Caramelized Pineapple Chunks for One Person

I love chocolate, but sometimes it keeps me awake at night. So, I’m always on the lookout for delicious desserts that don’t take a lot of time to make, especially in warmer weather when I don’t want to keep the oven on for a long time.  Caramelized pineapple chunks hits the spot perfectly.  It’s only got four ingredients and takes only about 15 minutes to make. Perfect!

This is a dessert that’s sweet, fruity, and seems decadent (but isn’t really). The pineapple chunks are cooked with just a bit of butter and some brown sugar to form a rich brown caramel sauce.  The rest is basically fruit (and optional nuts).  It only takes a few minutes to make, so you don’t have to stand over the stove for half the day.  The original recipe called for rum (which I didn’t have), so I left it out.  If you do have it, by all means use it.  Dark rum would be best.

You can also garnish it in different ways. Top it with some chopped pistachios, or crushed almonds.  Or, add some strawberries (one fruit is good, two fruits are even better).  It’s both sweet and somehow savory at the same time.

While you can use a fresh pineapple, then you have to worry about using up the rest of it.  I got around this problem by going to the market and getting cut up chunks of fresh pineapple. It’s much easier, less cutting, no mess, and no concerns about eating the rest of it before it spoils (which would be a shame!).

If you can’t get the fresh chunks, you can use the canned variety in a pinch. Just make sure to get the kind in juice, not in syrup.  If you use the canned version, cook the pineapple in the juice from the can (if you like) instead of orange juice.

One thing, don’t walk away from it. Leave it in the pan too long and the sugar will burn, making a terrible mess (ask me how I know this).

If you want, you can make the whole thing in advance and eat it the next day. It’s better slightly warm or at room temperature, so let it sit out for a while to warm up before you eat it.




Caramelized Pineapple Chunks Substitutions and Variations

  • Top the pineapple with a shot of dark rum or brandy (or try adding the rum to the sauce)
  • Garnish the fruit with chopped nuts (pistachios or ground almonds)
  • Add some strawberries on top
  • Serve with butter cookies
  • Top with crème fraȋche or sour cream

More Fruit Dessert Recipes

pear dessert crepeEasy Pear Crepe Dessert Recipe for One Person

Crepes are hard. Using a tortilla instead is easy. Lightly cook the pears in butter, add cinnamon and sugar, and roll into the “crepe.”  Brandy would be good too. Or pear liqueur.

 

cinnamon sugar apple breadSmall Batch Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

A moist, sweet quick bread that’s chock-full of apple chunks and topped with crackly cinnamon sugar.

 

poached pears with chocolate sauce and ice creamPoached Pears with Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream

Gently cooked in butter, drizzled with chocolate sauce, and garnished with ice cream.  An easy dessert you can enjoy just for yourself (or with company).

 

mini blueberry hand piesMini Blueberry Hand Pie Recipe

Packed with blueberries, these homemade pies fit in your hand. You don’t have to cut it or get a plate. Just pick one up and eat.

 




Easy One Serving Apple Crisp Recipe

It’s officially fall, so that means it’s also officially apple season! This easy one serving apple crisp recipe really satisfies that apple craving, while indulging your sweet tooth at the same time. I had a serious hankering for something sweet, but not too gooey, and this hits the spot.

Try to use apples that are large, crisp, and juicy, but not too sweet.  I am lucky enough to have access to a greenmarket with a farmer who grows 75 kinds of apples.  So, I used Esopus Spitzenberg (supposedly Thomas Jefferson’s favorite apple).  If you don’t have 75 kinds of apples, Granny Smith or Mutsu or similar will do just fine.

The original recipe called for 2 cups of sugar (for 12 servings), which was waaay too much.  Every other recipe I saw used half that.  So, I followed suit and cut it in  half.  It’s still sweet and delicious, without endangering  your teeth.




Easy One Serving Apple Crisp Recipe Substitutions and Variations

  • Give in to the pumpkin spice craze and add ground cloves and ginger
  • Try a splash of brandy (especially Calvados)
  • If you want your crisp more syrupy, add some apple cider
  • Serve with ice cream or whipped cream on top

Tools and Ingredients for Easy One Serving Apple Crisp

 

black and decker mini chopper

Black & Decker Food Chopper

A mini chopper is essentially a food processor’s little cousin.  This is perfect for grinding up the oatmeal in this recipe.  And, it takes up a lot less space than a food processor.  It’s great for chopping nuts, dicing onions, making pesto, or even grinding a small batch of meat for meatballs.

HIC Square Baking Dish small porcelain baking dish

This dish is ideal for baking smaller casseroles, cakes, crisps, and crumbles.  Use it for brownies, peach crumble or a mini-meatloaf.  It’s perfectly content in the oven, the dishwasher, and the microwave. And, it also takes up very little space in your cupboard.

