Grilled pineapple and chocolate fondue is perfect for a summer evening
Is there is a better way of finishing a summer barbecue than with a chocolate fondue?
Grilled pineapple fondu with lime and coconut ice-cream. Photograph: Harry Weir Photography
Just this week, we are leaving the oven off and taking the creation of sweet treats outside. Is there is a better way of finishing a summer barbecue than with a chocolate fondue? Wedges of caramelised pineapple dipped in warm molten chocolate with slowly melting soft coconut ice-cream? If there is, I’ve yet to hear about it.
A fondue is great fun on a summer evening. This is not something to serve at a dining table over cream coloured carpets while wearing your best clothes. A fondue is inevitably messy, but it makes perfect sense outdoors, where the furniture can be hosed down afterwards to remove all the chocolatey drips.
If you are warming yourselves round a fire pit or you have the remnants of a barbecue still burning, toast some marshmallows over the flames. Toasted marshmallows dipped in the chocolate fondue are an extra indulgent summer evening treat.
I love to make homemade ice-cream and this no-churn recipe is very easy. If you want to dip the coconut ice-cream in the fondue rather than have it on the side, try filling ice cube trays with the prepared ice-cream mixture. Put a mini lolly stick in each cube and re-freeze. Dip the bottom of the tray briefly in hot water to release the mini lollies.
Pineapple must be one of the sweetest fruits available, so it might seem counter-intuitive to grill it. After all, a ripe pineapple is wonderful to eat just as it is. However grilled pineapple develops dark caramelised edges that add complexity rather than just extra sweetness. Grilling adds a layer of texture and extra flavour that definitely makes it worth that little extra effort.
I often grill the pineapple in advance of preparing meat on the barbecue, when the griddle has been well cleaned. I then wrap the charred fruit in tinfoil and reheat when ready to serve. This method works best on a gas grill. If you don’t have a gas barbecue, cook the pineapple slices for 10 minutes under a preheated grill in your oven.
Char-grilled pineapple with coconut and lime ice-cream
1 pineapple, top and outside skin cut off
Caster sugar (as required)
For the coconut ice-cream:
75ml coconut cream (or creamy part of coconut milk)
75ml condensed milk
¼ tsp salt
30g desiccated coconut
Zest of a lime
For the chocolate fondue:
100g dark chocolate, chopped
Optional: fresh strawberries, marshmallows
1 For the coconut ice-cream: In a bowl, whisk the cream until stiffly whipped.
2 Meanwhile, in second medium-sized bowl, whisk together coconut milk, condensed milk and salt. Initially whisk in half the whipped cream to combine, then fold in the remaining whipped cream, desiccated coconut and lime zest. Place in the freezer, uncovered for at least six hours until set (no need to churn). Once set, store covered with a tight fitting lid in the freezer.
3 For the chocolate fondue: Heat the cream to just below boiling point. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl and immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate, leave it to sit for 30 seconds before stirring slowly to a velvety smooth consistency.
4 To chargrill the pineapple: Cut the pineapple lengthways, first in half, then into sixths (or eights). Slice away the core from the length of each wedge and brush them all over with sunflower oil and coat lightly with sugar. Wipe the barbecue clean and heat until it is very hot. Grill the pineapple wedges on either side for five minutes, turning half way through to create a criss cross pattern. They are best served immediately, but if making them in advance, wrap them in tinfoil and reheat later.
5 To serve: Gently warm the chocolate fondue until molten and suitable for dipping. Insert skewers into the pineapple wedges and strawberries and place them next to the bowl of hot chocolate sauce so your guests can help themselves. Variations: Flavour the coconut ice-cream with rum for a pina colada style pineapple dessert. Or toast the desiccated coconut before adding it to the ice-cream.