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Caribbean Coconut Kaiserschmarrn
What if Austria was located in the Caribbean? Perhaps, it could be a nice tropical island. Well, obviously you wouldn’t plan your ski holiday there. Apart from winter sports and from a more culinary viewpoint, Austria is most famous for its huge variety of delicious pastries. Perhaps one of the simplest and most popular desserts is the so called Kaiserschmarrn: a light and fluffy batter made with separately beaten eggs, which results in something between a soufflé and a pancake. According to the story of this dessert, it was first prepared and served for Emperor Franz Joseph I during the 19th century, who also gave the name to this dish. Now imagine the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I and his beloved wife Sissi sitting at the beach under a palm tree somewhere in the Caribbean. Obviously they won’t be eating their Kaiserschmarrn with apple puree, but rather use tropical fruits instead, like coconut, pineapple or passion fruit. Maybe the result would look somehow like this Caribbean Coconut Kaiserschmarrn.
Basically, I started with the idea of making a coconut Kaiserschmarrn. I replaced the required milk by coconut milk (which is always better when it is homemade), the flour partly by grated fresh coconut and the butter, in which the batter is baked, by coconut oil. When I plated the Kaiserschmarrn I also had the idea to sprinkle the dessert with grated coconut instead of the classical icing sugar. All this fresh coconut – accompanied by some crispy coconut chips – gave a very refreshing touch to the final dessert.
Probably the only ingredient in this dessert, which is not very tropical but also comes from far away, were the goji berries a.k.a. wolfberries. I like goji berries because of their unique and unusual taste, which I thought could work well in a tropical environment too. I used them instead of the classical raisins and soaked them in rum. Instead of the apple puree I was considering tropical fruits. I used hot pineapple as a fruity and sour accompaniment to the sweet coconut pastry. Finally, some grated fresh lime zest and a spoonful of passion fruit syrup turned the dessert into a sweet tropical heaven.
Take apart the dried goji berries and cover with rum. Soak for 2-3 hours, strain and reserve the rum. Toss the soaked berries in flour and sift the unnecessary flour from the berries.
For the coconut
Using the pointed side of the hammer, knock the middle of the coconut until it cracks. Take the crack around the coconut by gently knocking it with the hammer. Remove the outer shell and wash the inner nut.
Halve the coconut and strain the liquid through a fine sieve. Add as much coconut milk to the coconut liquid to get a total of 250 ml. Warm the coconut milk and add a finely chopped lemongrass. Cover, bring to a boil, remove from the heat and steep for 1 hour. Strain the coconut milk through a fine sieve and reserve.
Cut the coconut in quarters. Cut 2 quarters in fine slices using a vegetable peeler. Place on parchment paper without overlapping, sprinkle with icing sugar and dry in the oven at 80-100°C / 175-210 F for 1-1.5 hours until crisp. Ensure not to brown the chips while drying. Peel the remaining coconut and grate the white parts. Cover and reserve.
For the Kaiserschmarrn
Mix the flour and the lemongrass flavored coconut milk. Separate the eggs. Add the yolks to the coconut-flour mixture and stir together with 1 tbsp sugar, the grated zest of a 1/4 lime, 2 tbsp reserved rum and 50 g grated coconut.
In a separate bowl beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until peaks start to form. Add the egg whites in batches to the batter. Stir gently to keep as much air bubbles as possible.
Melt 2 tbsp coconut oil in a large pan and add the batter. Sprinkle with the floured goji berries and cover with some batter. Brown the bottom of the batter, then place in the oven at the top level. Bake at 200-250°C / 390-480 F until the top is nicely browned. If you have a pan with a plastic grip, wrap it in aluminium foil to protect it from the heat.
For the passion fruit sauce
Halve the passion fruits, scrape out the interior and strain through a fine sieve. Add a quarter of the seeds to the passion fruit juice and discard the rest. Add 1 tbsp sugar and 4 tbsp water to the passion fruit juice. Warm over low heat until it starts to get syrupy.
For the pineapple
Peel the pineapple and cut into bite-size pieces. Warm over low heat.
When the top of the Kaiserschmarrn has browned nicely, remove it from the oven. Take the dough apart into bite-size pieces with two forks or a flat kitchen tool.
Place the Kaiserschmarrn on warm plates and sprinkle with grated coconut. Add some pieces of hot pineapple. Sprinkle with lime zest and passion fruit syrup.