When we were kids summer holidays were spent at granny's in Bangalore. Every visit to Commercial Street or the shopping area in Jayanagar almost always was accompanied by a stop at the Taj Cake shop or Sweet Chariot. Both these places make great tasting pastries. I miss those visits but on the other hand I am really glad I know how to make these pastries at home (thanks to mom!) and I can satisfy my cravings anytime.
Pastries are usually made with fat-free sponge cakes where all the sponginess comes from the eggs.
You will need:
For the Cake: (Makes two thin 9-inch cakes)
2 cups All-purpose flour plus more for pans
1 ¾ Cups Confectioner’s sugar (Powdered Sugar)
2 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Pineapple Extract (or Vanilla)
For the Filling and Frosting:
1 ½ cups Heavy Whipping Cream
½ cup Confectioner’s sugar
1 Cup Pineapple chunks
For the syrup:
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Powdered sugar
½ to ¾ cup Ice-cold water
Preheat oven to 300F. Prepare the baking pans. For this cake you will need two 9-inch round baking pans. This step is very important for easy removal of the baked cakes. Since this cake has no fat in it, ie no butter, the chances of it sticking to the pan are more if pans are not prepared well. Grease the insides of the pan evenly with butter or solid vegetable shortening using a pastry brush. Sprinkle each of the pans with 1 tbsp of all-purpose flour. Tap pans gently on the kitchen counter to ensure the flour spreads and covers the pan. Remove the excess flour. Set pans aside till ready to use.
Separate the white from the yolks. Beat each separately adding pineapple extract and little sugar at a time. The whites should form stiff peaks and the yolks should be pale and thick. Fold the beaten yolks into whites. Sift flour and baking powder thrice and fold into the egg mixture.
FOLD: Means to slowly turn dry ingredients into the wet in a circular inward to outward motion. Do not beat or mix vigorously. The main purpose of folding is to allow more air into the mixture and to avoid flattening the frothy eggs.
Pour mixture into prepared pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes till cake is done and springs back on touch or a cake tester (or toothpick) comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the cake.
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then invert cakes onto cooling rack. Let cool completely before frosting.
Chill the beater blades and the bowl in which you will use to whip the cream. Whip cream while slowly adding sugar till cream is thick and stiff. Do not overbeat, it turns to butter!
Mix lemon juice, sugar and water in a bowl. Place one cake over a cake pedestal or plate, poke holes with a fork in a few places on the cake. Spoon the syrup all over the cake in a till cake is moist (but not soggy). Spread an even layer of the cream, and place pineapple chunks and sliced maraschino cherries. Place the other cake on top of this and repeat the moistening procedure. Spread an even thick layer of cream on top. To finish decorate with remaining pineapple chunks and cherries.
This pastry is light and before you know you will be reaching out for another slice!