Having spent my early years in Nigeria where I grew up with my parents, pineapples are hardly harvested green. As a result when this amazing fruit was harvested it was ready to be cut up and served, and when served, my goodness it was oozing with tropical sweetness. Nothing like what we get today in our supermarkets which are harvested green and transported under temperate conditions over thousands of miles to ensure they look fresh when they arrive on the supermarket shelves.
Thankfully, I have the ability to see and pick a good pineapple when in the shops, this is through a combination of smell and sight. Yes, it may have to be kept in the conservatory where the sun and the heat further ripen the fruit, but on most occasions when it is cut up it is the sweet tropical fruit I loved when I was back in Nigeria. Pick a green pineapple and cut it up, and what you get is an acidic aftertaste that is not tropical in taste, nor totally sweet either. Yuk!
Pineapple can be used to bake cakes in many ways. It can be sliced and cored to make a Pineapple upside down cake, it can be used as chunks in a fresh fruit cake, but this requires extra care otherwise you will have a wet and stodgy cake, and finally you can can crush it and combine with your cake batter. This is my favourite because every mouthful of the cake will guarantee that tropical flavour. Yum! You can buy all these pineapple forms in tins which you can use, but not for me, I prefer the fresh fruit.
This led me to make a cake that combines 2 of my favourite tropical fruits, coconut and pineapple which compliment each other greatly. Again, I developed this recipe by using as many coconut ingredients as possible, the result should be a moist sponge exploding with tropical flavours. Unlike my coconut cake recipe that uses plain flour which I will post sometime in the future, this pineapple and coconut cake uses self-raising flour.
The pineapple and coconut cake recipe made was for a 6 inch tin, perfect for 2 to 4 people avoiding waste, but if you need to you can always scale up as needed.
- 125g fresh pineapple
- 70 g unsalted butter (I prefer margarine)
- 70 g caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 125g coconut milk
- 75g self-raising flour
- 30g coconut flour
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon coconut extract paste
- 80g toasted coconut (Use desiccated coconut as an alternative)
- Icing sugar to decorate
- Grease the tin and preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius
- Cut the pineapple into chunks and then crush the chunks in a mortar with a pestle
- Cream the sugar and the butter together
- Add the eggs one at a time and combine
- Combine plain flour, coconut flour and bicarbonate of soda and add to the mixture
- Add the toasted coconut, crushed pineapple, coconut milk and coconut extract paste and combine well
- Bake in the oven for between 40 and 45 minutes depending on your oven
- Once tested with a skewer and it comes out clean leave in the cake tin for 10 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack
- Dust with icing sugar once cooled and enjoy!