Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Vegan Steamed Pineapple Upside-Down Cake





A very soft banana-free steamer cake!   While looking for ovenless baking I came across a peacecorps recipe book where one of the authors said steaming conventional cake batter still resulted in edible cake.  Delighted by this prospect, I tried this on a pineapple cake.

Pineapples are in season in Taiwan right now, and they are SO GOOD: super-sweet and tangy and juicy and pretty much awesome all around. 

Adapted from this recipe. Feel free to bake this in 350F oven instead of steaming ^o^

Vegan Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Makes one 8''-9'' round.

Ingredients:
Oil for smearing
Sugar for sprinkling
Pineapple rings (from a can, usually, unless you have an awesome pineapple-ring-maker)
Maraschino cherries, optional (I couldn't find any TT___TT)

(A)
1 cup pineapple juice (from canned pineapple, or scraped from the flesh from the your gutted pineapple)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup raw or white sugar (can use less; this was cut down from 3/4 c. in the original recipe and I still thought it was too sweet.)

(B)
1 T. apple cider vinegar (white can also work)
1 t. vanilla extract

(C)
1 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda

Directions:

1. Prepare Stuff: Preheat the steamer.  Dribble a scant teaspoon of oil in your cake-holding vessel and smear it 'round to coat evenly. I used a dented Tatung 10-person inner pot; it's about the same circumference as a 8'' or 9'' cake pan, just way deeper.  Sprinkle sugar on the bottom to coat evenly.  This will create the caramel-y goo.  Arrange the pineapple rings on the bottom.  Fill up the gaps with maraschino cherries, if using.

2Vigorously stir (A) until all the sugar is dissolved.  Add (B) and mix.  Slowly add (C), stirring all the while until a fairly smooth batter is formed.

3. Pour the batter into your pan and stick it in the steamer for 1-2 hours.  Optional: forget about it for an additional hour and a half or so and let the auto-keep-warm function create deceptively baked-looking browning 'round the edges! (actually that last step was totally unintentional...)



4. Let it cool COMPLETELY before serving.  If you eat it straight out of the steamer there will be a disgusting bitter baking soda aftertaste. Actually, if you wait just a few minutes this dissipates and you can enjoy warm pineapple cake without soda-taste!! But honestly I think room temp works best for pineapple cake 'cause the tang comes out more :)