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Help recreating Babbo's Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

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Help recreating Babbo's Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

biondanonima | Apr 13, 2011 10:39 AM

DH and I went to Babbo for my birthday a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed the Pineapple Sopra-Sotto cake for dessert. It was truly one of the best desserts I've ever had and I would LOVE to recreate it for DH, as he loves it for Easter. I called the restaurant but (shockingly) they're not willing to part with the recipe. So, I thought perhaps you fine home cooks could help me out!

I don't know if any of you have had this cake - here are a couple of photos, although I'm not sure how much it tells you about the cake:
http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/-hUvO0...
http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/-hUvO0...

The cake itself is only about 3/4 of an inch thick and was an incredibly tender, moist, buttery yellow cake. However, it seemed as though the cake and fruit weren't cooked in the traditional "upside-down" manner. The cake was actually crispy and caramelized on the bottom, while the fruit (fresh pineapple) seemed to have been lightly cooked separately and then placed on top of the cake (I could be wrong - it looks cooked together in the photos).

Anyway, the whole thing is a mystery. I've never had such a tender yellow cake before, and I have no idea how they created the caramelized layer on the bottom. Would baking the cake in the traditional manner (with sugar and butter in the bottom of the pan) without the fruit result in that texture, so that I could then remove pieces and flip them so the crispy part was on the bottom? I never really get crisp bits on my pineapple upside down cake, though - perhaps the elimination of the moisture from the fruit and/or a cast iron pan would help? Or perhaps I should glaze the top of the cake with butter/sugar and run it under the broiler before turning it upside down?

I'm more than willing to experiment if anyone can point me in the right direction - a truly great yellow cake recipe would probably be a good starting point. Thanks in advance and if you're in NYC, go eat this cake!

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