I think watching cookery shows is rubbing off on me. Wow I plated that and I feel super happy looking at it.
The ‘pineapple and cheese in a toothpick’ snack, is something that reminds me of parties I attended as a kid in the Air Force mess. I decided to add some more fun and flavour to this simple canape`.
So we have a super crisp sesame cheddar cracker layered with caramelized cottage cheese and grilled pineapple, topped with a tiny dollop of cream cheese and some dark chocolate.
One bite and it bursts into a lovely mix of flavours and textures- crunchy , chewy and creamy at the same time. I loved how the grilled pineapples balance the tastes of sweet and tart. And that dark chocolate and cream cheese bring it all together.
The idea of caramelized cottage cheese comes from the traditional Odiya dessert – Chenna Poda. I loved how my ‘paneer’ looked pretty and golden.
Now that I have got you drooling, let’s get started.
Hope you enjoy making this as much as I did.
Cheesy Pineapple Canape`s
Crisp sesame cheddar cracker layered with caramelized cottage cheese and grilled pineapple, topped with a tiny dollop of cream cheese and some dark chocolate.
For the cheese crackers-
Combine all the ingredients except the water.
Add a little water at a time and bring the dough together.
Cover with a cling wrap and set aside for 5 minutes.
Pre heat the oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes.
Roll out the dough and cut into circles using a cookie cutter or you may use a sharp knife to cut it into squares. [ Make the crackers slightly larger than your paneer and pineapple discs]
Place them on a greased and lined baking tray.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until the crackers turn light brown and crisp.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before storing in an air tight jar.
For the grilled pineapples-
Use a sharp cookie cutter and cut the pineapple slices into neat circular discs. Alternately you could cut squares using a sharp knife. [Make these slightly smaller than the crackers]
Place them on a greased tray/rack and grill them until they get light brown streaks on the surface. You can either do this in your OTG or in an electric grill. Mine were done in 5-7 minutes at 160 degrees.
For the caramelized cottage cheese-
Keep a greased parchment paper ready [ for keeping the prepared caramelized paneer].
Cut the paneer into thin slices.
Using a sharp cookie cutter or a knife cut out round discs / squares [of the same size as the pineapples].
Place a thick bottomed pan with the sugar, over medium heat.
The sugar would start to melt from the corners. Use a fork to gently mix and turn the heat to low.
The sugar would soon melt completely and turn golden in colour [similar to honey]. Care must be taken to avoid the caramel from getting burnt.
Place the paneer discs into the caramelized sugar and turn them over after about a minute or two. Cook on the other side for another minute and remove from the heat.
Carefully place each disc on the greased parchment paper and set aside to cool.
You can use the remaining caramelized sugar for some elegant spun sugar decoration.
Dark Chocolate -
Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler.
Pour it onto a parchment and spread it into a thick layer.
Allow it to set a little [for about 3-4 minutes].
Cut into shapes of your choice. [Use a small cookie cutter and trace the shape but don't remove them yet ]
Place the parchment in the refrigerator for 5 minutes or until the chocolate sets completely.
Remove the shaped chocolate decoration and set aside.
The cheddar crackers would be the base. Layer each cracker with a slice of caramelized cottage cheese.
Place the grilled pineapple over the cottage cheese.
Top with a little dollop of cream cheese.
Fix the chocolate decoration over the cream cheese.
- You can use any cracker recipe of your choice. But do make sure they are thin and crisp.
- If making the chocolate dressing seems tedious, simply use some choco chips or dark chocolate squares from a ready made bar.
- It is always better to keep all the ingredients ready before starting the caramelizing or grilling. So start with getting the cracker dough, paneer slices and the pineapple slices ready.
- The caramel can get burnt very easily. Always keep it on a low flame and remove it from heat once it reaches the golden brown stage. You can warm it again if it starts to solidify.
- Also do be careful- caramelized sugar is super hot and you don't want to burn yourself.