Australian Fresh Pineapple and Banana Cake with a Cheese and Buttercream Frosting and Happy Birthday Hubby.

Baby A’s busy playing in the sand and feeling free,

his little fingers running through pebbles and wet seaweeds
sand in his shoes and between his toes,
some in his wind swept hair and in his soggy clothes,
He feels no cold, doesn’t miss the sun, its only time for fun……
Well it was hubby’s birthday last week and to celebrate we all went to Lulworth Cove.  Lulworth Cove is a natural horseshoe-shaped harbour, formed approximately 10,000 years ago by the awesome powers of a river and the sea, a pebbled beach along the famous World Heritage Jurassic Coast line. 
It was a lovely day out, the sun was up, there was a pleasant chill in the air, birds soaring through the blue skies, there were little children devouring scoops of icecream piled high on sugar cones, dogs chasing waves breaking on the shore, groups of teenagers sifting through the pebbles in search of prized fossils. 
Baby A was silently taking in all these wonderful sights and smells. He then busied himself by shovelling through lots of pebbles, and tugging at sea weed. After a long walk along this beautiful stretch of coast we returned home happy, content and armed with a little collection of their favourite pebbles for memory.
 Well for hubby’s birthday, I decided to bake him a cake that he has not tried before. I chose a Linda Collister recipe (which I largely adapted), one that has been on my to do list for a long time and which originates in Australia. It is packed with the goodness of pineapple and banana. It is moist, and full of fun and flavour. Friends at home and work who tried it loved it, and asked for the recipe……so here it is …..
Recipe for an Australian Fresh Pineapple and Banana cake:
Fresh Pineapple: 200gms ( weight after peeling and coring)
Ripe Bananas: 180g ( peeled and mashed with back of fork)
Light muscavado sugar: 225 gms
Large eggs: 2 well beaten
Melted Butter:125ml
Sunflower oil: 100 ml
Self raising flour: 250gms
Baking powder: 1/2 tsp
Pinch of salt
Ground Cinnamon: 1/2 tsp
Freshly Grated nutmeg: 2 pinches

Philadelphia cream cheese: 87 gms or half a tub
Unsalted butter: 25 gms
Icing sugar: 75 gms
lemon juice: 1/2 tbsp
Cake tin: 23 cms diameter.

Preheat oven to 180C/ 350F/Gas Mark 3. Adjust temperature for fan assisted ovens.
1. Mash bananas with back of spoon. Place in a large mixing bowl.
2. Peel the outer skin of the pineapple. Remove its eyes. Remove the center core. Weigh out 200 gms of edible fruit and chop the flesh into very small pieces or use a food processor to finely chop it. Add to mashed bananas.
3. Add eggs, sugar, oil and butter (room temperature) to the bowl. Beat well to get a frosthy mix.
4. Weigh out the flour. Add salt, spices and baking powder to it. Place the dry ingredients in a siever and sieve over the wet ingredients a third at a time. Mix well to get a uniform mix. Avoid overmixing.
5. Pour into a greased baking tin and bake in the center of an oven till firm to touch or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Will take around 40-45mins. If you feel top of cake is browning too quickly cover the top of the tin with a piece of foil.
Once done take the cake out of the oven, allow to sit a for 2-3 minutes, then run a butter knife around sides of cake to release from tin, turn out onto a cooling rack. Remove baking paper from base if used and allow cake to cool completely

For frosting:
Use a electric mixer or hand whisk to beat the butter and cheese together till creamy. Add the icing sugar a tbsp at a time, beat on low speed. Finally add the lemon juice. Coat the top of the cake with frosting. Decorate with dried banana chips or glaced pineapple pieces. Serve at room temperature.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge or cool cupboard and use within 4 days.

Caysera’s tips:
1. If you cannot get hold of fresh pineapples, use canned pineapples.
2. The riper the bananas the better the flavour.
3. You may use plain caster sugar if you cannot get hold of muscavado sugar.

Carol Sequeira Pereira

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