Pineapple and coconut works really well together not only in a cocktail but also in a cake! These tropical flavours, together with the slight acidity and sourness of the lime caramel and aroma of the zest, make this the perfect afternoon tea in the park - now that the sun is finally out!
I googled 'Piña Colada Cake' - as soon as I came up with the idea - and was quite disappointed to find that I really am no pioneer! However, all other recipes, from my research, are quite different - some recipes have frosting ( I prefer my glazed caramelised pineapple topping); most (if not all) use coconut milk / coconut cream ( I much prefer the texture and in fact flavour of the dessicated coconut); most use flour ( I'm using a combination of golden polenta and ground almond); and I'm also using my favourite here - light and creamy ricotta to give this cake a final kick! So I would still like to convince myself that my Piña Colada Cake is one of its kind :)
It took me two attempts to create this recipe - I must say I'm really happy with this current version - I may try this again in due course - updated recipe will be posted, if I do decide to change it!
I used polenta instead of flour here, because, when baked, it has a beautiful rich golden-sunset colour. The cake also passes as a pineapple turnover cake, and is gluten free!
By the way it doesn't taste like the cocktail at all! Enjoy!
45g butter1 lime, juice only (reserve the rind for the main cake batter)30 ml pineapple juice (from tinned pineapple)1-2 Tbsp rum (optional)¼ tsp saltFor the cake:180g caster sugar100g ground almond100g polenta / cornmeal100g desiccated coconut (unsweetened)1 ½ tsp gluten free baking powder¼ tsp of salt3 large eggs1 lime, zest only (reserve juice for the caramel glaze)3 - 4 pineapple rings, drained (from a small 227g pineapple tin (in juice), juice reserved for the caramel)For the ricotta cream, to serve: (optional)1 Tbsp icing sugar1 - 2 tsp lime juiceZest of 1 lime250g ricotta, drained
1. Lightly grease a loaf tin (mine is about 26cm x 12cm x 7cm) with butter.
For the caramel:
2. Prepare the caramel by placing 90g caster sugar, 45g butter, juice of 1 lime, 40ml pineapple juice into a small sauce pan. Heat and bring to boil quickly, then turn the heat down to medium. Stir occasionally and remove the pan from direct fire for several seconds if it starts to bubble too much. Once the mixture thickens and has a light golden brown colour, remove from heat ( this should take about 5 minutes). Stir in the rum and salt, then pour the mixture into the greased loaf tin. Set aside and let cool.
3. Preheat the oven to 180C.
For the cake:
4. In a large mixing bowl, beat 180g caster sugar and 180g butter together until light and fluffy.
5. In a separate bowl, mix the desiccated coconut, ground almond, polenta, baking powder and salt.
6. Pour approximately 1/3 of the coconut mixture into the butter-sugar mixture. Mix well, followed by an egg. Mix well, then pour in the remainder of the coconut mixture. Mix well and then add the two remaining eggs. Mix and combine well.
7. Add the lime zest into the batter. Mix well.
8. Be sure that the caramel has cooled and hardened in the loaf tin before you continue with the following steps.
9. Line the pineapple rings directly on top of the caramel.
10. Pour the batter into the baking tray directly on top of the pineapple. Spread the batter out evenly.
11. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 45 – 50 minutes or until the cake has just set and the top is lightly golden brown. It should be slightly wobbly but cake tester inserted should come out clean.
12. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before carefully turning it over (i.e. the pineapple rings will become the top). You may need to run a blunt knife along the edge of the tin to release the cake.
For the ricotta cream (optional):
13. Combine all ricotta cream ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Refrigerate if not using this immediately.
14. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature with the ricotta cream (optional).
The picture below is my first attempt and I did not caramelized the pineapple! It just doesn't compare! ( I put it in a bag before taking the picture - in an attempt to conceal the 'ugliness' of the final product - that didn't help at all!!!!!)