Talk to any Bangalorean about their favorite food places in Bangalore, and without a doubt, the neighborhood Iyengar Bakery will feature prominently in their top food-related memories. Iyengar Bakery, for those not in the know, is a chain of bakeries dotted around Bangalore, serving up simple pastries and cakes, and spawning a dozen imitators around the city. Apart from some of the iconic items such as dil pasand and masala bun, Iyengar's also serves up two very delicious cakes – black forest, and pineapple. If your family is anything like mine, it’s probably split down the middle with half preferring the sweet, moist, cherry-laden black forest, with the other half siding with the fresh and fluffy pineapple cake.
While I myself fall firmly in the former camp, I was recently racking my brains for a chocolate-free birthday cake for a friend, and decided to give the pineapple cake a try.
The recipe was surprisingly easy and completely delicious. Although you may associate pineapple with summer days, I think it’s equally scrumptious in the middle of winter. Since this recipe uses canned pineapples, finding the right ingredients should not be too hard. I also think it comes quite close to the Iyengar Bakery version, which was a nice antidote to the homesickness that has been creeping up on me during the holiday season.
So here’s my recipe for a Pineapple Cream Cake. Regardless of where home may be for you, I wish you all the flavors and joys of home this Christmas.
Pineapple Cream Cake
For the cake
1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C corn starch
1 C sugar
4 eggs, separated
1/4 t salt
1 t pure vanilla extract
For the icing
1 C heavy whipping cream
3 T sugar
For the filling
Pineapple chunks canned in pineapple juice (not syrup)
Bake the Cake
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 10-inch Springform pan
2. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
3. Whisk together egg yolks, vanilla, and 1/2 C of sugar on high speed until thick and pale, about 2 minutes.
4. Clean beaters, and beat the egg whites with 1/2 C of sugar at medium speed until stiff and glossy about 3-4 minutes.
5. Lightly fold the egg yolk mixture into egg white mixture, using a silicone spatula
6. Add the flour mixture to the eggs in four additions, mixing lightly after each addition
7. Transfer batter to the greased baking pan and tap smartly on counter to eliminate air bubbles and smooth top
8. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
9. Release from pan, and let cake cool before frosting.
Prepare the icing
Pre-chill a metal bowl and beaters. Add cream and sugar to bowl and beat till cream is completely whipped. If you are short on time, using a pre-whipped topping such as Cool Whip should do just fine.
Assemble the cake
Slice the cake in half, creating two layers.
Place first layer on serving platter, and drizzle liberally with pineapple juice from canned pineapples.
Spread a 1/2 inch layer of whipped cream
Place pineapple chunks over cream and top with second layer.
Drizzle second layer with pineapple juice
Cover with whipped cream, and decorate as you wish.
This cake tastes better the day after it's assembled, after the flavors have had a chance to get to know each other.