Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Caramalized Pineapple with Toasted Coconut and Sweet Cream Cheese

In need of a dessert for the evening (my father was coming for dinner), I turned to the refrigerator to see what I could cobble together. Since I had decided to take a little break from the realm of baked goods I did not want to go down that road, so I decided to make use of a gloriously ripe pineapple I picked up yesterday. I have made a dessert before comprised of pineapple slices roasted until they caramelize on the outside, served with coconut gelato. So I just needed to figure out an accompaniment for the fruit this time.

It just so happens that I had quite a bit of the miraculous cream cheese frosting leftover from my coconut cupcake adventure. It is so sweet and creamy, and I decided that serving a dollop of it alongside the roasted pineapple might be quite good. Once I decided to toast some coconut to garnish and provide crunch, I thought I was on to something, indeed.

And, oh, was I ever. The warm pineapple paired with the cool, sweet cream and the crispy, crunchy coconut was just incredible. While the frosting was a bit decadent, it only took a spoonful per serving to complete the dessert, so it was otherwise quite light. I love a dessert with just enough richness to make you feel indulgent, but that lacks a major caloric impact.

If you decide to make the wonderful cupcakes, do me a favor and pick up a pineapple while you're at it. You won't be disappointed.

Caramalized Pineapple with Toasted Coconut and Sweet Cream Cheese

fresh pineapple
dark rum
brown sugar
white sugar
flaked sweetened coconut
leftover cream cheese icing

Slice the pineapple however you like it (I like short, thin spears myself). Place in a bag with a couple of splashes of rum and a sprinkling of brown sugar. Give a good shake and set aside to macerate.

place the pineapple in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little white sugar, and put under the broiler. You want it to get just brown on the edges, then flip it and do the same on the other side.

While the pineapple roasts, put some coconut in a small nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high until brown and crisp.

Scoop a dollop of icing onto a dessert plate and put a fat pinch of coconut on top. Arrange the pineapple slices around and sprinkle with remaining coconut.


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