This week’s obsession: A Pineapple Welcome
There’s an inside joke amongst my family about finding a pineapple at the end of your bed. It stems from a fun experience during my childhood where we would visit the archetypical plantations of southern Louisiana and absorb as much of the history, culture, and grandeur as we could from these marvelous pieces of history.
During one visit to a plantation, our tour guide told us the story of each visitor being welcomed with a pineapple in their guest rooms upon arrival (and what a cute welcome they are! I love these little things!). However, once a guest had overstayed their welcome, the pineapple would be placed at the end of their bed so they would know that it was time to pack up. In my opinion, while it’s a bit passive aggressive, it's also an effective way of communicating your message. So now whenever my family and I visit each other, we joke about the pineapple being placed at the end of the guest bed on the day of arrival, or worse, being greeted at the door with it :D
Now on one of my most recent adventures on the island, I was on a boat that brought us out to several snorkeling spots over the course of a morning. In between each spot, some of the crew would bring around a plate of chopped pineapple for snacks (causing me to immediately contemplate jumping overboard because I thought maybe I overstayed my welcome) before we snorkeled around at the next spot. I eagerly took a piece each time it was offered, because you know… #itsdelicious but my man candy politely refused it. The crew member nodded knowingly at him and said “yeah, I guess you get kinda pineappled out when you live here.” And that’s when the horror sank in. Allow me to take you through my thought process for the next few seconds:
“We will be moving off this island in the spring/summer…”
“The island is abundant with pineapple…”
“I need to eat all of the pineapple before I leave this island…”
“And I need to do it in any form I can…”
Which brings me to this cake. In my desperation to consume all things pineapple I pounded out a pineapple upside down cake without the pineapple (why without the pineapple, you ask? Good question. The whole point of making this cake was to consume more pineapple, and I just… didn’t. I guess we’ll never know.) but I still made the amazing butter and brown sugar mixture that the pineapple on the bottom is supposed to bake in. Stupidly, I decided to mix this delicious butter/sugar delight in as a tasty swirl throughout the beautiful cake batter (oh, NOW I remember why I decided not to put pineapple in the recipe. I was doing all of this while my coffee was brewing that morning and I was making one dumb decision after the next… like mixing in extra melted butter into my cake recipe #facepalm A huge problem for the chemistry part of baking. I’ll spare you the lesson and will say: just don’t do it..) and baked it without a care in the world. Needless to say, my cakes came out as a huge goopy mess when I finally pulled them out of the oven that morning.
Mind you, I was well caffeinated by the time they finished baking so I had come to the realization that this would happen and I was well prepared for what was coming out of my oven. And I have to say, that goopy mess was #delicious. I mean, it doesn’t get better than a hot pineapple cake with gooey, caramelized butter and sugar just melting out of the pan and bewitching you into eating all of it because it’s practically the #breakfastofchampions (or #breakfastofpastrychefs in this case). I exercised extreme self control in this instance and only ate some of it because I could see that most of this cake was salvageable and tasty.
I baked a second round of pineapple-upside-down-cake-without-the-pineapple (and this time, without the butter/sugar swirl) to supplement the required height of this cake, tried a new recipe for pineapple curd (which sucked, to be quite frank. Not every recipe is a winner, remember that!), mixed that curd with my buttercream and some extra pineapple juice to make it taste better, and got to work on the outer pineapple décor (melted chocolate bark that I dyed several shades of yellow for the pineapple "scales", and a green construction paper crown) while my stacked cake rested in the refrigerator.
All in all, even though I was frustrated with most of the steps involved with this cake I’m glad I didn’t give up. It’s not as polished and neat as I normally like my cakes to look, but it definitely gets the pineapple point across! As for my tip of the week, I’ll let this photo that I took speak for itself:
Happy eating, y'all! And when in doubt: Be a pineapple!