Sunday, September 26, 2010

Midnight Cravings, a tale of how a mini cake came to be

I don't know what inspired me. Maybe it was that I wanted to surprise Dylan with something special. Maybe it was my incessant need to bake things all the time. Perhaps it was my overpowering desire for something sweet. But cookies or candy or ice cream just wasn't going to cut it. I don't know WHAT it was. All I know is that I wanted cake and I wanted it right then. So I slipped into the kitchen while Dylan was distracted talking to his mom on the phone and started concocting my wonderful midnight treats. Oh, yeah. Did I mention it was almost midnight?

I had in my head a vision of something cake-y but gooey and fruity at the same time. I could just taste what it was I was trying to think of....OH pineapple upside down cake. But I don't want to make a whole cake...Of course! Miniature pineapple upside down cakes! I pulled out my mini Pyrex cups and got to work melting the brown sugar and butter to make a gooey caramel, mixing together the fluffy yellow cake (from scratch, yes it is sooo easy and soooo much better than a box), and layering all the pieces together with the pineapple. Yum! I was in heaven and soon Dylan was too as the decadent smell of freshly-baked sweetness wafted from the oven. What are you making in there? I wouldn't tell him. He'd just have to be surprised. 

It just so happened that as soon as I pulled the cakes out, Dylan had just gotten off the phone and wandered into the kitchen towards the delicious smell. He practically started hopping up and down with excitement and didn't even realize what they were at first (not just cake as by the looks of them in there upside down state). We waited in agony for 10 long minutes for the cups to cool down enough to tip them over without burning our hands, which we did as fast as we could as soon as the waiting period was up. It took all my effort to take a few impatient pictures of my creation before launching into the cake with my fork as fast as possible. It was one of the best pineapple upside down cakes I have ever had. I don't know whether it was the fact it was midnight. Or that I had succeeded in mysteriously baking something in the kitchen without alerting Dylan. Or that it was my craving for something sweet finally being fulfilled. All I know is: it was damn good.




Miniature Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Makes 2 mini cakes

What you will need:
-1/3 cup brown sugar
-3 Tablespoons butter
-2 handfuls of frozen pineapple chunks or 2 pineapple rings
-(optional: 2 maraschino cherries) 
-1/2 cup flour
-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 egg
-1/3 cup sugar
-1/8 cup milk

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the brown sugar and melt on low heat until the mixture is a gooey bubbly caramel. Do not let it burn, you will ruin it, promise.

2. If you are using frozen pineapple, put the chunks into a small bowl and microwave for about 15 seconds (you're not melting them completely, just warming them up).

3. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until smooth and there are no clumps.

4. Grease your small Pyrex bowls with butter or non-stick spray. You can also us muffin tins for this.

5. Now start layering. First divide the caramel evenly between the cups, you don't have to use all of it. Add to your liking. Next, add either your pineapple ring or pineapple chunks. If you are using a cherry (for traditions sake), add it now. Next, divide the batter evenly over the pineapple and caramel up to 1/2 inch from the rim.

6. Place the cups on a baking sheet and bake for about 25-30 min. or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Depending on the oven and the amount of batter per cup, the cooking time will vary so I would check in on them every 10 min. (Don't worry the cakes won't fall if you open the oven)

7. When done, take the cakes out and let cool in their dishes for 10min. Carefully flip the cups over onto your serving plate and voila! You have 2 beautiful mini cakes just for you to indulge in. Yum!

Enjoy and as always Happy Cooking!

-Kristin

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