Many apologies for failing my baking challenge recently. Summer has been incredibly busy. I did actually bake banana rum cakes from “Sweet” last week, and I used the shortcrust pastry with lemon zest for a very juicy strawberry rhubarb pie.
When I finally had the chance to select a random recipe again, I was excited to see these flavours. The tartlets I made a couple of months ago also had pineapple and star anise. This cake also gave me an excuse to invest in a bundt cake pan, which we found in a kitchen store in Chinatown. I say “we” because part of my busy-ness is due to the long-awaited summer stay of Al: my boyfriend.
My usual preparation for a cake starts with greasing the pan. I took my time doing this, only to discover that the instructions clearly state the importance of a sticky, ungreased pan. Of course!
We could only find ripe pineapple that was pre-cored, but it was still delicious and juicy. I ran most of the fruit through my magic bullet, while Al carefully sliced and prepared the pineapple ‘flowers’ for the finished piece of art. My magic bullet was also useful for grinding the star anise.
I’ve made a few meringues since beginning this challenge, and my mixmaster does a marvellous job at creating beautiful soft peaks. Useful as the egg whites were gently folded into the rest of the cake batter, before being placed in the oven.
The trick to getting the cake out of the ungreased pan is to immediately flip the cake upside down, until completely cool. This actually worked for us. We finished the cake with a lovely pineapple glaze, with a splash of leftover orange juice from a zested orange. The pineapple flowers were the finishing touch.
This cake smelled amazing, and the sheer size was impressive. The egg whites made the cake very light and sponge-like, while the pineapple and star anise were a delectable duo. The glaze added a zing to this fabulous dessert.