With a 2.5kg jar of amarena in my possession I'm always on the lookout for ways of incorporating them into dishes. The idea for this recipe came from Paalo as we watched the first episode of the new season of The Great British Bake-Off. For the first challenge, the contestants had to make their signature upside down cake. Needless to say there were lots of different variations on the classic when it suddenly dawned on Paalo that what would be good is pineapple but with amarena cherries. That did sound very tempting especially as I dislike the glace cherries that are usually used.
As these cherries are especially good I didn't want to just use them as the center of a pineapple ring so I devised a different pattern that would use a lot more cherries. From the photo, you'll see that I've used pineapple quarters to create an alternating pattern. You can use fresh or canned pineapple, if you use canned slices in juice, keep the juice and add that to the cake batter instead of the milk.
pineapple, sliced into rings then cut into quarters (either fresh or canned)
Amarena Cherries, drained
150 grams soft brown sugar
75 grams butter
250 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
125 grams caster sugar
150 grams melted butter, cooled
2 eggs, lightly whisked
90mls milk, approx
Make the topping:
Add the sugar and butter into a small pan and place over a medium heat - stir until the butter has melted and the mixture has amalgamated.
Pour this into the base of a lined loaf tin - arrange the pineapple quarters and cherries decoratively into the topping - make sure it's a snug fit as the fruit will contract when cooked.
Make the cake:
Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl - pour in the cooled, melted butter followed by the lightly beaten eggs - stir and then add enough milk to form a spoonable batter.
Pour the batter carefully over the pineapple - level off the surface with a palette knife.
Put the loaf pan onto a baking tray and then place in a preheated 160°C oven until golden and cooked through - if the surface browns too quickly, cover with foil.
When cooked, let it sit in the cake tin for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a serving plate allowing any excess caramel to drizzle out before removing the loaf tin and baking paper.
I don't know how this would have faired on the Great British Bake Off but on tasting, Paalo has declared this combination a winner.