Summer is flying by, it's already August! Taking advantage of this beautiful warm weather in NYC (minus that one week of humidity and rain), we are running a pina colada inspired special. This golden pineapple is a coconut semifreddo with a pineapple center. The center consists of fresh, diced pineapple cooked in brown sugar, rum, vanilla, orange, lemon, and a hint of cinnamon. The bottom is a soft and chewy coconut cake. The outside is sprayed with a light coating of Orelys chocolate and cocoa butter to create a light and thin shell. Orelys is part of Valrhona's newest line of blond chocolate and made with muscovado sugar (yes to unrefined sugar!) and it's notes of molasses go great with the coconut and pineapple. The crown of this pineapple is made with sliced, candied, and dehydrated pineapple. It's a refreshing and satisfying ending to a summer meal.
This dessert came about as a last minute request for pineapple. Super simple, and super refreshing. I marinated the pineapple in a syrup of orange juice, honey, cardamom, ginger, and brown sugar. Once it was in the oven, I continued glazing it with the syrup until it was cooked. I love seeing the sugars caramelize, and the bits of pineapple that char slightly. Its paired with oats, and coconut sorbet topped with chopped cocoa nibs. It's light and satisfying. Sometimes, when I overthink a dessert, or come up with something with 43859340 components on a plate, I go back to the simplest of desserts, and it reminds me that delicious is never complicated.
It's taken me over a year to put an Indonesian-inspired dessert on the blog. I'm pretty embarrassed about that, being Indonesian and all. But when I think about it, I'm not that surprised. To me dessert is ooey gooey brownies, blondies, and chocolate cake with super rich fudge icing. What can I say, I ate a lot of Entenman's cakes when I was younger. Indonesian desserts have a different meaning for me. My memories of Indonesian desserts are of my mom and her friends frying up batches of pisang goreng, while I just ate and eavesdropped on the conversation. Also, sharing es buah with my mom, who always served me a bowl with the best chewy fruits. When I made this I was trying to capture the best of the Indonesian dessert soups, think sweet coconut, starchy element, & fruit. This dessert is comprised of a coconut & green tea "soup", passion fruit jelly, tapioca, candied kumquats, and kiwi. I like the chewy stickiness of the tapioca along with the coconut and green tea. Green tea is not exactly an Indonesian staple, but it's replacing pandan flavoring (which is hard to find outside of Queens, NY, just saying). I used seasonal fruits, and I wanted this to be as simple as possible. Why simple? Because when I eat a spoonful of this, I don't need an armful of ingredients to take me back to my Indonesian roots.
Blueberries are everywhere at the farmer's market. Their abundance inspired me to play around and make some kind of dessert. Pairing blueberries with some fruits in season, I came up with this dessert. I love a good chiboust, and this blueberry version taste like blueberries and cream courtesy of the white chocolate. Included are ground cherries, red currants, blackberries, coconut crumble, coconut cake, and coconut sorbet. The contrast of all the other textures with the smooth and creamy chiboust makes this interesting. I adore coconuts (since they remind me of tropical vacations and hot summer days), hence the coconut flavor all around. While this won't make it to the dessert menu, it's always fun to play around and challenge myself with thinking up of new desserts.
When you have an abundance of ingredients, it's nice to challenge yourself to create a cohesive dessert from a variety of extra things you have on hand. This dessert consists of components from a couple of different desserts and extra ingredients I had on hand. I had leftover passion fruit semifreddo batter from the baked alaska dessert. Toasted coconut was already on hand. Cocoa nib crumble leftover from a tart. Coconut cupcakes prepared for family meal. Chocolate ice cream for emergency requests. Sometimes these dessert challenges fail, but this time it yielded something delectable. That's the best thing when you set challenges for yourself, your never quite know the outcome.