Pineapple buttermilk cake

After the dried lemon interlude, I was still in the mood for something light and tangy. We had some buttermilk sitting around in the fridge, so I adapted this recipe from my handy 2009 delicious.Baking book.

Instead of apricots as recommended in the recipe, I used some lovely ripe pineapple.

Here’s a close-up of that topping, with fresh pineapple, lemon juice and chopped almonds. Luscious, no?

And here is my adaptation: 

  • 175g butter, very soft
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 200g castor sugar
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • 3 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Some pineapple for topping, sliced thinly – the exact amount depends on the surface area of your cake, which depends on the size of your cake tin
  • 2 tsp mild runny honey
  • 50g almonds – either the flaked sort, or chopped, to sprinkle on top
  • A slice of lemon, for squeezing the juice over the top
Appreciate that buttery, dairy, lemony goodness:

Then back to business. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Mix together the dry ingredients:

Then your wet ingredients.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Whizz. Or – if taking the low-tech route – beat with a wooden spoon, as if making pancakes.

Pour the mixture into the tin. Arrange the pineapple artistically on top. Drizzle the honey over it with a spoon, squirt the lemon juice, and then sprinkle the almonds on top.

Bake at 180C for about 40 minutes – the exact time depends on the dimensions of your tin, and the quirks of your oven.

If you leave the cake sitting around for more than a day, it does dry out a bit, so the yogurt honey cream goes really well. You make it like this:

  • Mix equal amounts of heavy cream and thick yogurt.
  • Add some more of that runny honey – like, a couple of tablespoonfuls, depending on how sweet you want it.
  • Beat to ensure it’s well mixed in.
  • Serve on the side. Mmmm.

When I made this, it was still Chinese New Year, and we had quite a bit left over from the first onslaught. I thought of turning the remainder into a trifle, with the cake on the bottom, orange or pineapple juice sprinkled over it, then orange jelly over it, then custard, and finally – here’s the seasonal touch – peeled mandarin segments.

But somehow (as usual) the leftovers were decimated. So that’s an idea for another time.

By the way, I’m always amazed how Bangkok supermarkets manage to sell hugely expensive fruit from temperate climes, when there is perfectly lovely and cheap tropical fruit available everywhere. You know what? I blame those beautifully photographed cookbooks. People look up stuff and feel they must, MUST, have apricots. Because it says so in the recipe!

No way am I paying 270 baht (that’s US$8.70!) for a punnet of blackberries (or similarly overpriced fruit) at Villa Market, when I can have my loved ones forage in the woods on their holidays.

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