More Fruit Dessert Recipes

cinnamon sugar apple breadSmall Batch Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

Crackly cinnamon sugar topping, lots of chopped apples, and a downscaled recipe that’s perfect for one person.

 

Peach Crumble Recipe for One

Sweet summer peaches, two little bowls, and one pan.  Soooo good. Make sure to top it with some vanilla ice cream. Because you deserve it.

 

poached pears with chocolate sauce and ice creamPoached Pears with Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream

A classic French dessert that’s remarkably easy to make.  Poach the pears gently, then add chocolate and ice cream. Fancy huh?

 

caramelized pineapple chunksCaramelized Pineapple Chunks for One Person

Delicious, easy, and pantry-friendly. Hint: you can use canned pineapple! And it only takes a few minutes to make. Serve plain, topped with chopped nuts, or add other fruit too.




Small Batch Ginger Pear Bread

I’ve been craving pear bread ever since I saw some in the store the other day.  Funny how that happens. The store version was much too big for one person, so I ran to the Internet.  I started out thinking I would make the Smitten Kitchen pear bread recipe.  But, that turned out to make two loaves. I’d never be able to eat two loaves of bread before it went stale.  Even a single, full-size loaf was more than I wanted, especially for an experiment.  So I kept looking.  Then I found that  Desserts for Two had a banana bread recipe that, with some tweaking, would do nicely.  So, ginger pear bread was born.

I didn’t want to play around with reducing the sugar, but I was concerned that 3 tablespoons of sugar plus the honey plus the pears would be too sweet. So, I balanced the sweetness of the pears with the bite of some cinnamon and a bit of ground ginger.  Ginger is both sweet and spicy, depending on what other flavors you combine it with.

I topped the whole thing with some chopped almonds for a bit of nutty crunch.  They were supposed to go in the bread mixture, but I forgot!




One warning though, when you finish mixing the combined ingredients, the result will look a bit odd before you bake it.  However, the finished bread is delicious.

Substitutions and Variations for Ginger Pear Bread

  • If you like, revert back to the original and use bananas instead of pears
  • I used almonds, but walnuts or pecans would work too
  • Add more ginger, or some candied ginger for more bite

More Small Batch Dessert Recipes

poached pears with chocolate sauce and ice creamPoached Pears with Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream

A sweet treat that’s elegant and surprisingly fuss-free.  Gently cook the pears, drizzle with chocolate sauce, and top with ice cream.

 

pear dessert crepeEasy Pear Crepe Dessert Recipe for One Person

Standard crepes are hard to make. This one is easy. Hint: it’s not really a crepe.

 

cinnamon sugar bananasCinnamon Sugar Bananas with Brandy

Cousin to Bananas Foster, this dish takes only five minutes to make. You don’t need the fancy brandy either.

 

cinnamon sugar apple breadSmall Batch Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

A moist, sweet (but not too sweet), treat packed with chunks of apples and topped with crackly cinnamon sugar. It’s been down-scaled, so it’s the perfect amount for one person.




Greek Yogurt Chocolate Cake

This Greek Yogurt Chocolate Cake has got everything a cake needs: chocolate, chocolate chips, and a gooey chocolate center. I would have left it at that, but then I remembered my local bakery’s chocolate blackout cupcakes. Those cupcakes have chocolate cake, a chocolate icing center, and then more icing on top! Yes! If it’s good enough for cupcakes, it’s definitely good enough for cake.

I found this recipe on dessert for two.  Since it’s already a small portion, I didn’t change it much, but I did make a few tweaks.

Because I don’t use cooking spray, I prepared my mini baking pan with butter and a dusting of flour. 

Keep Your Cake From Sticking

Just rub the butter over the bottom and sides of the pan, then sprinkle flour over it and spread it around with a butter knife.




Also, I didn’t have chocolate chips, so I cut up part of a bar of chocolate with a large knife (a mini-chopper would work too). Since I was going to add the icing, I cut the amount of “chips” to 1/4 cup.  I don’t like espresso powder, particularly not with chocolate, so I left that out.

Finally, I topped it all with a ganache topping, which is simply equal parts chocolate bar and butter.  Just combine 2 oz. of chocolate with 2 oz. of butter and melt that gently in a small saucepan.  Let it cool for fifteen minutes (or it will just soak in to your cake and disappear) and then and spread it over the top of your cake. If you want, you can add a splash of vanilla extract to the mixture.

Since this is a small cake, you don’t need to use your mixer.  You can easily make the whole thing by hand in a single medium-size bowl.

