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The Supreme eG Pastry and Baking Challenge (Round 1)


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I live in Canada and I've never seen a pineapple upside down cake being sold in a bakery, so I have no idea if it's an American thing or not!  :smile: The only experience I have with it is the one I made, like 10 years ago, from the Five Roses cookbook, and it had maraschino cherries. The pictures I remember seeing online usually have maraschino cherries as well--they go in the round circle in the middle of the pineapple ring. I just googled it and most of the pictures that came up look like this.

So I guess cherry in some form or another will have to stay. Too bad cherry season is over though...I may have to use frozen ones.

Thought about the challenge a bit more tonight and another idea could be to line a bowl with slices of jelly roll (with cherry or pineapple filling), then make a pineapple or cherry mousse for the center. Then I'd chill it until it was set, and unmold it so it becomes a pineapple cherry bombe. Then I'd serve it with a pinepple sage creme anglaise or something...

Ling, I think part of the appeal of the cake is the carmalization of the pineapple with brown sugar. That said, I think the jellyroll, pineapple mousse would impart the same basic taste, but you need to add brown sugar in there somewhere. I suggest the sauce. Maybe with a bit of bourbon? sorry, Canadian whisky?

I see someone has addressed the brown sugar aspect...

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this is what i'm imagining: thin layer of cake baked over a brown sugar-pineapple mixture - i.e. the pineapple 'topping' but without the pineapple; cut the cake into rings and assemble (in individual rings) with pineapple mousseline cream and thin slices of pineapple roasted with brown sugar & pink peppercorns. not entirely sure where the cherries would go - a vanilla gelato with big chunks of maraschinos? top (or fill center) with a whipped cream or bavarian flavored with kirsch & garnish with whole cherries? a nice hot pink syrup of maraschino cherry juice on the plate?

what a fun challenge! :biggrin:

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I don't have time to read this whole thread at the moment so it might have been suggested but I bought some awesome sour cherry jam at Whole Foods that might incorporate well. Not marachinos but still cherry.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Kerry... you've created a monster! This is going to be a really fun topic.

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I'd just like to reiterate something Kerry mentioned in her initial post - please add all final recipes to RecipeGullet and follow the P&B Posting Guidelines. Thanks!

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However, I've never used maraschino cherries in my pudc since they don't seem to be as readily available in Canada (plus I just think they're nasty!) as they may be in the US.  Maybe Canadians just don't like the way they taste?

They're readily available. You can get them at any grocery store - even at Walmart. How would you make a Shirley Temple without them? :blink:

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I'm lovin' this! For some reason the idea of a single-serving pudc appeals to me. I am envisioning a cherry log (compote? frozen?), with a covering of cake (pinapple sage flavor?), capped off on the ends with pineapple half circles, so the whole thing forms sort of a quonset-hut shape (for those that aren't familiar, here is what a quonset hut looks like), and served with some sort of warm caramel sauce (maybe with a kirsh kick?). I'm not very good at this sort of thing, but I do appreciate the challenge of making me "think different."

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I have made individual PUDC using those adorable mini pineapples; a cross slice fits perfectly in an 8 ou ramekin.

As for the cherries, why not make your own version? Here is a simple explanation of the process, I don't think it would be that difficult to do. I've seen cherries at the supermarket, and the fact that they aren't in season doesn't really matter, you're going to blanch/candy the hell out of them anyway.

Edited by phlawless (log)

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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Wow, so many great ideas! I don't even know how I'll be able to choose! I like both the cherry confit and homemade maraschino cherry idea. I was also thinking last night I could do cherry cardamom ice-cream. I am afraid of putting too many different flavours in the dessert, though...wouldn't want the flavours to be muddled.

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OK, I've made two decisions. One is that I'm going to be making a pineapple (maybe pineapple and pineapple sage?) mousse instead of pastry cream, and the second will be to use slices of jelly roll filled with cherry filling as the top of my dessert. That way, I can mimic the look of the round pineapple rings with red cherries.

(BTW--this presents another challenge for me. I've only attempted a jelly roll ONCE in my life, and that was many, many years ago...in my early teens. My roll cracked as I was rolling, so I gave up and haven't done another one since!)

I found a recipe for the pineapple mousse in the Eurodelices pastry book I borrowed!

Edited by Ling (log)
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Can you bake a cake on top of a tart crust? As in, you bake the tart crust, maybe pour a layer of pastry cream or something, then cake batter and bake?

