Our theme this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs, where we continue to cook with Giada de Laurentiis, is Pot Luck. Our monthly Pot Luck always seems to be one of the favourite themes amongst group members, and I guess I'm no exception. If you've been around here over the last week or two you will have noticed that I've been dishing up plenty of the healthy stuff lately, so I felt a little bit of indulgence was called for. My mind immediately turned, of course, to one of Giada's favourite ingredients - chocolate, and more specifically Nutella. Since Nutella is also our special ingredient this week at Make it with ..... Mondays, it seemed like a natural choice.
At the same time, I didn't want to go all-out decadence here, so this recipe for Grilled Pineapple with Nutella seemed like the perfect choice. With fresh fruit, nuts, and fresh cream, I think there is more than enough good stuff going on in here to offset any potential indulgence in the Nutella and creme fraiche (Giada uses mascarpone, but I subbed creme fraiche instead). Besides, I'm pretty sure that Nutella and creme fraiche are actually health foods - okay, look don't all write to me setting the record straight, I know they're not really health foods, but permit me the fantasy.
Grilled Pineapple with Nutella Recipe
Adapted from recipe by Giada de Laurentiis
Makes 2 generous servings
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
4 slices fresh pineapple, cut about 1.5 cm (1/2 in) thick, skin removed
2 heaped tablespoons creme fraiche
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 heaped tablespoons Nutella
2 tablespoons fresh cream
neutral-flavoured vegetable oil
large handful hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
Heat a ridged grill pan over heat. Use the vegetable oil to lightly grease the pan, and then grill the pineapple slices until beginning to soften and grill marks appear - about 4 minutes each side.
Meanwhile, put the creme fraiche into a small bowl, add the vanilla, mix together and set aside.
Put the Nutella and cream into another small bowl, and mix together. Microwave on high for 60-80 seconds, stirring every 20 seconds, until well-blended, smooth and pourable.
Arrange the pineapple slices on a serving platter, and drizzle with the warm chocolate sauce. Dollop around some of the creme fraiche mixture and sprinkle the toasted hazelnuts over the top.
Now you might look at this and imagine tooth-tingling sweetness and richness - I know I certainly did. However, that was certainly not the case. There is more than enough piquancy in the creme fraiche to cut through any sweetness from the deliciously "fudgy" Nutella sauce. The toasty hazelnut pieces also add a layer of texture, and in their own way offset some sweetness too. Overall, after eating this (and yes, just in case you're interested, I did eat that whole serving that you can see in the picture) was not of having eaten a big, rich, sweet dessert and that weighed down feeling that goes with it. It was definitely a feeling of having eaten a fresh fruit dessert that had been "tarted up" a little.
This would make a spectacular dessert to serve for a crowd - served on a large platter, it would look stunning, and I guarantee there would be no left-overs. This one is definitely on my list the next time I need to serve dessert for company.
Interested in getting to know Giada a bit better? Then do go and visit my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs and see what they've all been cooking up ....
.... or check out Giada's Kitchen and many of her other titles, available from Amazon, Book Depository UK and Fishpond NZ
This post is a contribution to Make it with ... Mondays challenge Nutella - the linky will be open until Monday 14 February, so start those Nutella posts coming, and don't forget to keep your paprika posts coming too - the paprika linky is open here and will remain open until Monday 7 February.
This post is also linked to the Decidedly Healthy or Horribly Decadent Blog Hop.