Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I made this yesterday afternoon and it turned out brilliantly!  Needless to say, there's not a crumb left today.  This cake is not overly sweet, and has a soft, spongey texture.  If you love pineapple or tropical flavours, then you'll adore this cake.

1 1/2 cups plain flour
6 teaspoons baking powder
3 egg whites, lightly whisked by hand
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce (you can also use sweetened sauce)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
7 canned pineapple rings in natural juice, with 1/2 cup of juice reserved
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 teaspoons butter, melted

Pre heat oven to 180C.

Spray a 23cm round non-stick cake tin with canola or vegetable oil cooking spray.

Combine the brown sugar and melted butter in a bowl.  Stir in 2 teaspoons of the reserved pineapple juice until the mixture is syrupy.

Spread the mixture over the base of the prepared cake tin, and arrange the pineapple rings over it (take care and work neatly as the 'bottom' will become the top when you invert the cake once it's cooked).

In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together.

In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the egg whites by hand then mix in the apple sauce, sugar, vanilla paste and remaining pineapple juice.  Mix well by hand.

Pour the apple sauce and egg mixture into the dry ingredients, stir until combined, then beat with an electric mixer until it is completely smooth.

Pour the mixture over the pineapple rings in the prepared cake tin.

Bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.  Don't worry if the cake looks pale - this is perfect as long as the cake is cooked through.

Place the cake in its tin onto a wire rack and cool briefly.  Do not leave the cake to cool for a long time as the sugar syrup will harden making it very difficult to invert the cake.

Place a serving plate over the base of the cake tin, and very carefully invert the cake onto it and remove the tin.

The cake is best served warm with some freshly made chantilly cream.


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