Hello, folks, may I present an Individual Pineapple Upside-Down Cake? It was the Heavenly Cake Bakers assignment for February 1, 2010.
Pineapple ring, cherry, caramel, all on top of a tender yellow cake. The cake recipe is actually a variation of Rose's Favorite Yellow Cake recipe, although it uses muscovado sugar, yogurt, and whole eggs.
I had hoped to use fresh pineapple for this cake, but all the cute little Costa Rican pineapples in the co-op looked seriously under-ripe. My husband spent 4 years in Hawaii as a child and would never dream of letting me buy such dismal pineapples! So, we turned to canned. For cherries, I pulled out a few frozen sweet cherries, sprinkled them lightly with sugar, and let them thaw. And since I wasn't sure where to get real muscovado sugar, I went for turbinado instead, ground up in my food processor so it wasn't so coarse.
Making the caramel to put in the pans wasn't hard, but judging when it was done WAS hard. The sugar syrup is so dark already, it's hard to judge when it changes color. Good thing I have a thermometer. The canned pineapple rings obligingly fit just exactly right inside of my new jumbo muffin tins. Since some other folks had said their caramel was very thick and stuck to the pans, I added about a half-tablespoon of pineapple juice to the caramel after it reached 300 degrees, to thin it out. It seemed to work -- no sticking. Just watch out for all the steaming and bubbling!
I didn't bother glazing them with jam, just brushed some of the pineapple caramel sauce on top. Once again, it was hard to judge the done-ness of the caramel, and I think I undercooked it just a bit. It didn't taste very, well, caramel-y. The pineapple juice gave it a nice flavor, though.
These were very tasty, but they were not good keepers. The next day, the caramel sauce sank into the pineapple, and the cake got kind of soggy. They're a bit more work than a single large pineapple upside down cake, but not that much -- they'd be great for a dinner party.