Tools and Ingredients for Greek Yogurt Chocolate Cake

HIC Porcelain Square Baking Dish 6.5- by 6.5- by 1-inch

This dish is the perfect size for this cake, a small coffee cake, brownies, or apple bread.  It cleans up easily and you can put it in the dishwasher if you like. It’s also microwave safe.

Cadbury Bourneville Cocoa

This cocoa is far richer and more full-flavored than the usual American cocoa. It’s darker chocolate and has no added sugar or fillers. Just plain cocoa.


Silicone Spatula Set

It’s getting harder and harder to find these in the stores. They’re all too wide: fine for turning fish or an egg, but useless for scraping cake batter out of your mixing bowl or spreading icing. Since they are silicone, they’re more heat-resistant than rubber would be. They’re also dishwasher safe and have built-in holes for hanging.

More Chocolate Dessert Recipes

easy chocolate mousseEasy Chocolate Mousse

One of the very first things I learned to cook. Only five ingredients, and you don’t have to separate eggs or melt chocolate. Easy, delicious, and chocolate. What more could you want?

small batch brownies cocoa powderSmall Batch Brownies with Cocoa Powder

Just enough brownies for one person (because a full batch is just too much). These are made with cocoa powder, so you don’t have to melt chocolate to make them.

 

single serving double dark chocolate pudding recipeSingle Serving Double Dark Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Double dark chocolate pudding, in a single serving. This is actually two recipes in one. Cook it more, you get pudding. Cook it less and you get thick European hot chocolate.

 

chocolate banana breadMini Chocolate Banana Bread

Banana bread + chocolate! All downsized for one person.  Just mix everything together in a bowl, and bake.

 

 




Small Batch Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

It’s apple season! It’s also the time of year when it’s traditional to eat apples and honey (for a sweet Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year).  I brought a full batch of this cinnamon sugar apple bread to my brother’s house for the holiday. They gobbled it up! Pretty good, considering it was competing with mom’s New York cheesecake.

I originally planned to post the entire recipe, which I adapted from Cookies and Cups.  Then I remembered (duh), that this is the “single serving chef” blog, and the portions should be smaller!

I have reduced the sugar and the vanilla, because the original recipe was far too sweet for me. The result is a delicious, and easy to make, quick bread (think banana bread, but with apples rather than bananas), that’s full of apple flavor and topped with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.

If you can get them, use a Canville Blanc D’Hiver apple (which is a French tart apple). If not, Granny Smith, Mutsu, or GingerGold will work well. You want an apple that’s firm, crisp, and not too sweet.

I once accidentally made this with cayenne (!) instead of cinnamon. I mention it because it was much better than I would have expected.  I’m not sure I’d do it again deliberately, but it did give me an idea (see the substitutions section).




Substitutions and Variations for Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

  • Add 1/2 tsp ground ginger and the seeds from two cardamom pods for some extra warm spiciness (skip the extra topping)
  • Give it a bit of a kick with some brandy or Calvados
  • If you’re brave, or like spicy sweets, go for the cayenne
  • Top the bread with bourbon sauce (2 T bourbon, 1/4 C sugar, 2 T butter, heated in a small pan) instead of the cinnamon/sugar.

Tools for Small Batch Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

Wilton Mini Loaf Pan

I’m having a grand time with these mini loaf pans. They allow me to make “half-size recipes” without a lot of leftovers. And I don’t have to worry about having bread or cake going stale before I can finish it.  Just take a recipe for a single loaf of bread, divide the dough in half, and you have two mini-breads.  Perfect!

More Quick Bread and Fruit Dessert Recipes

cinnamon sugar bananasCinnamon Sugar Bananas with Brandy

A five-minute dessert that’s a real treat. Think streamlined Bananas Foster.  Great alone, or topped with ice cream.

 

easy one serving apple crisp recipeEasy One Serving Apple Crisp Recipe

You only need a single bowl to make this simple apple crisp.  It’s warm, spicy, sweet, and made with oatmeal. That makes it healthy. Right?

 

chocolate banana breadMini Chocolate Banana Bread

Plain banana bread is good. This is even better. It’s packed with rich, chocolatey goodness that takes ordinary banana bread to the next level.  Or, go all out and add chips too.

 

caramelized pineapple chunksCaramelized Pineapple Chunks for One Person

Cooking pineapple deepens the flavor and brings out the sweetness. Add chopped nuts for crunch. Dessert in minutes.

 




Peach Crumble Recipe for One

The peaches are particularly good this summer, so I’ve been buying them like a crazy woman. They’re so good, even my dad (who didn’t like peaches) was gobbling them down. Then, of course, I have to figure out what to do with them all! Some get eaten fresh (with lots of napkins). A few more went for chicken with peaches and basil. The rest get turned into this peach crumble recipe.

