Pineapple? Definitely not local.
But neither is the World Cup, which just started today in Brazil.
Here’s why I am talking about soccer at the moment: My husband, Marc, who played it as a tiny human all the way into his adulthood thought I should dedicate a post to the World Cup.
So obvious. You know, after all, this is a food blog. I write about things like rhubarb tarts...pot stickers...soccer.
You can write about what the players eat! Marc said. They probably have team chefs. They probably eat well. No, wait. Each player is probably bringing his own personal chef. Write about that!
I have to admit, I rolled my eyes. And, semi-banished all of that from my thoughts.
Then, while driving to pick up my son from Toddler Camp, I heard a story about Team USA’s relatively new head coach, Jurgen Klinsmann. It was actually pretty interesting.
The reporter spoke about the changes Klinsmann has made including ordering blood analysis for the players and bringing in a neuroscientist to emphasize the need for players to engage in purposeful and deep practice.
The reporter then began discussing how the players treat their bodies “like a temple.”
Well. If that's the case, I don’t believe any of Team USA's players will be eating these delicious muffins. Which means more for us regular, non-elite-athlete folk. Perhaps we can make up for not treating our bodies as temples by eating these cakes with deep and purposeful concentration.
There is no doubt in my mind that this will certainly strengthen our ability to enjoy every morsel.
Which is totally okay with me.
The Bolo de Banana is a typical Brazilian cake made with ripe bananas and dark brown sugar. Here, I’ve used pineapple instead and a touch of rum. I've also added a generous amount of allspice. Peppery yet fruity and highly aromatic, allspice is one of my favorite flavors to pair with the brightness of pineapple.
May whatever team you are rooting for play with deep concentration and meaning.
You, on the other hand, should go and make these tender little cakes…right now.
Pineapple Upside-Down Muffins (Bolo de Ananas)
Makes 12 muffins
Nonstick cooking spray, for your muffin tin
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
Half a fresh pineapple, peeled, cut into thin slices
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon allspice, ground
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 large eggs at room temperature
3 Tablespoons whole milk
3 Tablespoons light or dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Position a rack at the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
Place 1 teaspoon butter and 1 teaspoon brown sugar into each muffin cup. Bake until mixture is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Place two pieces of pineapple in bottom of muffin tin and two slices along the sides.
Make the muffins: Sift together dry ingredients. Whisk together the brown sugar, oil, eggs, milk, rum and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and then add the egg mixture. Stir until just blended. Take care not to over mix, as this may result in toughness (very sad). Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Fill them as full as possible. Tap the muffin tin a few times on your counter to help the batter reach into all the nooks and crannies between your pineapple.
Bake until the center of a muffin springs back when you press gently. This will take about 18 minutes. Loosen the muffins with a knife and immediately invert the tin, unmolding the muffins onto a wire rack. Cool briefly, then of course, devour…with purposefulness, of course.
Best eaten the day they are made. This shouldn’t pose a problem if there is anyone who has been hovering around (like a husband with a sweet tooth or a toddler) due to the delicious smells emanating from your oven.
Adapted from Mani Niall's wonderful, Sweet!