You could probably do that, but another way is to blind bake your tart shell, then cut circles of cake to fit into/onto the shell. I'm pretty sure that Herme has a coffee tart recipe that is assembled like that.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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I was just reading Nick Maglieri's book Perfect Cakes and he said, don't over bake and be confident when rolling.

Mom always made us jelly rolls and she used to roll hers up in a clean towel while it was still warm. The cake was real spongy and thin. Then when it cooled she unrolled it to spread the jelly and viola.

Your ideas sound awesome.

People I know use walnuts or pecans in their pudc. Umm, and we sold them in one of the bakeries where I worked here in Memphis and I've seen them in bakeries in Chicago area & Northern Indiana growing up--just fyi.

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A TART??!! :wacko: A modernized PUDC would be a TART???!! :shock: Phhffft, I say, where's the fun at eating the leftovers when it's all in individual servings, and how does a tart crust give you that lovely syrup'ed and sodden cake mouthfeel? For shame! :angry: Ling, you are hereby requested to take these flavor updates and make a PUDC cake alongside any tarts or cake rolls which ensue, as penance for your shocking this very staid old lady. (Yes, I AM SO staid, and an old lady, past real life infamies have nothing to do with my eGullet persona, so there. :raz: )

Of course, if there are any leftover PUDC tarts, just PM me for the shipping address. :cool:

edited by me to add: well, my lively past IS good for quotes in my sig line, at least when I can make it food related it is! And, I think I can stretch a few into foodie territory! :laugh:

Edited by Rebecca263 (log)

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PUDC is a fun dessert, and some great ideas. I remember my mom making one in an electric frying pan. Years later (I want to say 5-6 years ago?) as part of the retro thing I made a huge one for a company picnic at the restaurant where I worked -- Le Cirque! Shocked the hell out of the French dudes, fond memories for the Americans, and just- plain-odd looks from the Japanese.

Speaking of the mini pineapples, why not an inside-out pineapple cake whre everything is inside the pineapple? And you could freeze it too, to really turn the thing on its head...say, a rummy pineapple mousse, caramel ice cream, warm cherry sauce.

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PUDC. Does everything have to become an acronym? :biggrin:

Regarding the pineapple and cherry question (sorry if this is late, I just got home from work), why not marinate or infuse those items? A little rum for the pineapple, or a little cinnamon for the cherries? A touch of clove perhaps?

And do something really crazy with the cake. Use one of Julia's recipes. Classic cake, wacky upside down bits.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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As one who grew up eating this very cake during the 40's and 50's I would like to add my thoughts. As I remember it the maraschino cherries were there mainly for the color and at least in our house the cake was always served with whipped cream and the beverage of choice was strong black coffee. The taste of the cherries was minimal. Looking back on it now the things that I remember most were the caramelized sauce, the pineapple, and the cake. I might suggest that it be served as a tall slice(say about 1 1/4 inch thick) of a yellow cake jelly role filled with pineapple mint mouse. The slice of cake would be topped with a brown sugar caramelized pineapple slice and a maraschino cherry in the center. A light caramelized sauce could be drizzled over the pineapple and cake. The cake could be accompanied by a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream and of course strong black coffee and wonderful conversation with good friends.

Fred Rowe

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OK Rebecca, I'll nix the tart idea. :wink:

Regarding the pineapple and cherry question (sorry if this is late, I just got home from work), why not marinate or infuse those items? A little rum for the pineapple, or a little cinnamon for the cherries? A touch of clove perhaps?

Yes, I usually add a touch of liquer to my desserts, so the pineapple was going to feature a bit of rum anyway. And for the cherries, I was going to steep them in lemon peel, orange peel, cinnamon, cloves, port wine, and perhaps star anise as well.

I love your ideas, Fwed. I'm definitely keeping the pineapple/pineapple sage mousse I mentioned upthread, and the cherry jelly roll cake. Since this is only my second attempt at a jelly roll cake (I swear, I am so nervous--I don't like failing at anything! :laugh: ) would it be more difficult to roll a cake that's filled with a thick layer of mousse? Somehow, a thin layer of cherry confit is less daunting as a filling.

I think it was gfron who mentioned an oven-dried pineapple cup. I love that idea too. Perhaps I could serve cherry ice-cream in it.

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I had a wierd idea of slicing the pineapple thinly and lining the insides of rings, then piping the cake batter inside.

To finish it I'd like to insert frozen balls of a cherry preserve/gel (capable of baking, possibly used with agar).

I was never a big fan of the pinneapple upside down cake, it seemed so domestic to me. Everytime I see it being made I cant help but take atleast 10 minutes out of my day to find a new way to make it. Same thing goes for tarte tatin.

Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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