Going Ananas – French Martini Upside Down Cake Recipe!

They say that inspiration can come from anywhere, and this recipe is a great example of that.

A few days ago on Twitter, Jann Arden made a fairly innocuous – and accurate – statement. A few people jumped on her, she retweeted my snarky response about the whole thing (!!!), and I made a handful of new friends.

One of those new friends, Christin Jerome tweeted something a little bizarre, which ended up being a case of autocorrect taking over. I joked with her that I’d seen she was from Montreal, and had written it off as being a result of that. One of the comediennes in either This Hour Has 22 minutes or Royal Canadian Air Farce – I’m assuming it was Mary Walsh – once quipped about Francophone culture being completely incomprehensible to the rest of Canada, and.. she wasn’t far off! We laughed, and ended up discussing bizarre Francophone children’s programming… and talking pineapples.

Have you heard of “TeleFrancais”? It’s, um… wildly fascinating, if you’re in the right mindset:

– Talking pineapples.
– Dancing skeletons.
– A stoned (?) pilot.

We agreed that it would probably be hilarious to watch after a few drinks… and the idea to make a cake based on this conversation was born.

I call it “Going Ananas*” in honor of the trippy talking pineapple. but this is more formally a French Martini Upside Down Cake. When I think “French” and “Pineapple” together, I immediately think “French Martini” – one of my favorite cocktails ever. I am a HUGE fan of Chambord (Black Raspberry) liqueur, afterall!

French Martini Upside Down Cake

6 oz black raspberries
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 ½ tsp flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 can pineapple slices in juice
2 cups cake flour
1 ½ cups sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 ½ oz instant vanilla pudding mix
4 large eggs
1/3 cup vodka
½ cup butter, melted

1/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp water
½ cup sugar
1/4 cup Chambord liqueur

Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Liberally grease a 10″ round pan with vegetable shortening. Cut out a 10-inch round of parchment paper, using bottom of pan as a template. Place inside pan, smoothing it out to cling securely to the shortening.

Puree black raspberries. Pour into small saucepan, straining out seeds if so desired. Add butter, flour, and brown sugar. Heat on low, stirring until well combined. Pour into prepared cake pan, spreading evenly. Drain pineapple slices, reserving the juice. Arrange pineapple slices on top of the black raspberry sauce, set aside.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pudding mix in a large mixing bowl. Add in eggs and vodka, beating until smooth. Measure 2/3 cup of the reserved pineapple juice, add juice and melted butter to the mix, mixing on medium speed until smooth.

Carefully pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until golden and knife inserted into center of batter comes out clean and cake springs back – about 50-60 minutes.

While cake is baking, combine butter, water, sugar, and Chambord in a small saucepan. Allow to heat to a simmer, then remove from heat and allow to cool.

With the hot cake still in the pan, carefully level the top by cutting off the “dome” over the edge of the pan.

Evenly pour the Chambord syrup over the entire cake. Allow cake to cool for about 20 minutes before turning cake out directly onto serving plate. This cake is delicate, and should not be moved to a different plate after being turned out!

Oh, if you like recipes like this, be sure to order a copy of The Spirited Baker!

*”Ananas” being French for “Pineapple”. It’s actually pronounced “ah nah nah”, not rhyming with “bananas”…but once again my blog, my rules. LOL

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Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.

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