There’s something quite brilliant about a fresh pineapple don’t you think? I don’t really know what exactly it is that attracts me so much, it could be the smell or the texture, it could be the fact that they just taste so much better than their tinned counterparts or perhaps it could just be that it’s a ridiculous shape and I always think it would look good as a hat, but whatever it is I do love them. When we saw them recently in our not-so-local supermarket at a price I deemed acceptable it was soon whisked from the ‘panier des fruit exotique’ and into my trolley. As I was already in the area of ‘exotique’ i felt it would be rude not to pick up a mango or two as well.
Of course when it got home it took pride of place in the fruit bowl and did little else but preen itself in front of the non-exotic fruit in the bowl for a few days until I finally hacked it open and small one and I devoured half of it in one sitting. Our needs sated for the moment the rest of it was consigned to the fridge to await it’s fate.
Once more my thoughts turned to cake, as they often do, and the immediate thought was for a ‘gâteau d’ananas inverse’* , but I’ve made quite a few of those recently and delicious as they are I was hankering for something a little…..different. A quick reconnoiter of the fruit bowl showed me a couple of bananas that should have been eaten already, a solitary orange and the as yet untouched mango. Game on 🙂
*pineapple upside-down cake sounds so much more elegant in French.
Apologies about the quality of pictures for this post. Out of necessity ( I’d temporarily misplaced my camera…) they were taken on the iPad and they are a little on the dark side.
Tropical Fruit Cake
85g Butter ( softened )
1 medium Egg
2tsp Baking Powder
2 ripe Bananas
100ml Creme Fraiche
50-100g Icing sugar ( for glaze )
Cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then beat in 1 egg.
Gradually fold in the flour and baking powder until combined.
In a separate bowl mash the 2 bananas and stir in the creme fraiche. Grate in the rind of 1 orange, then chop in half scoop out the flesh and add to the ‘wet’ bowl.
This is not the easiest thing in the world to do, but if possible separate the flesh from the segment skin, as this can give a bitter taste and it’s just not that pleasant to chew. Put aside the other half of the orange for later.
Peel and chop the mango- again not the easiest thing to do as I still haven’t found a satisfactory kitchen gadget to peel and stone a squishy mango and it always gets very messy! I try and peel it over the ‘wet’ bowl so any escaping juice gets into the cake mix rather than wasted.
Next finely dice the pineapple, add to the bowl and mix well.
When the ‘wet’ bowl is well mixed, add it to the large bowl and stir until the mixture is fully combined.
Grease and line an …… Cm square tin and pour the batter in and allow to settle for a few minutes before covering with baking paper (for the first 45 minutes of baking time) and placing in an oven preheated to 170 degrees.
The cooking time on this cake is a around an hour. You don’t want the cake to be completely dry in the middle when cooked as it’s the moisture that really develops the flavours after you take it out of the oven. Conversely you don’t want it to be too runny either…. At around about the hour mark poke a wooden skewer into the centr of the cake and pull it out. You should feel a certain amount of cling when you pull it out, but there should be no mixture left on the skewer. That’s when you take it out and rest it in the tin for 5 minutes, while you mix up the glaze.
For the glaze you will need the juice from the other half of your orange and combine with the icing sugar. I’ve been a little woolly about the amount of icing sugar you will need for this for a couple of reasons as it largely depends on the size of orange you have and the amount of juice you can get out of it. The glaze needs to be translucent and runny so it can be poured over the top of the cake while it’s still warm. (The other reason is that I was making it whilst chatting to a friend and completely forgot to measure the amount.)
After about 20 minutes remove the cake from the tin and allow to cool completely. Now whilst the great temptation is to eat it straight away I would strongly recommend leaving it overnight before cutting in as the taste of the fruit develops when allowed to sit for a while. In fact the longer you can leave it the better as the individual flavours come into their own over the course of a few days.
This is a very heavy, dense rich fruit cake which will last for up to a week if stored in an an airtight container, wrapped in greaseproof paper, between nibbles.