Chocolate Panna Cotta with Caramelized Pineapple and Amarena Cherries

Recipe from What's For Lunch, Honey?  

Ingredients

For the chocolate panna cotta

400 ml heavy cream
90g fine sugar
30g cocoa powder
4 sheets gelatine
1 vanilla bean, scraped
50 ml milk
50 ml chocolate syrup, I used Swiss Chocolate from Monin
100g Mascarpone cheese

For the caramelized pineapple

1 baby pineapple, peeled and cut into wedges
50 g sugar
150 ml - 200 ml pineapple juice
8-10 Amarena cherries
2 tablespoons syrup reserved from the Amarena cherries

Method

For the chocolate panna cotta

Soak the gelatine in cold water for approx 5 minutes. In a saucepan bring the cream, sugar, vanilla pod and the scraped seeds to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and allow for the cream to steep for 30 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk the milk, cocoa powder and chocolate syrup to a smooth mixture. Remove the vanilla pod from the cream and discard. Bring the cream mixture to a boil once again and gently whisk in the cocoa mixture. Remove from heat.

Squeeze water from gelatine and dissolve into the chocolate-cream mixture. Allow to cool at room temperature, then place in the refrigerator until the mixture starts to thicken. Add the mascarpone cheese and whisk until smooth and there are no lumps.

Fill the mixture into 4 forms (each about 150 ml) and refrigerate overnight.

For the caramelized pineapple

On medium heat allow the sugar to dissolve and caramelize to a light golden color. Pour in the pineapple juice. The sugar will solidify but keep the mixture at medium heat and gently bring it back to a boil. The sugar will begin to dissolve. Allow the mixture to simmer and reduce into a thick syrup - approx 10 minutes.

Add the pineapple chunks, Amarena cherries and syrup and cook for approx. 5 minutes until softened. Cool to room temperature.

Tip the panna cotta onto plates and serve with the caramelized fruit or if you prefer just spoon some of fruit over the panna cotta in the glasses or forms.