Pain Perdu, Pineapple and Coconut

We haven't been to Marcus Wareing's eponymous restaurant since it was re-branded.  It's a little art-deco jewel-box of a restaurant, but the atmosphere seemed just as hushed at lunchtime as before... Still.  The food was good, and I was particularly enamoured with this dish - a little chef's joke...  The pineapple tastes of coconut, which initially confuses the senses, especially as you try to work out how... I pressed the waitress, it's clearly compressed, because of the texture, but what with? And then of course it struck me - Malibu - the scent led me by my nose to my teenage years.  Malibu.  When was the last time you tasted Malibu?  Well, rest assured, in this dish it's absolutely delicious, as long as you like coconut and pineapple.

The plate comprised Malibu compressed pineapple, a coconut ice-cream, coconut curd, toasted brioche cubes, and coconut meringue.  I wasn't terribly fond of the coconut curd, so I thought I would experiment with a coconut-milk creme patisserie (in the Thermomix)...  For the coconut meringues I used the Meringue Girls recipe, which I've made often before.

It's a very clever little dessert - you can prepare all the elements well in advance (perhaps with the exception of toasting the brioche), and then assemble when you're ready.  You see.  I make sweeping statements like that.  Yes, it's a clever dessert, and easy,  if you own a chamber vacuum sealer and a Thermomix.  I'm still posting it, because someone out there will...

Here are the recipes for the Creme Patisserie, and the Coconut Kisses.  As they're quite long, I'm not going to include them in this, or you'll be asleep immediately.  This is the recipe for the Coconut Cream Ice-Cream.

The pineapple was cubed (as accurately as your patience will allow), and popped into a vacuum pack bag - I included 40ml of Malibu, and compressed under full pressure.  I left it in the fridge for 48 hours to absorb the flavour.  The compression will also change the texture of the pineapple, making it denser, and less fibrous (it effectively changes the cell structure of the fruit - it's also an amazing technique to use on watermelon, for example).

My brioche cubes came from the Baker Brothers recipe, which I like for it's density, but to be honest, any brioche recipe will work perfectly well too.  Dice the cubes (again, as neat as your patience will allow), into equal parts of egg and milk, and then gently toast in a pan.


  • The coconut version of the creme patisserie worked incredibly well - I used 300g of coconut milk, and upped the flour to 45g, but that was because I included 20g of Malibu, and also wanted to be able to pipe the cream into quite firm 'peaks'...  The coconut flavour was subtle, but discernible, and the texture was exactly like the normal version.  I didn't refrigerate it, but did whisk through some more malibu before piping onto the plates.

The inspiration:
Marcus's Pain Perdu, Pineapple and Coconut