Have you ever noticed that adding pineapple to a cake or icing recipe is often cake suicide?
It’s true. Pineapple doesn’t work well with other ingredients, especially if the ingredients include a protein of any kind or if you are trying to get your tasty creation to set-up firmly, such as a mousse or filling.
What is happening here? Why is pineapple such a troublemaker when it comes to baking? The answer lies in the science of this delicious fruit.
Pineapple contains a plant enzyme called Bromelain that breaks down proteins. Does cake and icing contain proteins? Yes indeed. Eggs contain protein as does cream cheese, other cheeses, gelatins, etc.
Bromelain is used in many meat tenderizers because it breaks down protein bonds rendering the meat more tender (this is why cooking ham with pineapple makes it tender). JellO packages warn not to put pineapple into gelatin because Jello is a protein structure with trapped pockets of liquid. Bromelain cuts the protein chains and keeps the product from jelling properly.
What can you do to overcome this challenge? Try using canned pineapple in place of fresh fruit. Canned pineapple has been heated causing the bromelain to be less reactive. Also try heating pineapple in a sauce pan, and allowing it to cool, before adding it to your delicious recipes. This may prove to be helpful in getting pineapple to play well with other ingredients.
Happy baking!! XOXO