I’ve come up with a plan. A masterly plan, to leave me independent of the chocolate store near where I work: I am going to make my own chocolate coated pineapple rings.
The first attempt is in my fridge now to cool down – some might say that choosing a day with my kitchen at 30-some degrees celsius as the day to test out my idea wasn’t smart, and I’m inclined to agree – tempering chocolate, when the ambient temperature is higher than the level you’re trying to cool to isn’t easy.
Not giving up that easily, I decided to follow David Lebovitz’s instructions for tempering chocolate, albeit not with quite the care I might do in the future. Looking in my fridge now, it seems I didn’t succeed – partly due to my thermometer being too slow, and partly due to not having the patience to wait for the temperature to go down. I’ll have to do a bit more work on this in the future.
The biggest problem was probably the unexpected viscosity of the chocolate: Pouring it in a way to coat the pineapple rings was far from as easy as I’d thought. Perhaps that’s a problem with temperature, but it seemed that the chocolate I was using didn’t really want to be poured, as much as it wanted to sit in a thick, smooth but unmoving mass. I’ve looked a bit at some websites about additives in chocolate, and I think the answer may be trying out adding some lecithin, a soy or egg yolk extract used as an emulsifier to make chocolate pourable. Perhaps making an improvised mould for the rings would make things a little easier
Pineapple rings are rather wet when direct from the tin, which also created a bit of a problem. I was prepared better for this, though, and patted them dry with some kitchen paper – perhaps other methods might be employed with more success.
There’s no pictures this time, since I didn’t really expect to succeed, but when the weather cools down I’ll try again for a slightly more serious attempt. I’ll be sure to add some tasting notes later, though, when I can’t hold myself back any further.
Edit: The results
I’ve just tasted one of the pineapple rings I made earlier, and I have a few observations. First of all, the chocolate wasn’t tempered at all. In fact, it melted almost seconds after being removed from the fridge, so I guess I’ll have to eat them all myself 😉
Secondly, the insides were too wet. I had suspected this, and come my next try, I’ll have to figure a way to dry it out. I suspect the ones used by professionals might be soaked in a light syrup, to make it a bit more candy-like. Might try that out.
Thirdly, and most importantly, the taste: I liked it. I am still very fond of the combination of pineapple and chocolate, and with just a bit of practice I’m sure I’d be able to cure some of my addiction to the local chocolate shop.
Not that I know what it should taste like, but perhaps you could stick the pineapple in the oven on a low heat to dry it out a bit?
I do have lots of experience melting various types of chocolate though! Might be worth trying to get the chooclate hotter – I microwave (heathen!) it for about 3 minutes on high per 200g – just be sure to keep stirring every few seconds otherwise it burns…
I did try putting them in the oven on around 60C for .. a while. Until I got bored, and figured drying out pineapple slices was probably a weekend project, and not a weekday one.
Getting the chocolate hotter might very well be an issue, though tempering it is quite essential to being able to handle it when cold … Maybe get a thermometer from a chemist that has the appropriate range on it.