Pineapple & chocolate are a perfect pairing and this delicious mud cake was inspired by a very Kiwi confectionery (Pineapple Lumps). White chocolate & pineapple give the cake a lovely golden-yellow colour. Using a white chocolate that has cacao solids seems to make it easier to work with (and it tastes great). Roasting the pineapple intensifies the tropical flavour of the fruit and with the addition of the freeze-dried powder, this cake is very fragrant and pineapple-y. The yoghurt in the ganache lends a lovely tang to the chocolate topping, though it can be omitted, and the cream quantity doubled. The cake keeps well but most likely won’t last long enough to need storing.I created this cake for our local newspaper, The Gisborne Herald. Munching on a bag of Pineapple Lumps (yep, you read that right…… one pineapple lump isn’t enough and before I know it, unless someone confiscates the bag, I can eat my way through the whole bag. I feel pretty awful afterwards though). But back to the subject, munching on a couple of Pineapple Lumps got me thinking about make a cake with an intense pineapple flavour and coating it with glorious dark chocolate ganache. The first few efforts were quite solid and dense but as the recipe testing progressed, the cake improved. The family (AMML anyway, the P didn’t fancy this cake: too rich he said (like that was a problem??)).
If you can’t get hold of freeze-dried pineapple chunks, you could use Pineapple Lumps (just make sure to give the rest of the bag to someone responsible (ie not me)) or make Pineapple Flowers. I made some of these but I think my pineapple was a little too ripe as it was very difficult to cut into thin slices, I sort of just got some pineapple mush. The few slices that were salvageable, I forgot they were in the oven and they got a bit too overdone. I’ll try pineapple flowers another day when I don’t have any delicious freeze-dried pineapple chunks to show-off (note that I didn’t receive any products in the making of this cake, they were all purchased on my whim and with my own pennies (actually The Anster’s pennies more like it but what’s his is mine).
I stored this cake on the cake stand beneath a glass dome lid. Each time someone passed the kitchen bench, a sliver was shaved off. My friend visited and looked at the cake quite enviously but she is working really hard on a special eating program and this cake definitely didn’t fit within the confines. Each time the cake is made, it lasts perhaps two days….. and it is a large cake. We have a household of six, one of which doesn’t like the cake (huh??). Don’t make it if you have weak willpower and love Pineapple Lumps. I can’t make it again too soon as I am trying to lose the “lumps” gained from trying all the different versions in the testing process (well someone had to, right?).
Roasted Pineapple & White Chocolate Mud Cake with Dark Chocolate & Yoghurt Ganache
Roasted Pineapple & White Chocolate Mud Cake
1 x fresh ripe pineapple
2 Tbsp brown sugar
200 g butter
400 g white chocolate (28% cacao solids)
230 g (1 cup + 2 T) raw sugar
140 g (1/3 cup + 3 T) roasted pineapple purée
125 g (1/2 cup) unsweetened apple purée
3 large eggs
345 g (2 ¾ cups) standard flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp freeze-dried pineapple powder
Dark Chocolate & Yoghurt Ganache
75 ml cream
250 g dark chocolate (50% cacao solids)
75 ml natural unsweetened yoghurt
Chocolate coated Pineapple Chunks
100 g bittersweet chocolate (72% cacao solids)
20 g freeze-dried pineapple chunks
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Grease & line a 25cm loose-based round cake tin.
Peel, core and roughly chop the pineapple. Place in a glass or ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle over the brown sugar. Roast, stirring once or twice, until fragrant and just beginning to caramelise (about 20 minutes). Remove from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 150ºC. Set the pineapple aside to cool a little. Puree pineapple and juices in the blender. Scrape the purée into a sieve set over a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the juices to drain from the pulp.
Measure the pineapple juice and make up to 1 2/3 cups (415 ml) using hot water.
Place the pineapple juice/hot water mixture into a medium-sized saucepan and bring to the boil.
Remove from the heat and add the butter and white chocolate. Set aside until the butter & chocolate has melted, stirring now and then. Add the sugar, roasted pineapple purée & apple purée to the butter mixture and beat until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and beating well after each addition. Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda & freeze-dried pineapple powder. Beat on low speed until mixture is smooth. Pour into prepared cake tin.
Bake at 150ºC for 1 ½ hours or until cake skewer comes out clean. Place a piece of tin foil over the cake if the top is browning too much before the cake is cooked through. Allow the cake to cool for 20-30 minutes in the tin, then remove and allow to cool completely on a cake rack.
Place cake on a large serving plate. Spread the ganache over the top & sides of the cake. Place the chocolate-coated pineapple chunks evenly around the circumference. Dust with sifted Dutch cocoa and serve.
Place cream in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted. Allow the chocolate to cool for 15-20 minutes. Whisk in yoghurt slowly (make sure yoghurt is at room temperature). Leave to rest in the saucepan until thickened to pouring consistency – about 45 minutes.
Chocolate coated Pineapple Chunks Method:
Melt dark chocolate in a bowl over another bowl of hot water. Dip the fat end of the pineapple chunks into the melted chocolate and set on a baking paper lined tray to set. Scrap any remaining chocolate into a piping bag and pipe swirls and squiggles.