Piña Colada Dessert

Does anyone actually know what the name of the song is that tells us she likes Piña Colada and getting caught in the rain?  Much less who sings it?  But we all know it, well the chorus anyway, majestically sung out when someone orders it at a bar.

I actually am not all the gone on the cocktail itself, probably down to never meeting an actual decent cocktail maker as yet (although the mixologist at The Mayer of Scardey Cat Town – a speakeasy in London was pretty much perfect!) but I do love the flavours.  Pineapple, coconut, lime and rum…a match made in heaven!

And you know what they say, it’s healthier to eat the fruit than the juice, so in the spirit of eating things that are good to me, I present to you my Piña Colada Dessert soaked in rum and with a couple of bells and whistles thrown in for good measure!  There are a few elements to this dish, but trust me when I say it is totally worth it to go the whole hog and indulge.   My top tip is to make a batch of praline and keep it in an airtight container where it will stay fresh and last you for a good few weeks.  It’s a great topper to liven up any scoop of ice-cream during the week.   The coconut whipped cream is vegan and paleo friendly and I would suggest will probably end up replacing whipped cream – it’s that good!

Final top tip, put the can of coconut milk in the fridge about 6 hours before you need it (say, in the morning before you go to work).  Making the whipped cream takes only about 5 minutes but it is totally dependent on the coconut milk being chilled and separated which it will do naturally all by itself in the fridge.  Opening the can from the bottom means that you can extract the coconut water first, leaving the milk solids in the can and so not mixing the two at all which would ruin the cream.  The coconut water can be placed in a container and stored in the fridge to be used as a refreshing drink on its own or added to smoothies.

Ingredients – serves 4 people generously:

  • For the coconut whipped cream:

o   1 x 400ml can of coconut milk

o   1 tsp of vanilla bean paste

o   2 tbsp of runny honey

o   1/8 tsp ground cardamom

o   Zest of 1 fresh lime

  • For the Praline

o   100g white sugar

o   100g salted peanuts (you can use any type of nut you want for this though)

  • For the Pineapple

o   1 whole pineapple, topped tailed and skin cut off, cored and cut into 8 pieces cut lengthwise

o   Juice of 1 lime

o   Knob of butter

o   50ml dark or spiced rum

o   Salted caramel sauce (bought or homemade)

Method:

  • Prep your pineapple and place on a flat tray.  Cover with the lime juice thoroughly and set aside until ready for caramelisation.
  • To make the praline, place the sugar evenly in a heavy bottom pan over a medium-high heat.
  • Allow the sugar to being to melt, bubble and caramelise – do not stir the sugar but you can swirl it in the pan.
  • Take the pan from the heat before it has gone too dark and becomes bitter as it will carry on cooking in its own heat.  Add the peanuts and swirl to ensure even coverage.
  • Pour out onto a piece of parchment paper and allow to cool.
  • When cooled, break the pieces and place into a processor and blitz until a chunky crumb consistency.  Set aside.
  • To make the coconut cream, into a bowl spoon out the set coconut cream.  Add the vanilla, honey, zest and cardamom and cream together using a spatula.
  • The whipped the ingredients together for about 3-5 minutes using an electric whisk until fully combined and fluffy.
  • Place in the fridge to set until ready to use.
  • Place a large flat non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and allow to become hot.
  • Add in the chunks of pineapple and allow to begin to cook in its own natural juices and start to take, turning regularly.
  • Add in the butter and this will begin the final caramelisation process.  Move the pineapple around in the pan until it becomes beautifully caramelised.   Add the rum to the pan and, if you can, catch the flame to flambe the pineapple.
  • On a plate drizzle some of the salted caramel sauce.  Top with two slices of pineapple.  Add a generous dollop of the coconut whipped cream and finish it off with a spinkling of the praline.
  • Serve immediately with the pineapple still warm and the coconut cream just starting to melt.

And….ENJOY!

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