Monday, September 12, 2005

Pineapple and the River-View

It's been quite a Labour Day weekend, and we ended it with family in that traditional sense: burgers and dogs grilled outside on a cooling late summer afternoon.

Since I'd already photographed some burgers earlier in the week, I won't do it again, but there were two things I did want to share.

The first was our dessert, a little something from Nigella, simply perfect for a barbecue. Caramelized Pineapple with Hot Chocolate Sauce. With a fresh, ripe pinapple, and Scharffenberger chocolate, it was really quite a treat.

The picture is a bit blurry, since I was getting jostled and nudged while trying to take a photo of it. The scent was truly intoxicating, lush chocolate mixed with burnt-caramel-pineapple. Yum.

And as we left, we still had a damned better view, and far superior food, than our little dinner at the Crab Shack.

Caramelized Pineapple with Hot Chocolate Sauce

serves 6-8, or so

1 ripe pinapple
approximately 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Demerara sugar

for the sauce:
8 ounces bittersweet (at least 70%) chocolate
½ cup Malibu
½ cup heavy cream

Preheat broiler/grill. Cut the top and bottom off the pineapple and, working vertically, slice the skin off the fruit. Cut into quarters and then into about three pieces again lengthwise so that you have wedges of pineapple. Cut out the woddy core and thread the wedges onto the soaked bamboo skewers lengthwise and arrange these in a shallow dish.

Put the chocolate, broken up into pieces, into a thick-bottomed pan along with the Malibu and melt over a low heat. Then, stirring, pour in the cream, plus any juice that has gathered from the fruit. When the sauce is thick, smooth, and hot, pour into a bowl with a ladle, or enough little bowls to give one per person.

Lay the pineapple kebabs on a sheet of foil and either broil or grill the pineapple, thickly coating it with Demerara sugar first, until it caramelizes and scorches in the heat.

Take from the broiler or grill and lay them on a large plate and let everyone take them as they want, dipping the pineapple skewers into the hot chocolate sauce as they eat.

from Nigella Lawson, of course!


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