I have been dabbling in a bit of retro baking in preparation for Mr LP's 40th birthday bash. It's a 1974 theme, the year of his vintage, so it's only fitting that the food be just as hip.
Of course there will be mini everything and loads of annoying toothpicks and paper umbrellas. There will be Vol au Vents (a Mr LP favourite), prawn cocktails and devils on horseback. Can you tell I've been having fun? I mean, when else is it acceptable to serve up prunes at a party? Hot prunes at that.
The best part has been researching desserts. They had some great names. Cherries Jubilee, Bombe Alaska, Bananas Foster. Do any of these ring a bell from your childhood? The 70's are also responsible for chocolate fondue. So many options!
Nigella Lawson has a great retro section in her Nigella Express book and in there is this Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. She uses glacé cherries but I loathe them, so I have replaced them with raspberries.
I need to practice a few desserts in the coming weeks so maybe this will be part one of a retro series.
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
(Recipe from Nigella Express)
2 x 15ml tablespoons sugar
6 slices pineapple rings
Plus 3 x 15ml tablespoons of the juice
11 glacé cherries (or appx 16 frozen raspberries if using my adaptation)
100g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100g soft butter
100g caster sugar
Preheat oven to 200C.
Heavily grease with butter a 23cm cake tin, (neither loose bottomed nor springform).
Sprinkle the buttered base of the tin with the two tablespoons of sugar and then arrange the pineapple slices on top in a circular pattern.
Fill each pineapple ring with a glacé cherry (or raspberry) and then dot one in each of the spaces in between.
Place the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, butter, caster sugar and eggs into a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth batter. Pour in the three tablespoons of pineapple juice to thin it a little.
Pour this mixture carefully over the pineapple rings. It will only just cover it so spread it out gently.
Bake for 30 minutes* then ease a spatula around the edge of the tin, place a plate on top and turn it upside down in one movement.
Serve hot from the oven with ice cream or thick cream.
* Resist the urge to get it out early, as I did; you risk the pineapple not being caramelised and sticking to the tin.