Tuesday, June 23, 2009
TWD: Coconut-Roasted Pineapple Dacquoise
Sometimes there is such a thing as too small. Especially when it comes to desserts. Sometimes you get to "too small" while trying to avoid "too big." Thus is my story with this fabulous dessert, picked this week by Andrea from Andrea in the Kitchen.
All the parts of the recipe looked doable, but I did not want 12 servings. I sensed before I started that this wasn't something I wanted to transport to work, and I certainly do not need 12 servings all to myself. Using my oh-so-bad math skills, I figured I'd divide by 4. Easy enough for the most part, a little tricky with some ingredients. But rather ridiculous when it came to making the outlines on the parchment paper. The 12x6 dessert calculated into 3 x 1.5 to me, which just seemed too small.
Once I assembled the ingredients for the meringue, it was obvious my outline was quite right. So I improvised (always, always a bad idea!). Still got it all on one pan. Now the question became, how long do I cook this for.
For the last few recipes my bake times have been much longer than suggested. One would think it was the oven, but for everything else it works fine. Oh the dilemma - do I cook it the 3 hours figuring it would all even out? Do I cook it for a shorter time knowing the pieces are smaller? Ugh - I hate this kind of math.
I put it in for 1 hour, turned it and left it in for another hour, turned again and took it out 45 minutes later.
All other parts were easy enough to do. I looked and looked (meaning I went to three stores) to find white chocolate. As it turns out, I found the chocolate I used at an Italian restaurant and deli (go figure!). Another good reason to decrease this recipe since the chocolate was hard to find. I had a bad feeling about my math here, but plunged forward.
Pineapple was fine - it was good to use my pineapple cutting skills learned in culinary classes. However, can you spot the problem on the pineapple's first trip to the oven?
The ganache did not turn out quite right - it was more of a "pour" onto the meringue rather than "spread." If that wasn't enough of a sign, here's another --when your pineapple slices start sliding OFF the dacquoise, then you know something has gone terribly wrong.
I must confess I almost didn't make this dessert. I wasn't sure I would like it. But I thought the challenge might be fun and it was. As my dad used to say "win some, lose some, some you call on account of rain." I think this was a bit of all of those -- I won with the experience, I lost in the presentation, and the rain, well, if you count "raining" pineapple, then I've got all three.