Roasted Pineapple and Passion Fruit Charlotte

When I read that CookThink had the Root Source Challenge # 2 going on and that the ingredient in question was pineapple, I almost turned it down. For some reason I am not comfortable around tropical fruit. Of course I have eaten plenty of it and cooked with it (I live in Florida) but I’m intimidated by it.

I didn’t grow up with tropical fruits. I think I was 12 or 13 the first time I ate a kiwi. The only pineapple we ever ate was canned and submerged in a thick sugar syrup. I didn’t even have passion fruit until I came to the US and started working in pastry. I have never had a culinary reference point when it comes to tropical fruit so I almost turned my back on this challenge. But as you might have guessed… I didn’t and here I am!

I didn’t have to think long and hard about what to make. Charlotte was the first thing that came to my mind and roasted pineapple second. I simply love any roasted fruit and particularly pineapple. So sweet and keeps such a wonderful texture. There is some vanilla, some orange and some star anise in the caramel where the pineapple is roasted and I think it really enhances its flavor.

This charlotte also has a passion fruit mousse in the middle. I wanted to stick with the tropical theme and since the pineapple is so sweet I thought that tart passion fruit would be perfect for it. Besides I had some passion fruit puree in the freezer. But please, don’t get discouraged if you can’t find any passion fruit in your supermarket… any fruit will work, mangoes, peaches, coconut… Anything you like.


I had leftover passion fruit mousse so I used it to fill flower shaped silicon molds I had. I think these are adorable and perfect for a buffet, don’t you?

Ladyfingers

Makes 4 dozen small ladyfingers and 12 small sponge disks

3 organic egg yolks
75 grams sugar
3 organic egg whites
50 grams powdered sugar, sifted
75 grams unbleached all purpose flour

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the egg yolks and the granulated sugar until they become very thick and pale (ribbon stage). I only have one bowl for my Kitchen Aid so I have to transfer this mixture to another bowl. Wash the Kitchen Aid bowl.

Whip the egg whites fully and slowly add the sifted powdered sugar. Keep whipping until you have a pretty stiff meringue. Fold the yolks into the meringue and finally fold the flour in.

Pipe the ladyfingers and the disks onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. I usually draw lines on the parchment so I can guide myself and pipe equal size ladyfingers. Sift powdered sugar on top and bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes. Let them cool.

Roasted Pineapple

225 grams medium diced pineapple
100 grams demerara or turbinado sugar
15 grams butter
Juice of 2 oranges
1 Tbs dark rum
½ vanilla bean
1 star anise

Make dry caramel with the sugar. Add the butter, orange juice, vanilla, star anise and rum. If the caramel seizes a little, let it dissolve in the pan. Add the diced pineapple, stir and simmer for about 10 minutes on top of the stove or finish in a 350 degree oven. Let it cool. Strain the caramel before we assemble the charlotte.

Passion Fruit Mousse

100 grams passion fruit puree
10 grams sugar
1 sheet gelatin
100 grams heavy cream

Whip cream to soft peaks and keep in refrigerator. Soften the gelatin in ice water for about 5 minutes. In the meantime, warm the passion fruit puree and the sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add the softened gelatin leaf to the warm puree. Stir making sure that the gelatin has dissolved completely. Set this base over an ice bath until it cools to the touch. Fold in the whipped cream and stir until the mousse is well combined.

Assemble the Charlotte

I used stainless steel ring molds that are 2 inches high by 3 inches wide but you can use any mold you like, even a large one. You can even make it in a cake pan that has a removable bottom or a cheesecake pan. Anything will work.

Line the outside of the mold with the ladyfingers. Place a sponge disk on the bottom. Spread some diced pineapple on top and a little bit of the passion fruit mousse. Place another disk on top, some more pineapple and finish with the mousse.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours so the mousse sets. Serve it topped with some more roasted pineapple.


And finally… I had to share this photo with you. This is the reason why I do what I do, the one who always wants to devour everything I make. Too cute!


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20 Responses to “Roasted Pineapple and Passion Fruit Charlotte”

  1. Tartelette says:

    I love making ladyfingers for charlottes but I get lazy and go buy some form the bakery nextdoor…ma’bad! The charlottes turned out gorgeous and I bet they tasted wonderful. If I could passion fruits everyday I would…they are so darn pricey though!

  2. Okay. Cute. Kid. Adorable!

    This sounds great. Passionfruit mousse. I am all over that! I have never eaten a charlotte and don’t know that I have had a ladyfinger. But I am kinda inspired.

  3. Anonymous says:

    El Charlotte tiene una pinta estupenda y Jon está guapísimo.
    Eres la mejor
    Bego

  4. Ann says:

    As always, beautiful photos and a delectable take on a classic.

  5. Thanks for visiting my blog and for thee lovely comments. I love your blog, your photos are beautiful. If only those ladyfingers were gluten free…if you discover a way to make them glutenn free please let me know! I will be back to your blog!

  6. Jo. says:

    Wow. I’m speechless. So cute :-D

  7. What a perfect post!
    And such beautiful pictures!
    Especially the dear last picture…
    Thank you

  8. Suzana says:

    Too cute! Lovely photo. And those charlottes? oh my. I’m a sucker for passion fruit – can’t stop imagining how great those good looking litle things must taste…

  9. michelle says:

    Mmmmm… this looks wonderful!

    You’ve been tagged for a meme over at my blog. ;)

  10. B says:

    Arantza, as mentioned before loved the use of these tropical products! They taste great and besides it’s a great occassion to promote fair trade products! Did you know that Pineapple and vanilla are two of the key Ugandan exports??? (Please, if able to find fair trade products, so use them. I have never tasted a sweeter pinapple as in Uganda!)
    Other than that, the mix of tropical tastes and the home made (!!!) ladyfingers in the charlotte are just great. In Paris, the charlottes are mostly made of strawberries, and although nice, I’m sure the combination of pineapple and passion fruit would make a hit and a refreshing change! As always perfect combination of classic recipes with the perfect novel flavour twist!

  11. michelle says:

    Hey, Aran!
    You’ve been tagged to tell your readers five random things about yourself and then to “tag” five other bloggers to do the same. :)

  12. Cakespy says:

    Oh my. This sounds (and looks!) so good! And you made your own ladyfingers! Notable indeed.

  13. Veron says:

    These are adorable. I love the blue ribbon you tied the charlottes with. But the most wonderful picture is the cutie devouring all the delicious stuff.

  14. these are gorgeous. i have never made ladyfingers, i must put that on the top of my list!

  15. Hi, Aran- Beautiful dessert! And homemade ladyfingers too!

    I hope you don’t mind but I’m tagging you for a meme.

    http://stickygooeycreamychewy.blogspot.com/2008/02/its-raining-memes.html

  16. Andreea says:

    these look so beautiful aran. they look sophistacted and gorgeous.

  17. Y says:

    What a gorgeous looking charlotte! I don’t cook much with tropical fruits either, even though I DID grow up with them around :)

  18. Mansi Desai says:

    wow, all your creations leave me spellbound!

  19. Sarah says:

    That picture on the bottom there really caught me off guard! Such a cute face

  20. caitlyn says:

    These sound amazing! Do you think there is anyway to make the ladyfingers vegan? Chia eggs probably won’t deliver the same texture. Any thoughts?

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