I have possessed Warm Bread and Honey Cake by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra for over 12 months. Despite it being one of the most beautiful baking books that I own, I had not, until recently, baked anything from it. This is not because there was nothing I wanted to bake out of it - to the contrary, I would happily make everything in this book, given the time and inclination. It was just one of those things where time got away, and I had many other competing things to make.
My motivation to finally make a recipe from Warm Bread and Honey Cake came from a pineapple in my fridge. That pineapple had arrived in my Aussie Farmers Direct fruit and vegetable box, but had languished in the fridge for quite some time before I decided I had to either use it or throw it out. The pineapple inspired me to make the cover recipe, an Ananastaart or Pineapple Tart, really being a cake from the South American country of Surinam, which until I had this book, I had never heard of before.
This pineapple tart is comprised of a pastry base, which is covered with homemade pineapple jam, then finally topped with a light and airy sponge cake batter.
My cake nearly suffered an ignominious end, as it slipped off the cake cooling rack face down onto the floor. I had expected the whole cake to explode into a million irretrievable pieces; however, thanks to the exceptionally springy nature of the sponge, it survived intact, with only a couple of little cracks in the top to indicate that anything had ever happened:
To make this delightful cake, you need to start out by making the pineapple jam, for which you need:
250g fresh or canned, drained pineapple250g sugar
juice of 1/4 lemon
Sterilise a jam jar by boiling in water and drying thoroughly. Set aside.
Chop the pineapple coarsely, then blitz it to a puree in a food processor. In a large, heavy-based saucepan, place the pureed pineapple, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then simmer for ~ 5-10 minutes or until the jam passes the "set" test - ie place a glob of jam on a cold plate that has been chilled in the fridge, then place the plate with the glob of jam back into the fridge for a couple of minutes. Run your finger through the glob of jam - if it wrinkles and doesn't run to fill the gap, you have reached setting point. Pour the jam into the sterilised jar, seal it and allow the jam to cool completely.
To make the pineapple tart pastry, you will need:
1 cup plain flour1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon icing sugar
75g chilled, cubed butter
1 egg yolk
2-3 tablespoons cold water
Sift the flour, salt and icing sugar into a large bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. In a cup, mix the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of water, then add to the flour mixture and combine it with your fingertips to make a smooth pastry, adding extra water if needed (I did). Shape the pastry into a flattened disc, and chill it for 30 minutes in the fridge.
Remove the chilled pastry from the fridge and roll it into a circle of 11inches in diameter. Grease a springform tin, and line it with the pastry, pressing the edges against the side. (Don't cut the edges off like I did! They help to hold the tart together.) Chill in the fridge while making the cake batter.
To make the cake, you will need:
150g sifted plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs plus 1 egg white
grated zest of 1/4 lemon
75g melted butter
Place the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a stand mixer, whisk the eggs and egg white, sugar and lemon zest together until thick and pale. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour in two batches, then add the melted butter and mix until the flour and butter are fully combined into the batter.
Remove the pastry base from the fridge. Spread the pastry with 250g of the pineapple jam that you made earlier, then top evenly with the cake batter. Place the tart into the oven to bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is golden brown. Remove the tart from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before unclipping the side of the springform pan and placing the tart on the springform pan base onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Just before serving, dust the top of the tart with icing sugar.