Syrupy is not the order of the day here. Using nearly half the sugar found in most recipes, keeps this cake from making the beer seem thin; caramelizing the sugar in a skillet creates a rich sugar flavor in place of the sweetness.
The fruit is the real star here; fresh pineapple is far more complex than canned, as its rich floral flavors are lost in the processing. The vibrant citrus and pine hop character of Alpha King demands an equally vibrate partner. Cranberries, in place of the typical florescent cherries, are used as the garnish; they look better and their low bitter flavor compliments the bitterness of the beer.
|Aroma: medium baked pineapple, low buttery cake|
|Flavor: medium-low pineapple is sweet with a very low acidity, very low caramel, medium rich buttery cake, occasional bitter tart cranberry burst, overall low sweetness. medium buttery cake flavor lingers with low pineapple and cream notes supporting|
|Texture: soft spongy cake, juicy tender-firm pineapple|
|Pairing: The citrus aromas and flavors are suppressed after a bit of cake leaving medium crackery malt and pine hops, bitterness presents as medium, low grainy malt lingers with low pine. The cake seems sweeter after the beer, with a prominent toasted flour flavor in even balance with the butter and pineapple; with the butter less dominant the pineapple seems juicer, rich butter still lingers in aftertaste of cake, but there is a low lingering hop bitterness that balances it and make one crave a sip of beer.|
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
A food processor makes this cake come together in a snap. You can also cream the butter and sugar with a mixer or by hand; you’ll want to use softened butter and add the vanilla with eggs. A cast iron skillet is great for this cake as it is sure to release the cake, but any oven safe 2-3 inch deep skillet will work.
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
~7 pineapple rings
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
1 t vanilla
160 g eggs (about 3 large)
3/4 t salt
2 t baking powder
60 g (1/4 cup) milk
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Heat 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat; add 80 g butter and 100 g sugar. When butter has just melted, stir together then leave undisturbed; once it starts to bubble cook 1 more minute, till sugar is light tan.
- Arrange pineapple rings atop caramel and cook another minute. Remove from heat and place cranberries in open spaces.
- In a food processor, cream 160 g butter, vanilla and 100 g sugar for 2-3 minutes, until mixture becomes slightly pale, scrapping once or twice if necessary. Pulse in eggs one at a time.
- Combine flour, salt and baking powder. Add ½ flour mixture and pulse to combine.
- Add milk, pulse, then add remaining flour mixture and pulse to combine.
- Drop spoonfuls of batter over fruit in skillet, spread evenly with an off-set spatula and bake 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool 10 minutes. Invert onto serving plate and serve warm with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream.