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[Photograph: Chia Chong]

Quite often, the best recipes are ones that can be made on the fly, allowing for changes and adaptations. The skillet corn cake from Sweet and Vicious: Baking with Attitude is one such beast; author Libbie Summers sticks to the same cake base, but provides five fruit options, each yielding a distinctly different flavor. We tried the pear and grilled pineapple; the former is elegant and classic, the latter smoky and earthy. Both have a satisfying bite, thanks to the cornmeal in the batter.

Tips: To properly upend the cake, you need a dish much larger than the skillet to catch the dessert itself, and the syrup that seeps out of it. Unless your dinner plates are gigantic, we had the most luck with a lightweight serving dish. That way, there was no need to move the cake from one plate to the other, possibly damaging it in the process.

Tweaks: Preparing the pineapple requires the use of an outdoor grill, but we worked around that by using the same cast-iron skillet the cake is baked in. Lightly greased and on high heat, it provided a suitable char on the fruit slices. No extra cleaning needed!

As always with our Bake the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Sweet and Vicious: Baking with Attitude to give away.

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