Remember that mochi cake I made last week? Well, the reasons for making it were two-fold. First, I had been eyeballing that recipe ever since I got that book and, second, I’ve been planning to make this grilled pineapple upside down cake concoction for months now, and I required a cake or pound-cake-like substance to do it.
“Why on earth would someone grill pineapple upside down cake?” you ask? Well, why not? It’s summer and people are grilling things and grilling things is fun. The grill imparts a great toasty char and slightly smoky flavor to the cake and caramelizes the pineapple’s sugar, which take the cake up a notch and really just sings “summer”. Add to that a drizzle of homemade brown sugar sauce to take the place of the brown sugar glaze usually baked into the cake. Additionally, I replaced the bright maraschino cherries that are usually dotting the top of a pineapple upside down cake with a fresh cherry sauce, then finished it all off with some Talenti vanilla gelato. Any vanilla ice cream will do, I just happen to be a fan of Talenti.
I made this two ways, one as a “deconstructed cake” – layering the cake, pineapple, and sauces, with a scoop of ice cream on the side. Second, I made it as a parfait, just layering the components in a straight-sided glass. Neither was particularly photogenic. In fact, I could argue that they were both extremely UN-photogenic.
Apparently my 80-degree kithcen is not ice-cream friendly, which turned my parfait into soup in about three seconds flat. I remedied this by stashing my pineapple upside down parfait soup in the freezer to re-solidify and enjoyed it later. Despite not being much to look at, both were super delicious and I highly recommend them. If going the parfait route, though, be sure to chill your cake and pineapple first, to avoid ending up with soup.
- 1 prepared pound cake or mochi cake
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream
- Coconut oil (I love this spray from Trader Joes, which is much cheaper if you purchase it at the store) or other neutral oil
- 1 pineapple, cut into rings
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 pound cherries, washed and pitted
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste)
- zest from half of one medium lemon
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Heat grill to medium-high heat.
- Cut cake into 1/2-inch thick slices and spray with oil or brush with melted butter.
- Cook over the grill until slightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Press pineapple into brown sugar on both sides, cover and refrigerate 30 minutes, or until ready to grill.
- When ready to grill, heat grill to medium-high heat and cook pineapple 2 to 3 minutes until grill marks appear. Flip and cook other side 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat on each side, pineapple should be slightly softened and charred.
- Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Cook for 20 to 25 minutes until the cherries are dark red and the sauce has thickened - when you dip a spoon into the mixture it should be coated with a relatively thick cherry coating when you pull it back out.
- Allow to cool slightly and transfer to a 8 ounce jar or airtight storage container.
- Will keep in the fridge up to 1 month
- Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 to 10 minutes until thickened.
- Transfer to airtight storage container (I used 8 ounces but it probably made closer to 9 or 10 ounces of sauce).
- Will keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
- Either as a parfait or sundae - with cake on the bottom, topped with brown sugar sauce, pineapple, cherries, and ice cream.
* The brown sugar sauce will solidify when chilled, but can be re-warmed in the microwave for about a minute to return to its liquid state. Allow to cool slightly before assembling.
* The cherries are also great for sundae toppings, mixed into yogurt, or to make home-made Shirley Temples... or just as a snack.
* Pre-assembled parfaits can be covered tightly with plastic wrap and stashed in the freezer until serving time.
[ Cake from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts ]
[ Sauce adapted from Pioneer Woman ]
[ Cherries adapted from Bon Appetit ]