Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Forever Nigella #23 Nostalgia & Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Forever Nigella... my favourite blogging event, not that I need an excuse to don my silky dressing gown, open one of the Goddess's tomes, and whip up something delicious (well, maybe I lied about the silky dressing gown...)

The theme this month is 'Nostalgia' and although I entered a rather cobbled together cheesecake that was loosely based on one of La Lawson's earlier in the month, I have been hankering for making the Pineapple Upside Down cake from Express for some time now, and it seemed to fit with the theme for this month.

I don't have any nostalgic memories of Pineapple Upside Down cake myself - my pudding memories (for this, surely, is a 'pudding' type of cake) centre around milk puddings, both warm (in the form of rice pudding, sago, semolina), and cold (mainly blancmange). But the fact that I don't have any memories of it doesn't mean that it doesn't conjure up retro thoughts in my mind - perhaps I'm wishing that my childhood had featured such a delight. Also, a lot of the nostalgia I have connected to Nigella's recipes relate to the time when I was cooking my way out of the funk I got myself in when Blue was so ill. This month saw the anniversary of his diagnosis, and I've already dwelled on it (not on here - I wouldn't put you through any more of that than I do already!) enough, so this is about creating nostalgic memories for my children, rather than looking back myself.

I decided to make it for pudding last night as it was my turn to host the Monday night hordes for tea. A particularly scrummy Good Food ham and pea pesto pasta from March 2013's issue (which I wholeheartedly commend) followed by this beauty of a cake.

I have a quick turnaround on a Monday evening if I'm hosting - we don't get home till just before 5 and have to be out again at 6.15 for Cubs. And yesterday, due to a work meeting and a surprise after school 'open day' (well, everyone else knew about it - it was just a a surprise to me!) I had no chance to get any prep done beforehand. I thought wicked (and possibly more sensible) thoughts about the emergency fishfingers in the freezer, but no. The meal plan said pasta and cake, pasta and cake it was going to be.

Fortunately, the cake lived up to the 'Express' moniker (the pasta did too, but more about that another time). I only had a springform cake tin, but I disregarded the stern instruction NOT to use spring form, and simply lined my tin with greasproof. Job done.

Apart from faffing around with greaseproof paper to make up for my inadequately stocked cake tin cupboard (I feel a virtual trip to Lakeland coming on), it was dead, dead easy - you line the tin first with a sprinkling of sugar, than with your pineapple and cherries. The batter is a quick whizz in a food processor, smooth it over the fruit, whack it in the oven and bingo:

It was a big hit too - so maybe, just as Nigella fondly recalls the pineapple upside down cake she ate at the home of a friend of her grandmother's, may be my children, and their friends who were with us for tea, will recall this in years to come...

This month's Forever Nigella event is hosted by The Botanical Baker on behalf of Sarah from Maison Cupcake


  1. Ahhh me too on the spam RJ. Just under 1,000 page views on Sat on one random page and about the same amount of comments too. I nearly died!

    Anyway. this cake is a go-to one for me, I really love it, we all do. It's easy and great warm. Makes you feel better just looking at it. x

  2. We are thinking of merging our Nigella event with "Forever Nigella" in June but we (with the consensus of all hosts) have eventually decided not to... Having this coming event in my mind, I have been reading a lot of Nigella's books lately and I reckon you have nailed the nostalgic theme very well as this cake fits perfectly into the theme :D


  3. I remember this from my childhood also - so delicious and great fun!
    mary x

  4. This cake doesn't conjure up nostalgia for me either (it was more Butterscotch Angel Delight for me) but it looks gorgeous and comfortingly retro. Can I come with you on the virtual Lakeland trip please RJ?!

  5. Sounds scrummy! And looks so pretty. xx

  6. Crikey, I haven't had a pineapple upside down cake for decades, thanks for reminding me how much I love it.
    Mind you, Nick and my dad both hate it so if I made one I would have to eat it all myself.....wonder if I could freeze chunks of it?
    I can recommend an immediate trip to Lakeland, virtual or in person, I bought some real bargains in their end-of-line sale recently and they always seem to have a 3-for-2 offer going on their baking tins......and a girl can NEVER have too many cake tins (not while there's still room in the cupboard !!)

  7. I have never had a pineapple upside down cake and like you have earmarked my Nigella Express to try it out sometime. Looks very yummy.... I really don't know what I'm waiting for!!


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