Delicious desserts

Coconut crème brulee. Source: Pixabay -
Coconut crème brulee. Source: Pixabay -

IT’S a fact dessert is a favourite part of the meal. I remember when my dessert cooking classes were overflowing with people willing to learn the secrets to creating delicious desserts, a daunting task to many. Then came the commercial frosted-and-filled dessert cakes in all flavours and colours, the cheesecakes in all shapes with a myriad of toppings and the numerous offerings of imported and local ice-creams.

Commercial offerings meant no more did someone have to slave in the kitchen to create a dessert. It simply meant less stress and so this sector began to blossom.

With the advent of increased prices many would be cutting back on those once affordable commercial desserts. All is not lost, this is a good time to dust off those recipes and create these delightful desserts back in your kitchen. Explore the magic of our local fruits and turn them into show-stopping desserts.

Grilling pineapple with a good splash of Angostura, some brown sugar and rum makes a wonderful topping for ice cream or great on its own. Pineapples can also be baked into a pastry to create a buttery flaky and juicy fruit tart. Or why not try a coconut crème brulee with a Caribbean brown sugar crust. How about a cooling and dreamy in-season lime mousse, fast, fresh and refreshingly light, a true taste of the Caribbean.

Creating desserts can be very therapeutic, try making some this weekend. Remember holiday time is close!

Grilled pineapple with brown sugar and rum

Grilled pineapple -

1 large pineapple

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup dark rum

1 tsp Angostura bitters

Preheat grill or broiler. Peel pineapple, remove eyes then cut into half lengthways. Now cut these lengths into eight lengths. Remove centre core. Line a shallow baking pan or dish with foil. Place pineapple into this, sprinkle with sugar, bitters and rum.

Grill or broil until pineapple turns brownish and sugar starts to bubble and caramelise. Serve warm as is or with ice cream.

Serves 6 to 8

Coconut crème brulee

1 cup coconut milk, home-made

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp lime zest

1 cup full cream milk

⅓ cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar

Beat eggs with coconut milk, vanilla, lime zest, milk and sugar until well blended, strain mixture.

Pour flan mixture into individual dishes, place into a large baking tray and fill the tray half way with water.

Bake until firm about 45 minutes.

Remove and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Preheat broiler.

Soft brown sugar to cover the tops of the coconut custards and grill until sugar is melted.

Refrigerate to chill before serving.

Serves 6

Caribbean lime mousse

1⅔ cups water

⅓ cup cornstarch

pinch salt

1½ cups sugar

4 egg yolks

4 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tbs lime zest, chopped

⅓ cup fresh lime juice

¼ cup evaporated milk or pourable cream

Heat water in a saucepan, whisk in sugar, cornstarch and salt, stir until mixture thickens.

In a bowl beat egg yolks with vanilla, add a spoonful of the hot liquid to the eggs then add the egg mixture to the hot liquid in the pan, stir constantly over a slow heat for 2 minutes, add the lime juice and milk.

Cool mixture and fold egg whites into lime custard, spoon into glass stemmed glasses, garnish with chopped zest and top with a dash of aromatic bitters.

Serves 4

A lighter side: use low fat milk and or cream

Custard tarts with caramelised roasted pineapple

Custard tarts -

1 medium pineapple, cored, peeled sliced into rings

2 tsp aromatic bitters

8 tbs brown sugar

1 recipe flaky pastry

Combine bitters with pineapple and 2 tbs sugar, place into a greased pie plate.

Place under preheated broiler and grill for 10 minutes turning once until golden and sugar had caramelised.


2 eggs

2 tbs cornstarch

⅓ cup granulated sugar

½ cup milk

Combine sugar with cornstarch in a saucepan, whisk in eggs until light, pour in milk and cook gently until thick, do not boil.

Remove and cool.

Preheat oven to 400F

Roll out pastry to ¼-inch thickness, stamp out 4-inch circles, place on lined cookie tray.

Spread about one tablespoon onto each pastry round, leaving about one inch around uncovered, place one pineapple ring onto the custard.

Fold the pastry upwards and tuck onto the pineapple and custard, do not cover with pastry, leave the pineapple ring partially uncovered.

Sprinkle with sugar, place a cherry into the centre if you like.

Bake for 20 minutes until golden.

Makes 8 tartlets.


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