How To Make Pineapple Cake? Today I am going to show you another dish from Chinese Solitary Gourmet Taiwan, the authentic pineapple cake.
A so called authentic pineapple cake, means that it is made of pineapple from Taiwan.
An authentic one may have a different texture from those in the store. Because those pineapple cakes have half winter melon in them.
Although some of you may not have access to real Taiwanese pineapple, using only regular pineapple in the filling will result in a great flavor as well.
The ingredients for the filling are, pineapple, caster sugar and maltose syrup.
First off, prep the pineapple.
Cut off the leafy top first, so that you can hold the pineapple in your hand.
Slice off the skin along the side from it.
Use a smaller knife, carve along those brown prickly eyes, carve a v-shaped groove along the diagonal brown eyes line, and then you can easily remove those eyes.
Now cut the fruit lengthwise into quarters.
How To Make Pineapple Cake?
Remove the woody core by slicing along each quarter.
You need to cook them separately because core is harder and the fruit is tender.
Slice the fruit into thin pieces.
And then cut them into strips.
Chop them up.
Same goes for the woody core. Slice first, cut into strips.
And then dice into small pieces.
The core part is not only hard, but with a lot of fiber, so slice as thin as possible.
If you have a food processor, you can beat with the machine. Again, beat fruit and core separately.
Put those fruits together and transfer them into a the pan, cook over high heat.
Add in caster sugar.
Wait until sugar is dissolved, and the pineapple juices comes out from the fruit, turn the heat to high to reduce the mixture.
Keep cooking until the fruits become translucent and sticky, and there is no excess juices left in the pan, it’s time to add in maltose syrup.
At room temperature, maltose syrup is solid. So before you add it in the pan, preheat maltose syrup in microwave for a few seconds.
Once the maltose syrup is in, turn down the heat.
Keep cooking to reduce the juice from the fruits.
Make sure the heat is on low, and stir constantly or the mixture will get burned.
Pay a close attention to the mixture, keep cooking until you can see the mixture become pale when you flip it up, that’s a sign to tell you “it’s almost there”.
Cook for a few more minutes, until you can see the mixture get some caramelized color and become thickened, and then it’s time to remove from the heat.
Spread the pineapple filling in a plate, and leave it to cool.
You can see there’s some pineapple mixture left at the bottom of your pan, do not discard them yet. Pour in some hot water, and bring to a boil.
Add in a black tea bag, strain and then cool it in the fridge, there you have a very nice cold pineapple black tea.
Now let’s make the crust. You will need cake flour, butter, caster sugar, beaten egg, and milk powder.
Add a pinch of salt.
Combine milk powder and cake flour first.
Add in a pinch of salt, and then sift the mixture. Milk powder gives the crust a nice milky flavor, and it will make the crust even crispier.
It’s optional. If you don’t have it, just use the same amount of cake flour instead.
Now, beat the butter.
You will need softened butter at room temperature here.
Put it in a stand mixer, beat with medium to high speed for a while.
When the butter becomes pale, add in caster sugar.
Keep beating over medium to high speed for about 2-3 minutes.
Scrape down the bowl occasionally.
Keep beating until the butter doubles its size and becomes very pale, and then add in beaten egg.
Keep going just like making a butter pond cake, and make sure beaten egg is fully blended into the butter. Butter egg mixture should be separated first and then gradually comes together, smooth and creamy.
Turn down the speed to low, and spoon the flour mixture into the bowl little by little.
Switch off when all the flour is added, and do not over whip the mixture.
Use a spatula to fold until you can see no dry flour left, and it’s done.
Now the outside crust dough is done. But do not use it right away, wrap it up with a piece of cling film.
Leave it in the fridge to cool.
Right now the dough is still very sticky to touch, so we cool it down to make it easier to work with later.
So now the pineapple jam filling has been cooled completely, and it’s still very soft. Divide them into 20 equal portions.
My pineapple jam filling is about 300g in total, and I am going to make 20 pineapple cakes, so 15g pineapple jam filling each.
If you have a kitchen scale, you can weigh the filling one by one.
Use two spoons to help you spoon each portion out in the plate, and each weighs about 15g.
Try to be accurate and precise, so you will end up with equal cakes when you are done.
Now, set the fillings in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Let them cool and become a little firm, so you can wrap them in the crust later.
Now they are cooled down, roll them into little filling balls.
Lightly sprinkle flour on them.
And keep the filling balls separate from each other.
Don’t forget your dough is in the fridge now. Pay attention to the time, and do not cool it for too long or the dough will firm up.
It should be soft to touch, but not very sticky.
If it’s sticky, let it cool for a few more minutes.
Divide the dough into halves.
Roll each portion into long strip.
Divide each portion into ten equal pieces, so you will have 20 in total, same amount as the fillings.
Get one part in your hand, roll into a ball, and press it down in your palm.
Put the pineapple filling ball on top. Use your thumb to set the filling, and gently gather the edge around the part between your thumb and index finger, and pull them up. When you almost done, use your hands to roll the edge like this.
This can help you pull the edge up, so then you can seal the cake.
So repeat the process to seal the filling inside each cake. Try to keep an even crust for the cake, and do not break the crust.
If your hands are warm, the dough will become sticky again, just flour your hands and you will be fine.
Now we finish wrapping each cake, preheat the oven to 170C/338F.
Before that, let’s shape them first.
Sprinkle some flour on your counter. Press from two sides of your cake. Use your hand to roll it like this to make an even and prettier shape, like a Chinese chess piece.
For those pineapple cakes in the store, they are baked in cake tin so they come out with even size and shape.
We are doing it at home, so we can skip the tin, and use our hands to do it.
Arrange your pineapple cakes on a roasting pan, and pop them in the oven to bake for 10 at 170C/338 F.
After 10 minutes, flip.
Be very gentle. Now they are very fragile, so you can use two spatulas to help you.
Now we are done flipping each of them, put them back in the oven, bake for another 5-8 minutes at 170C/338F. So you need 15-18 minutes in total.
Once they are golden on both sides, they are ready.
Cool them first, and then seal to store.
On the next day, you can see that the crust become a little oily, and they are very crispy and flaky.
A pineapple cake tastes the best right now. Using only pineapple as the filling, you can see some candied floss in it.
Pineapples are rich in fiber, so you have a very beautiful fruit jam inside.
The cakes have some acidity in it, and full of tangy flavor. The flavors are real, definitely not the same as those in the store.
Compared to those with winter melon and pineapple filling in it, real pineapple cakes have a bit more fruity taste and a better texture.
I hope you can give this Taiwanese dessert a try at home.
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