Molasses Roasted Pineapple with Dark Brown Sugar
I had the privilege to grow up in a country that has a suitable climate to grow exotic fruits such as pineapples, mangoes, guavas, passion fruit, paw paws, avocados, bananas and plenty more.
My grandfather experimented with most of these exotics and if it did not work he would just pull it out and try something else. I loved his approach and have adopted a similar theory/ technique in my cooking and gardening. England does not have the right climate to grow pineapples so when they are in season and come from a fairtrade supplier then I’m more than happy to buy one.
You might think that I’m a hypocrite, in as much I advocate using local seasonal produce and then use pineapples. I acknowledge that though we live in a country with a cooler climate this should not preclude us from using ingredients grown in warmer climes. We all know that the economics and success of other countries depend on their exports. So with the regulated fairtrade scheme I believe it’s the right thing to support these countries providing I know it’s all above board and that the right people benefit from my pound.
Earlier this week I was chatting on line to Trish who asked a very valid question about gelatine. Well to be honest I was dreading this question as I think it’s absurd that there are so many different sizes and that manufacturers change things willy nilly. Anyhow the conclusion was that I had to put pen to paper and describe the various forms of gelatine. Fortunately my larder contained the whole range from bronze and platinum leaves to powdered versions. I set up an experimental laboratory in my kitchen and had plenty of fun at the same time. Please read about my conclusions on “how to use gelatine” under my new British Larder Tips section. I have to thank Trish to prompt me to do this as I have not only found peace of mind for myself but at the same time can help you to feel more confident in using it.
Dark Brown Sugar Espuma
- 400ml full fat milk
- 3 large sheets of bronze gelatine or 4 small gelatine sheets
- 200g dark brown sugar
Soak the gelatine in cold water till it has bloomed.
In a small saucepan heat the milk and sugar over low heat till the sugar has dissolved, once the sugar is melted turn the heat up and boil for 1 minute.
Remove the saucepan from the heat, squeeze the gelatine to remove the excess water and add to the warm mixture, mix well.
Pass the mix through a fine sieve and pour it into a cream whipper, charge with two gas pellets, shake vigorously and refrigerate for 4 hours so that the mixture thickens.
To use, shake the cream whipper vigorously and squirt the espuma into the glass.
If the mixture has set solidly then hold the cream whipper under a tap of warm running water to loosen the mixture inside, shake and use.
Molasses Roasted Pineapple
- 500g fresh pineapple, peeled and eyes removed
- 120g molasses sugar
- 1tsp ground ginger
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Prepare the pineapple: Cut the pineapple in 1/4's, remove the skin, core and eyes and weigh 500g of prepared pineapple 1/4's into a bowl.
Crumb the molasses sugar and ground ginger over the pineapple and use your hands to rub the sugar into the pineapple.
Transfer the prepared pineapple to a lined baking tray and roast it in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, glaze it twice during the roasting time by spooning the melted sugar back over the pineapple.
Let the pineapple cool for 5 minutes and then shred it using two forks.
Transfer the shredded pineapple to a sieve and leave to cool and drain.
Salted Peanut Brittle Biscuits
- 200g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100g salted roasted peanuts
- 1/2 vanilla pod, seeds removed
- 450g dark muscovado sugar
- 250g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 250g peanut butter, smooth
- 1 medium free range egg
In a food processor or thermomix grind the flour, bicarbonate of soda, peanuts and the vanilla seeds till it represents coarse breadcrumbs.
Add the butter, egg and peanut butter and blend until the mixture becomes a paste.
Turn the biscuit dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and push it all together, do not knead the the dough. Divide the mixture in two and roll each into a sausage about 5cm in diameter and wrap it tightly in clingfilm and refrigerate over night. It's very important that the mixture rests well, if not the biscuits will bake unevenly and spread a lot with the potential for the edges to burn. I made this mistake once as I was in a rush but learnt my lesson and using the proper resting time I made the most delicious and beautiful biscuits.
Preheat the oven to 170°C and line two baking trays with either parchment paper or silpats.
Remove the clingfilm from the well rested biscuit dough sausages and slice them into 1/2 cm thick rings, place on the baking trays, leave plenty of room for them to spread. Bake the biscuits for 12 - 14 minutes. Once baked let them rest on the tray for 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat the process and bake the rest of the biscuits.
- Shredded chilled molasses roasted pineapple
- 400ml Natural Yoghurt
- Dark Brown Sugar Espuma
- 25 Salted Peanut Brittle Biscuits
Spoon the chilled, shredded and molasses roasted pineapple into the bottom of 6 serving glasses, divide the yoghurt between the glasses.
Shake the cream whipper vigorously and squirt the brown sugar espuma on top.
Crush one biscuit and sprinkle the crumbs on top for garnish and serve the glasses with 4 biscuits per glass.