Some tomatoes (we used about 5, the clustery-vine type)
- One 20-ounce can pineapple rings (save the juice)
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 10 maraschino cherries
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 Tbsp butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp. pineapple juice
Heat the oven to 350F.
Drain the pineapple well but save 2 tablespoons of the juice for the cake batter. Melt the butter in a 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Or, put the butter in a 9 inch round cake pan and put it in the oven for a few minutes as the heat melts the butter.
Remove the pan from the oven or stove and sprinkle the brown sugar over the buttery surface. Place the pineapple rings carefully on top of the scattered brown sugar and melted butter, arranging them so they fit in 1 layer. (You may have a few left over). Place a cherry in the center of each ring, and set the pan aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Use a fork to mix them together well. Add the milk and butter and beat well with a mixer, scraping down the bowl once or twice until you have a thick, fairly smooth batter, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the egg, reserved pineapple juice and the vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes more, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides.
Carefully pour the batter over the pineapple arranged in the skillet or cake pan and use a spoon to spread it evenly to the edges of the pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the cake is golden brown and springs back when touched lightly in the center. Cool in the skillet or pan for 5 minutes on a wire rack.
With oven mitts, carefully turn out the warm cake onto a serving plate by placing the plate upside down over the cake in the pan and then flipping them over together to release the cake onto the plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.
That said, snow has a rather bizarre way of finding me. Of greatest interest would be my freshman or sophomore year of college. I was sitting at the San Diego airport, waiting to go home for a break. I looked out the window, and... Snow?!? Everyone was baffled. And of course, none of my friends believed me. 72 degrees and partly cloudy with snow flurries? Yeah right.
So tomorrow should be interesting. None of the snow will stick of course, but ice scraping time should be accounted for. And I hope we're stocked up on chocolate powder at the coffee house, because except for the few oddballs that always order Frappes (it's freezing outside. What are you thinking??) everyone is going to be searching for that taste of winter (which if you were wondering, has a 75% chance of being a white mocha. Always). They'll be scrounging up dreams of a white Christmas from their childhoods, busting out the holiday music and saying "hey, how about this weather?" to every passerby they meet. Luckily, the Kansas part of me, besides being adept at meteorological predictions, has also been gifted with the ability to talk about the weather for hours on end. [By the way, never move to the Midwest unless you find conversations about the weather extremely stimulating and you yourself are capable of discussing every minute detail at length, and its potential repercussions for the next six to eight months.]
As for me, I've already got the Rat Pack Christmas album in my cd player and rock out to Mannheim Steamroller on the local classic rock turned seasonal cheer radio station. I'm still a little baffled as to why Christmas light are up all over town, and confused about how tomorrow is already December 7th, and still full of my fair share of bah-humbugs, but maybe a dose of 3" of freshly-fallen-quickly-melted snow is just what I need for that final shove into the holiday spirit. And besides, its a good excuse to sport my new and wonderfully tacky fleece jacket, right?
This was our second cake from Nancie McDermott's Southern Cakes. It's a burnt sugar cake, made by creating a sugar+boiling water = burnt sugar syrup that is infused in the cake batter and in the icing. This cake had to deal with a time crunch (I was trying to do laundry, accomplish 900 spurious and unnecessary things, pack for Thanksgiving and drive to the Bay Area, all while baking) but it turned out pretty well nevertheless. I halved the recipe and chose to bake in a jumbo cupcake pan, which yielded six large "baby cakes" exactly. By spying on fellow bloggers beforehand I learned the frosting left something to be desired, and being personally partial to warm naked cake I left it out. I drizzled the remaining syrup over top, and dumped on a bit of powdered sugar for aesthetic purposes.
Other than the half I pillaged straight out of the oven - purely for quality control, of course - my step mom Vicki and I ate these later that night with a bit of pumpkin gelato. Which, if you haven't had, you can thank me later for introducing you to one of the great wonders of the world. (Seriously. Stop reading, get off your computer, and go find some before it's out of season. This blog is not so important as to stand in the way of you and a delicious frosty pumpkiny taste treat.) Grandma Lucy informs me that as of day 2 there is a distinct buttery flavor and almost pound cake-like texture to the baby cakes.
[If you'd like the recipe, I recommend visiting this blog of a fellow cake slice baker: Lick The Bowl Good. This is how I found out about cake slice bakers. She gives great recipes and explanations, and takes pretty oogle worthy food photos as well.]