When i was little, every easter, my brother and I would travel with our Dad and Step-Mum to Queensland to visit our Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles and Cousins. The myriad of cars we travelled in over the years always makes me laugh, from a mini green one called Kermit (similar to Mr Bean’s car), to a soft-top, black VW Bug that we loved to wave to our friends from when Dad picked us up rom school. The trips were no doubt an arduous task for our Dad and Step-mum, but they were very good at hiding their stress and making the trip fun for us with ham sandwiches and Mc-Flurrys. Not to mention the countless games we played on that 12 hour trip, my favourites being eye-spy or the hilarious task of sounding out all our friends and families names backwards (try it, it’s pretty funny).
Plus, there was always the exciting promise of fresh, sweet, locally grown pineapples from the Glass-house Mountains where my grandparents lived. I swear we were more interested in this healthy treat rather than the countless number of easter eggs the Easter Bunny would be leaving for us. I probably spent the majority of those two-week holidays with either a stomach-ache from too much chocolate or a numb tongue from too much pineapple.
Last week I was lucky enough to be given one of these delicious Glass-House Mountain grown pineapples by my boss, from her father’s farm. It was so big I decided to use half of it to make this cake, and, as delicious and pretty as it is, you wouldn’t think it was gluten and dairy free. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m not allergic to dairy or gluten but I enjoy the challenge of creating foods that are free of these elements, and so allowing everyone to enjoy a wider selection of yummy treats.
350g fresh pineapple, about half a large pineapple, peeled, quartered vertically, core cut out, and cut vertically in 5mm slices.
180g coconut oil, softened
200g coconut sugar, plus 2 tablespoons extra
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g gluten free plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
40g desiccated coconut
125g crystallised ginger, chopped
1 lime, cut in half and grilled, cut side down, until brown and caramelised
Whipped cream or coconut ice-cream/yoghurt, to serve
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease and line a round 20cm springform tin, it must be lined with a whole piece of baking paper as opposed to cut pieces, to prevent the juices from running out.
Heat 30g oil and extra coconut sugar in a fry pan over medium heat. Add the pineapple slices in a single layer and cook for about 5mins per side or until caramelised.
Arrange pineapple slices, overlapping, in a circular pattern, in the base of the cake tin.
Beat remaining oil and 150g coconut sugar for a good 5mins, or until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated. Then briefly beat in the lime juice and vanilla.
Add flour, baking powder and coconut and beat on low speed until incorporated.
Spoon into cake tin, over the pineapple, and smooth.
Bake for 45-50 mins, or until cake springs back when pressed in the middle.
Remove from oven, cool in tin. Can be served warm or cold.