Tropical Fruit Cake
A delicious layer of pineapple really adds some oomph to a simple cake recipe. Native to the lowlands of Brazil and the Caribbean, pineapples were first discovered by Spanish conquistadors who deemed them reminiscent of a pine cone – hence the name. In reality though this is just one of the fantastically tropical Latin American flavours we love, many of which would make a good substitute here: depending on your taste, you could try this recipe with papaya, guava or mango (an import, but one whose flavour has been right at home in Latin America for centuries).
1 fresh pineapple (or 1 tin of pineapple)
215g unsalted butter
275g caster sugar
225g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C or gas mark 4 and grease the cake tin with butter (choose a tin with a solid base, around 22-25cm).
3. Dissolve 100g of caster sugar into a couple of spoons of water, over a low heat. Bring to the boil and leave until the sugar has turned to caramel. Add 40g butter and swirl into the caramel. Once blended, pour the mixture in the cake tin and leave to cool.
4. Prepare the fruit, slicing into wedges, or, if using tinned fruit, drain well. Arrange the pieces evenly in the cake tin, on top of the caramel.
5. Cream the remaining 175g of butter and 175g of sugar until you've made a fluffy mixture. Beat the eggs and gradually work into the mixture. Mix and sieve the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt, and fold into the cake mixture. Add the milk and mix evenly.
6. Spoon the cake mixture over the fruit slices and bake. The cake should be ready after around 45 minutes, but to test simply push a skewer into the cake: once it comes out clean, the cake is ready. Allow to cool, then turn out and serve.