Traditionally, the difference between cobbler, crumble, and crisp was the topping.  Fruit cobblers had a biscuity topping (using an egg).  To make a crumble, you topped it with a butter and flour mixture (think coffee cake).  A fruit crisp topping had oats.  Now, it’s all mixed up and also seems to depend on what part of the country you live in.

Whatever you call it, peach crumble is easy to make. Just mix the peach base in one bowl and the crumble topping in another.  Since it’s a small portion, you don’t even have to pull out the mixer.




Substitutions and Variations for Peach Crumble

  • Use half peaches and half blueberries
  • Try nectarines or plums
  • Go back to the future and use apples (add a pinch of nutmeg)

Tools and Ingredients for Peach Crumble

HIC Porcelain Square Baking Dish 6.5- by 6.5- by 1-inch

Perfect for peach crumble, a small batch of brownies, or apple crisp. It’s heavy, well-made, and dishwasher-safe too. If you have extra crumble, you can heat it in the microwave right in the dish.

More Fruit Dessert Recipes for One

easy one serving apple crisp recipeEasy One Serving Apple Crisp Recipe

Just enough for one, with a crumbly sweet oatmeal mixture folded in (that makes it healthy, right?)

 

pear dessert crepePear Crepe Recipe for One

“Standard” crepes are hard. This isn’t. It’s not really a crepe at all. Still works, tastes great, and it’s easy!

 

cinnamon sugar bananasCinnamon Sugar Bananas with Brandy

Speaking of easy, if you have five minutes, you can make yourself a dessert. The splash of brandy (or rum) makes it elegant (even though you only need a few minutes to make it).

caramelized pineapple chunksCaramelized Pineapple Chunks for One Person

This can be fresh or canned (doesn’t matter).  Ready in minutes, just heat the pineapple slightly, add a little sugar, and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

 




Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake Recipe for One

I was in the mood for something sweet with my morning coffee one weekend. After some thought, I settled on a Greek yogurt coffee cake.  The trouble was, I didn’t have a recipe I liked, and most of the small batch recipes for coffee cake I found were the sort of thing you make in a mug, which I didn’t want.

I have tried a few of those and did not like them. I wanted something made from scratch, in a real pan, in the oven.  That way, the flavors have time to meld, and the flour/sugar/fat can work their magic.

I found a great recipe for sour cream coffee cake muffins (for two), but that required a muffin pan. I got rid of mine because I never used it and it was taking up valuable kitchen space.  The funny thing is, she said she decided to make the recipe as muffins instead of a cake since most people have muffin tins. So, I had to revert to her original plan and make a single small batch dessert coffee cake instead!

I made a few other changes too.  The topping sounded delicious, but much too sweet for me, so I decided to cut the sugar she called for in half.




Next, since I have a Kitchenaid mixer, I only mixed the oil and sugar for two minutes, rather than four. Because I usually have Greek yogurt in the fridge, but not sour cream, or heavy cream, I used that instead. You can use the traditional sour cream if you prefer.

Because my mini baking pan is porcelain, and I didn’t want the batter to stick, buttered and floured it before I added the cake mixture.

Since I was baking a single, solid small cake instead of muffins, I also reduced the cooking temperature and increased the baking time slightly.

The result was a delicious, not too sweet, crumbly, cinnamony cake that was just perfect for a weekend treat.

Tools and Ingredients for Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake


Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 5/8-Quart Butter Warmer

This mini saucepan is great for melting butter, making a single cup of cocoa, or for filling in (in a pinch) when you’ve broken your French coffee press again (oy!).

 

HIC Porcelain Square Baking Dish 6.5- by 6.5- by 1-inch

I have been using this dish quite a lot. It’s great for this cake, for my small batch brownies, and a single serving of apple crisp. And, it’s dishwasher safe, if you have one. If there’s any leftover cake, the dish can also go in the microwave, if you want to reheat it.

More Small Batch Cake and Dessert Recipes

greek yogurt chocolate cakeGreek Yogurt Chocolate Cake

Triple chocolate (cake, chips, and ganache) cake that’s decadent, rich, but not too rich (it’s got yogurt!).  The ganache adds extra chocolatey oomph (and it’s easier than you might think).

chocolate banana breadMini Chocolate Banana Bread

Banana bread is good. This is even better. Serve as is, or topped with vanilla ice cream. Because you’re worth it.

 

cinnamon sugar apple breadSmall Batch Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

This is really snickerdoodle apple bread. Snickerdoodles are cinnamon sugar cookies. This recipe adds apples and transforms the cookies into a quick dessert bread. Much easier to make too.

Peach Crumble Recipe for One

Transform sweet, juicy summery peaches into a crumble dessert. You only need two bowls and the baking pan.