Pineapple cheddar sweetheart cake

Editor’s Note: Just in time for the holiday season, as well as Valentine’s Day, this homemade Caribbean black cake—with refreshing pineapple flavor and white chocolate—will be welcomed by your sweetheart. It’s the perfect crowd-pleaser, boasting a light, fluffy texture (under no special pre-made recipe) and a rich sweetness. This recipe is not only fantastic to use with—or as—a sweetie pie, it also makes a great base for a caramelized banana pancake.

There are several ingredients to the Caribbean black cake, and they take the cake a long time to cook. One of the most important parts of the recipe is that it comes to a “like-like” temperature when served. That’s a must for a moist cake. But before you start your butter-soaked cake, be sure to cool it quickly if it has been left at room temperature for too long. After it cools, it is time to add the sugar and heat it up to keep the cake from drying out. The pan will turn into a white marble as it heats up. At the end of the process, you want the cake to be moist but as dry as possible.

Once the sugar and coconut flour (twice its original amount) is melted in a wooden pan, it is time to add the next steps, which takes a bit of time. First, it is important to add three to four cups of hot water to the heated pan. We like to use water from a planter pot, since it is a high heat type of pan and it will melt all the flour’s moisture out. Next, you need to add the reserved butter, which is made up of one stick of butter softened from cream. In a small bowl, gently melt the chopped palm sugar, and when the butter is mixed in, you can simply add it to the wet sugar mixture. Then, you need to add the cooled cooled coconut flour, stirring with a wooden spoon as you add it.

Once all the ingredients are in, you add a small amount of fresh-fruit preserves (sliced mango, dates or banana) and another piece of softened butter. Then, you put the cake onto a wire rack, and let it sit for 24 hours, so the coconut flour can harden.

Then, you can add the next layer of icing to top the cake. The icing should be the consistency of thick crème fraiche and has to have an ample amount of air bubbles and sugar crystals (which will most likely move, as they float, in your air pockets). Once you are happy with the icing, you can gradually add about a teaspoon of hot water until it is the right consistency. I have been known to pour a few drops of hot water on top of the cake to help it firm up.

When finished, remove the cake from the rack and allow it to sit for another 24 hours before you put a lid on top. That layer should be thick with air bubbles and have bits of sugar crystals and remaining coconut flour. Then, take a small piece of the cake and put it in the center of a small sheet pan, not too close together. You can cut it into slices or entire rounds. Serve while it’s still warm.

P.S. For an even sweeter version, substitute white chocolate chips in place of the dark.

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