Sunday, October 3, 2010

Homemade Weekends

   Yes I realize this is really flirting with the weekend deadline, but I hope you'll forgive me when you see this one.  Once again this week I learned that I really need to stop watching Food Network late at night.  I say as I'm watching the season premier of The Next Iron Chef.  But last Sunday I was watching Iron Chef America and the secret ingredient was pineapple.  I love pineapple, fresh, canned, juiced, whatever.  So watching an entire episode of recipes devoted to it...well let's just say it's amazing I didn't go to the store at 2 am for some.  I was also craving cake so I turned once again to the Food Network website for a recipe.  Now I didn't want pineapple upside down cake, so I had to search through several pages to find one I wanted to try.  Which of course turned out to be a Paula Deen recipe.  I really should know by now to just automatically search for recipes by her or Alton Brown.
   The one I found is called Is It Really Better Than Sex? Cake.  Well that's a loaded question if I've ever heard one.  While I won't necessarily go that far in describing the cake, I will say it was really good and I plan to make it again.  Basically, it is yellow cake topped with pineapple, french vanilla pudding, and fresh whipped cream.  And toasted coconut if you follow the recipe completely.  I left that part off because David hates coconut and I don't like toasted coconut.  I did not feel I was missing anything, but I'm sure the coconut would have been good on top.

The Ingredients

See the whole cake after the break

   Obviously the first step is mix and bake the cake itself.  Boxed cake mix is called for, but if you are feeling super industrious you could make one from scratch.  There are enough steps for this cake that I had no problem using box mixes for this one.

Batter and Baked

   While the cake is baking, the pineapple layer gets made.  All it is is taking a can of crushed pineapple with juice and boiling it with sugar to make a syrup.  You want this mix to be ready when the cake comes out of the oven.  Why?  Because as soon as the cake is done and out you have to take a fork and poke a bunch of holes in the cake and pour the pineapple mix over it.  The holes allow the syrup to seep into the cake to add flavor and keep it moist.

Pineapple - In Pan and On Cake

   Next comes the pudding.  I didn't take and making of pics of the pudding just because I figure just about everyone is familiar with instant pudding.  When I first put the pudding on I was concerned about there being room for the whipped cream that still needed to be added.  The toppings were already threatening to overflow the pan.  But once the pudding is on the cake needs to be refrigerated until completely cool.  While cooling the cake settled quite a bit, making plenty of room for the whipped cream.  I took before and after pics to show the difference.  Pay close attention to the sides of the pan.

Before Cooling
After Cooling

   Can you see the difference?  This was my first attempt at making fresh whipped cream.  Whipped topping of some sort could be substituted for fresh if you don't feel comfortable making your own, but it was much easier than I was expecting.  And tasted much better than canned or tubed.

Whipped Cream
Cake with Whipped Cream

   I was pleasantly surprised by how pretty that turned out.  Would it have looked better with the toasted coconut?  Maybe, but again I didn't miss it.  I shared the cake with several people from work and everyone loved it.  The cake isn't too sweet and is lighter than you would think when you're eating it.  There are lots of steps, but none of them are very hard or time consuming, aside from waiting for the cake to bake then chill.  I definitely call this one a keeper and will make it again.  Now here's one last shot of just a single slice.  Sadly the whipped cream hides the layers, but it's still pretty I think.


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