Thursday, February 24, 2011

Taiwanese Pineapple Cake

It's square, it has pineapple filling inside, and it's delicious.  They are sold in many Chinese markets under various brands, most of them are made in Taiwan.  You can also find them from local Taiwanese bakeries, such as Sheng Kee but nothing can top the pineapple cakes made at home.  I am fortunate to have friends from Taiwan and have been introduced to various types of Taiwanese food, this pineapple cake is of them.  Even before I make them at home, my husband used to love this cake.  He occasionally bought them at the market.

To make this cake, you will need the square molds.  I don't have them at the moment so I borrow from a friend of mine, Olivia.  I am not sure if you can get the molds here in the States, Olivia got hers from Taiwan.  I have to admit that I don't make the pineapple filling from scratch.  They are sold "ready for use" in Taiwan in baking stores and I got them from friends (or their husbands) who regularly go back to Taiwan.  See photo below.  Again, I don't know if you can find them here for personal use.  Note: it's not pure pineapple - it's combined with some winter melon.  I am not sure why they add winter melon, perhaps to make a better filling texture?

Taiwanese Pineapple Cake
Taiwanese Pineapple Cake

Ingredients:
  • 361g cake flour (Chinese brand - low gluten flour)
  • 54g milk powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 76g sugar powder
  • 1 bag of ready-made pineapple filling (600 g) 
Pineapple filling from Taiwan
Pineapple filling from Taiwan

Note: If you do not have any ready-made pineapple filling handy and would like to try to make one from scratch, you can do a bit of research from the web and find some wonderful filling recipes. Here is one of them from Eupho Cafe.  It definitely adds some extra amount of works, but the learning experience and the psychic reward of making your own filling makes it all worth it and something that you can be proud of.

Instruction:
  1. Beat sugar powder and butter until creamy
  2. Add in the egg
  3. Fold in the milk powder and cake flour into the mixture, mix evenly until it becomes dough-like
  4. Divide the pineapple filling into 20g ball each*
  5. Divide the dough into 30g ball each, press/flatten the dough to round shape*
  6. Wrap the filling into the dough and make a ball out of it
  7. Put the dough into a mold and press it with your palm (thumb-side of the palm)
  8. Place the mold with the dough in it onto baking sheet
  9. Bake at 350 degree F. for 8 or 9 minutes, then take the cookie sheet out, flip the molds, and bake it again for another 6 to 7 minutes.  Note: check the bottom of the mold for cake readiness - a little brownish color, not the top
 *The recipe I got from my friend, Olivia says that pineapple filling is 30g for each ball and the dough is 20g each; however, my husband likes thicker crust texture, rather than having the mouth-feel of just eating the pineapple filling itself with the thin crust.  So I switched the pineapple filling and the dough weights.  In doing so, I have to double the crust recipe to allow me to do that, which is already incorporated in the ingredients amount above.  This recipe makes about 25 pineapple cakes with some pineapple filling left (probably enough to make 4 more).

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