Monday, 24 December 2012

Pineapple Praline Gateau ☆☆☆ Christmas Special ☆☆☆

 Merry Christmas 

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Everywhere you go;

But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be

On almost every front door."

Merry Christmas

With all the Christmas spirit & indulgences, here's to cooking & baking but surely eating our way into a fantastic beautiful new year! This is a special cake which I originally baked for my sis-in-law for her Birthday. I am crazy about nuts and I love almonds & cashews & hazel nuts & the list goes on, ergo goes without saying that I loved my first hand experience with praline cake. The cake came out well, it was gorgeously moist and crunchy at the same time. This cake  could be a show stopper for any occasion. I am sure you will enjoy making this and eating it too :) 

Pineapple Praline Gateau
Recipe adapted from MariasMenu
Pineapple Praline Gateau  ☆☆☆ Christmas Special ☆☆☆

For the sponge
¾ cup Plain flour
1 cup + 1 Tbsp Powdered sugar
Eggs 4 (room temp )
1 Tbsp Cornflour
1½ tsp Baking powder, leveled
1½ tsp Vanilla extract
1 Tbsp Water

For the icing
1½ cup Whipping cream
2-3 Tbsp Icing sugar
1 tin Canned pineapple (570 gm)

For the praline
½ cup Sugar
1 cup Chopped cashew

To make the sponge:
  • Prepare and line two, 7 inch round baking tins. Grease the tins generously as there is no other fat used in the cake batter. Preheat the oven to 180 C/160 C fan/gas 4.
  • Sieve and collect the plain flour with baking powder and cornflour in a bowl.
  • Separate the white and yolks of the eggs.
  • Beat the egg yolks with powdered sugar, vanilla extract and water, till it is of thick consistency.
  • Beat the egg whites till it form stiff peaks.
  • Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture, alternately with the flour, baking powder and cornflour mixture, very carefully and without allowing the bubbles to subside.
  • Pour the batter into both prepared tins. Level the cake and bake immediately in the preheated oven for 15-18 mins.
  • Remove the cake from the tin soon after taking it out of the oven and invert them on a greased parchment sheet. Let the cake cool completely.
To make the whipping cream:
  • Whip the cream and add the icing sugar gradually until soft peaks form.
To make the praline:
  • Heat sugar in a non stick pan with 1-2 tbsp water, when sugar  caramelizes, add the chopped cashew nuts.
  • Make sure the nuts are coated well with the caramel.
  • Pour the praline onto a baking/parchment paper. Let it cool. Crush them using a rolling pin.
Assembling the cake:
  • Drain the juice from the pineapple tin and use it to moisten the cake. Cut the pineapple into small pieces. (If you want a taller cake then cut each sponge into two layers and moisten each layer with the pineapple syrup.)
  • Spread whipped cream on each layer and sprinkle chopped pineapple pieces and crushed praline.
  • Place another cake/sponge layer on top of this and repeat this process, till all the layers are done.
  • Spread the whipped cream on the top and sides of the cake. Put the praline on the sides and top. Garnish with pineapple pieces and cream. Keep in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Serve chilled.
Notes: The cake is indeed very moist and soft. You can store it in the fridge for 2 or 3 days in an airtight container.

The below notes from Marias menu were indeed very helpful, so sharing the same here too. "It is better to beat egg whites first and egg yolks later, if you are using the same electric beater for both.
Make sure you fold in the batter gently, otherwise the cake/sponge will become hard. The texture of the sponge very much depends on the folding of the egg whites into the batter. Grease the tins and the baking/parchment paper generously. Since there is no fat used in the batter, the cake tends to stick on to the tin, if it’s not greased well. Make sure you remove the cake from the baking tins, as soon as you take it out of the oven, otherwise the cake will shrink.
You can skip the praline if you don not like it and just make it a pineapple pastry. You can use fresh pineapple also, but cook it with some sugar and use it. Make a sugar syrup to moisten the cake, if you are using fresh pineapple. To make sugar syrup, take ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water and let it boil, till the sugar melts." 
Thank you Maria for this gorgeous baking recipe.

                                            ♥ Thank You ♥

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