Heavenly Cake Bakers ~ Caramelized Pineapple Pudding Cakes

After 4 days of assembly, where to begin?

A title should go first: Caramelized Pineapple Pudding Cakes assembled with a Classic Brioche by Rose Beranbaum of Heaven Cakes.

Our group is headed up by Marie of the Heavenly Cake Bakers. She took on the task of baking her way through Rose's cake baking book full of imaginative and amazing desserts, hoping to learn and grow along the way. I have joined in only 2 months ago and have already learned how to handle my frustration MUCH better. =)

Each step went smoothly. The end and assembling is what caught me up. Actually the caramel becoming a HARD ROCK was a large part of it.

I would also like to state, I started losing interest on the last day and forced myself to finish because the waiting periods between each step meant 4 days to make this small dessert. There was no big process until the end and yet I felt like I was suppose to be the Energizer bunny with this.

Here we go; Day 1: The sponge for the brioche dough. I am obsessed with weighing all ingredients now. A new skill learned!

Also Day 1: The dough is mixed and now rises for 1 1/2 hours.

The dough has risen and now will go into the refrigerator for 1 hour. Then deflated and refrigerated for another hour.

Still Day 1: The dough is patted into a rectangle (sticky) and folded into thirds, much like a business letter. The process is done twice. The dough is refrigerated overnight.

Day 2: Remove and deflate the dough. Shape into a rectangle, press and roll 3 turns. Set in prepared pan to let rise for 1 1/2 hours.
Brush with egg glaze and bake.

I must not have sealed my dough roll all the way. I had a large bulge on the right top.

The bread is beautiful inside and tastes slightly sweet, very soft, and tender. I really enjoyed working with the brioche.
In fact, I can see baking this recipe again. Loved eating the leftovers toasted with homemade spiced pear butter.

Day 2 still. Cutting into cubes. In hindsight, my first mistake starts here. I had a heaping 4 cups, or so I thought. Not enough cubes at the end.
The cubes will air dry overnight.

Day 3: Making the creme anglaise. A simple and tasty process.

I should have known I did not have enough bread cubes when all my cubes fit snugly in a 9 x 9 baking dish, ready to soak in the creme anglaise sauce overnight. I did flip my bread cubes 4 hours in to make sure both sides were moistened.

Day 4: (Sunday) We start with the caramel. I would like to mention now, I measured the temperature as stated before removing from the stove. I removed the caramel 5 degrees early so the sauce could finish cooking without going over.

As soon as the caramel was poured into the souffle cups, the sauce hardened into a solid mass; never to soften again, even after baking.

I cut up my fresh pineapple and started making the sugar syrup for the pineapple quarters to roast in.

The roasting process took me about 35 minutes. My second point of confusion was how long to roast the pineapple and thicken the syrup. The quarters did not feel tender when poked with a skewer for quite a while. In the meantime, the syrup thickened.

I have yet to mention this: My souffle cups were wider then Rose's BECAUSE I had exactly the right amount pineapple slices to cover but the hole in the center was large enough for a full quarter piece.

Another Point: I only had enough bread cubes to make one layer.

I have a large assortment of individual souffle dishes, all holding the same amount of liquid. I did not read 3 by 2-inches until now. I would have saved myself a big headache at the end if I had not spaced this off.

I had about 1 cup of creme anglaise sauce leftover from draining the breadcrumbs. I thickened the sauce, waiting for assembly.

Here we are again!
First, the caramel on the bottom was still hard and I unmolded IMMEDIATELY from the oven.
Second, I was hoping the bread cubes would puff up while baking, they don't.
Third, I should have cut more bread cubes.
Fourth, the syrup needed to be reheated because it hardened into a solid sticky mass and is MUCH darker then Rose's.
Verdict: I loved the brioche! My husband is the only pineapple fan and I must have been expecting too much out of this dessert. The syrup is overwhelmingly sweet and sweet is all I tasted along with pineapple. My husband loved the flavor of the pineapple, eating his portion along with most of mine. He would have been fine with just one but ended up on sugar overload =).
Did I mention I LOVED everything about the Brioche? I really do!
I now need to go see how the other's in the HCB'ers group faced this manipulative dessert by clicking here for the blog roll.


Vicki said…
Great post! I may now try making Brioche with your step by step pictures. This little pudding did take a lot of time. Next time I'm it in a 9x13 and putting other fruit over the top after it's done. I've learned ALOT about sugar temperatures from researching the failed caramel!
Jenn said…
Shandy, I LOVE your step by step pictures. I am too lazy to take pictures along the way! And yes this dessert really takes a lot of time, you wouldn't think so after seeing the picture in the recipe.
Leslie said…
What a fabulous (yet terrifying) post! I have toyed with joining this group but have resisted. THANK GOD! I would have lost my mind, composure and maybe even uttered a bad word along the way. Your dessert is breathtaking and I simply can't believe it was less than perfection.

Not to egg you on but you can make the dough for the brioche and freeze it in the loaf pan. You could make a double batch and freeze one. Having a bit of brioche dough in the freezer is better than money in the bank. Except the brioche makes a better grilled cheese sandwich. :-)
faithy said…
Lovely brioche and pudding! I too love the brioche..even though mine is lopsided.hahaha
Mendy said…

Great post. Love that picture of the holes in the pineapple!
Jenn said…
Shandy, thanks for your comments :). What I did to make the caramel melted was to put the ramekins in a pot with water up to half the height of the ramekins. Bring it to a boil, then let it simmer (medium low to medium heat) for about 20 minutes. By then, the pudding is warm and the caramel is melted. I think this way we give more heat than water bath in the oven. That's what I did to pudding in my picture.
Eliana said…
Amazing in every way! BTW - if you have any leftovers, can I come over and help you finish them off?
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