BBQ pineapple upside-down cake

People think that barbecues are only for savoury items. Well, here is a recipe that has a retro feel. I remember my mum making pineapple upside-down cake to go with our Sunday lunch back in the day, so I get a warm fuzzy feeling every time we eat this at home.

Preparation time: 30min
Grilling time: 45-55min
Cook on a gas barbecue using the direct-indirect method on a medium heat (180°C to 230°C)

Ingredients (serves up to 8 people)

6 rings of fresh pineapple, cored and peeled
25g melted unsalted butter
100g brown sugar
4 tablespoons double cream or crème fraîche
Half teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cake mixture
150g plain white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Half teaspoon sea salt
Quarter teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
150ml full fat milk or buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g unsalted butter
150g sugar

Prepare barbecue for direct and indirect cooking and brush the grills clean.

Brush melted butter onto the pineapple rings and direct grill them for 4 to 6min with the lid of barbecue open. Turn them once and grill until nicely marked. Remove from the barbecue, allow to cool and cut the rings in half except one.

Mix together the brown sugar, cream/crème fraîche, cinnamon and any melted butter left from the pineapple, brushing in a 30cm cast iron frying pan over a direct medium heat. Cook for about 2min until the sugar has melted and the liquid has started to bubble around the edge of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and place it on a heat-resistant surface. Place the whole pineapple ring in the centre and arrange the other pieces around the pan. Set to one side.
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and bicarbonate of soda together in a large bowl, whisk the milk, eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl.

Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on a medium speed for 2 to 4min until fluffy and light. With the mixer on low, add the milk mixture and then add the flour mixture. Blend this until smooth. Using a spatula spread the mixture evenly over the pineapples in the pan.

Over indirect heat, bake the cake for 40 to 50min keeping the temperature of the barbecue at around 180ºC with the lid closed. It will be done when the top has a golden brown colour and a skewer can be inserted in the middle and comes out clean. Using a barbecue mitt or oven gloves remove cake from the barbecue and allow it to cool for 10 to 15min.

Run a palette knife around the edge of the cake before removing it from the pan. Place a platter large enough to cover the entire area of the pan over the top of the pan. Wearing mitts or oven gloves, with care invert the pan and platter, and then slowly remove. If any pineapple remains in the pan remove and place on top of the cake.

Let the cake cool slightly before slicing into wedges and serving. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

All you need now is to put on your sounds of the 70s CD full of Donny Osmond, David Cassidy, Bay City Rollers, Mud and Slade, and the taste of the cake will take you back to a time of flared trousers and platform shoes. Enjoy!

This recipe has been supplied by Chris Winstanley, owner of Moveison outdoor living and barbecue store, situated on the EN125, just east of Lagos.