Pin now bake later… this happens day after day I scroll through my Pinterest feed drooling over delicious desserts that I think I would one day like to make. This cake was like many before it was added to my “Coconut” board on a Sunday evening pinning session when something special happened. I was scanning through the list of ingredients to see if I had everything or not, the usual flour, sugar butter, eggs are always on hand in my pantry ready to go so no problems there. I spot a tin of pineapple on the list and recall buying a can a few months ago for a curry from Jamie Oliver’s 15min Cook Book. It had a few unusual ingredients I could never source so never got around to making it, great this tin of pineapple has found a tasty new home!
I keep looking sure I will find something I don’t have, coconut, yes, nuts, yes I have some almonds that will work. Evaporated milk now this is something I wouldn’t normally have on hand however whilst I was doing the groceries just two days ago I purchased some on a whim. This has to be FATE a quick check of the clock and I decide yes this is going to happen there’s enough time before bed and I’m up!
The fantastic thing I found with this recipe once I got started was that it was very simple to follow and followed the chuck everything in and mix method which is surely fool proof and handy late on a Sunday night. All you need to do it is put all the cake ingredients in a bowl Pineapple and its juice, sugar, eggs, flour, baking soda, Vanilla and stir!
Don’t be fooled about how dry the mix may seem when you start stirring, I thought for a moment I may have to add more liquid however as I kept mixing the juice came out from the pineapple and the sugar started dissolving and after a minute came together to a lovely consistency.
This recipe is best made in a cake tin with the expandable side with separate base so you can pour the topping on top of the cake and let soak in and then remove the side and even serve on the base if it’s too soft to try and move off of it.
Whilst it’s in the oven we can get started on the topping I am using whole almonds as this is what I have on hand, (a perfect cup left!) I chop them roughly and measure out the coconut also. I get the butter melting on the stove top and add in the sugar and evaporated milk and let it all melt and dissolve together. Once it’s dissolved you can turn off the heat and stir in the coconut and almonds and leave till the cake has finished baking. (Now is a good chance for a sneaky taste test too!)
The bake time on the original recipe was 40 mins at 350F which is approx. 180C I find I prefer to bake cakes at a lower temperature, “low and slow” is a motto I usually stand by especially when baking mud cakes. So today I decide 170C (in a non-fan forced oven) and found it took just over an hour.
You start to look out for the cooking signs depending on what you are making, first rule is you don’t want to be opening the oven door too many times during the bake so as long as my cake is bigger than a 6 inch round (standard recipes you find online are generally for a 9inch or 23cm round tin) then I know it’s going to take at least 40-1hr so I won’t even open the oven to check for min 40mins. Of course if you smell smoke or see that it’s not cooking evenly then its best to open the oven and adjust where the cake is positioned.
First check is a quick wobble test, open the oven door and move the tin, if you see the cake move then it’s still got a liquid centre and going to need a lot longer, no need to pull it out just shut the door and set the timer for 10-20mins depending on how wobbly. When it’s lost the wobble I may start to do a 5-10min timer and each time pull it out and do the skewer test through the middle to see if it’s cooked through. On first check it’s still come out gooey so back in the oven and set the time for 10mins.
Next check skewer comes out clean so we are ready to pour over our syrupy coconut mixture over the top and let it soak in, I decide that I like my coconut and nuts toasted so I decide to pop it back in the over for 5mins and then turn the grill on and get a light golden toast to the top of the coconut.
Cakes that have a syrup finish are always so moist and best enjoyed straight away while its warm and gooey! I can’t wait and remove the side of the tin. Beware here if you don’t wait 30mins of so for it to soak in you will have overflow. (the bench got a little bit messy here!) I decide to leave it on the base of the tin as it’s still warm and soft so don’t want it to break. I place on a white stand and ta da done, it looks amazing!