Introduction: Far From Home Pineapple Lumps
Pineapple lumps are an iconic, world-famous-in-New-Zealand, chocolate covered deliciousness. Living outside NZ makes it very hard to get hold of them without paying a fortune so with the Rugby World Cup in full swing and relevant celebratory delights in short supply, I decided to try my hand at making them myself!
This is a sticky process, and can get a bit messy, but as with all things sugary, clean up is quick and easy in hot water. Your family and friends will be overcome with how fabulous this taste of NZ (home) is.
If you are not familiar with pineapple lumps or how awesome they are... this might help :)
400g Icing Sugar (Powdered sugar)
Yellow Food Dye
Dried pineapple (alternatively pineapple flavouring)
Cooking chocolate for melting - I used a mix of unsweetened and semisweetto offset the sweetness of the rest!
Step 1: Mmmmmmmmelting Mmmmmmarshmallows
The centre of a pineapple lump is a bit of a lottery. Some are soft and marshmallowy, others chewy and some hard and crunchy (till they warm to chewy!). I was not at all sure how to replicate this lucky dip of texture, but decided to go with a firm(ish) marshmallowy centre.
Put your marshmallows and the water into a pot and stir until melted over a moderate heat. Don't let the marshmallow burn or catch on the bottom. I took it off the heat before all the lumps had gone and continued to stir it as the marshmallows finished melting and the mixture cooled a bit.
Sift about half of the icing sugar into the pot. Mix it in. Continue to add sifted sugar until the dough is firm enough to handle, then scrape it out onto a sugar sprinkled benchtop.
Knead the dough, adding more icing sugar to the bench top and the dough when it becomes sticky. I set a sieve with some sugar in it in a bowl just outside the work surface so I could grab it and shake a bit more on whenever it got too sticky. Eventually you will end up with a soft smooth dough.
Step 2: Flavouring
I search high and low for pineapple flavour and could not find any local, so I swapped flavour for the real thing. I chopped up three slices of dried pineapple into small chunks, and folded it into the dough, with about 3 drops of yellow food colouring. I kneaded it until the colour and pineapple pieces were evenly distributed.
Note: I have read that it is a bad idea to add colour and flavour to marsmallow earlier in the process (while heating it) as it can compromise the texture of the end product.
Step 3: Shaping Things Up
Roll the dough out on a sugared surface. The thickness depends on you, but a real pineapple lump is between 0.5 and 1cm thick. If you keep the board and the top of the dough covered in sifted sugar it should not stick to anything.
Cut the dough into the desired shape. I cut about half into little rectangles like the real thing, and used a small cookie cutter for the remainder. Any off cuts can be reused, but you will find it does get a little dry with over sugaring!
Pop the dough in the fridge to cool before chocolate coating (will avoid chance of the marshmallow melting!)
If you are not going to chocolate coat right away, then store the fillling in an airtight container.
Step 4: Chocolate Coating
Chop your chocolate (if necessary) and melt. I used a double boiler method - a pot of water on the element with a bowl inside it - if you do this you can stir it continuously and it won't stick or boil. Be careful not to get any water in with the chocolate though.
Some chocolate gives instructions for melting in the microwave which is also quick and easy.
Once the chocolate has melted, set it aside to cool a bit (again to avoid the marshmallow melting)
Everyone probably has their own way of getting the chocolate coating on. I drop a piece of the dough into the chocolate, flip it over with a fork, then scoop it up and lift it up with the fork. Let the excess chocolate run off before taking a second fork and scraping the excess chocolate off the bottom. Use the second fork to guide the dough off the fork onto a sheet of baking paper.
Cool in fridge when done.
Once the chocolate has set you can tidy up the edges with a warm knife, or just break off any excess if you don't mind irregularities!
It is best to keep these in the fridge as the chocolate has not been tempered to keep it hard.
Step 5: Enjoy
Sit back and enjoy the rugby (or Hunt for the Wilderpeople if rugby isn't your thing) with bowl of pineapple lumps and a can of L&P in your hand!
Grand Prize in the