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Pineapple Cake with Coconut Gelato





10 cakes


1 each Pineapple (fresh, save core)
1½ cups Granulated sugar
5 each Eggs separated
3 teaspoons Baking powder
3¼ cups Flour
¼ cup Heavy cream
2 tablespoons Oil
¼ cup Pineapple juice, made from core not canned
2 ounces Sour Cream
½ pound Clarified butter
1¼ cups Brown sugar
10 each Maraschino cherries, halved


Prepare all ingredients. Clean pineapple and cut into quarter-inch thick chunks, reserving the core and setting aside ten pineapple chunks for the baking procedure. Place core and fresh pineapple chunks and pieces in a small pot. Fill water to 1 inch over pineapple pieces and heat until reduced by half. Puree through a Vita Prep and strain through fine mesh chinois. Set aside.

Put egg whites and granulated sugar in mixer and whip on high until a soft peak forms. Add yolks to soft meringue. Switch whip to paddle on low speed. Add in baking powder. Add in half flour then half heavy cream and oil. When mixed, add remaining flour, heavy cream and oil. When mixture is lump free, take off mixer. Using a rubber spatula, fold in one-quarter cup of the reserved pineapple juice and any pineapple bits until fully incorporated. Then fold in sour cream.

Line bottom of a 3” cake mold with 1 tablespoon clarified butter. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of brown sugar on top of the butter (reserve extra sugar for additional coating of the bottom, if needed.) Spray with a non-stick coating to help release the cake after baking. Next, place one pineapple chunk and one Maraschino cherry, halved, on top of the sugar and butter. Ladle in batter and bake 350 degrees Fahrenheit until firm and golden, approximately 15 minutes. Rotate cakes half way through baking time. Note: cakes must rest before removing from mold. After it has rested and is room temperature, flip the mold over on a plate and tap the bottom until the cake releases.

Assembly: Serve each cake upside down along with Gelato (see recipe below). This dish can be garnished as desired with fresh mint, pineapple or even caramelized pineapple tidbits.



1 quart


2 ½ cups Coconut milk
¾ cup Whole milk
¾ cup Heavy cream
7 each Egg yolks
¾ cup Sugar
½ teaspoon Salt
To garnish: Mint leaves


In a heavy bottom saucepan, bring coconut milk, whole milk and cream to a simmer. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar and salt together until pale yellow and then add coconut milk and cream and whisk. Return to sauce pan and cook over medium low heat stirring constantly for one minute. Remove from heat and chill, once chilled freeze in ice cream machine per manufacturer’s instructions.


Courtesy John Ondo, Chef/Owner, Lana Restaurant Charleston, SC

Try Chef John Ondo’s Pineapple Cake with Coconut Gelato. And when you’re in Charleston, enjoy the original version along with his other remarkable offerings at Lana. We can’t wait.

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