don’t let it fully combine into a ball of dough.
Press half a tablespoon of the mix into lose bottomed 3-inch tart shells making sure it is an even thickness across the whole tin. The mixture should cover 12 tins. Alternatively you can also make one large cheesecake in a big tin.
Bake in a 160C fan-forced oven for 12-15 minutes until evenly golden in colour.
Allow tarts to cool fully before removing them from their casing. You may have to press them flat a bit after they come out of the oven while they are still hot.
Blueberry and Pomegranate Jam: add all the ingredients into a pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes until thickened.
Strain out half a cup of the syrup while still warm and add in the gelatine mixture for the cheesecake. Allow to cool slightly and if you want the bits of blueberry in the cheese cake just measure out without straining. Reserve the rest for topping the cheesecake.
Cheesecake: while the blueberry and gelatine mix is cooling, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a bowl until smooth, making sure no lumps are left on the sides of the bowl as these will not mix in later and leave you with lumps in your mix.
Beat in the cream, and then gently fold through the cooled blueberry gelatine syrup.
Spoon tablespoons of the filling into the tart shells and refrigerate for an hour minimum.
Top the cheese cakes with reserved jam and fresh blueberries or flowers. Serve and enjoy!