Saturday, January 26, 2013

Semifreddo





Berry Maple Semifreddo

Photos property of Steve Shanahan


First published Canberra Times 16 January 2013.
In the midst of what feels like a never ending summer, my thoughts turn to cool and easy desserts. The brief at this time is no fuss; something I can prepare in advance but will still look and taste fresh on the day.

These are just the ticket, no fussing with an ice cream maker, all you will need is an electric mixer with two bowls or a spare hand mixer for whipping cream.

You can freeze the left over egg whites in an airtight container. To track your frozen egg whites, place a small piece of masking tape on the lid and write the date on it. When preparing to use the egg whites, thaw completely to use in meringue or coconut roughs below. 








Berry maple semifreddo


500g raspberries, frozen thawed, or fresh
250g caster sugar
8 egg yolks
600ml pure cream
100g maple syrup

Combine the raspberries and 50g of the sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook gently for four minutes until the berries just begin to soften and the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool and then refrigerate till cool.

Whisk the egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer on high speed for five minutes until creamy, light and fluffy.

Heat the remaining sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat for five minutes until it is just beginning to darken and the sugar has dissolved. Mix with a silicone spatula, gently scraping the bottom and edges and mix any lumps back into the centre. Any lumps will eventually melt. Work fast to stop the sugar from burning. While the yolks are still whisking, pour the sugar liquid into the egg yolks in a thin, steady stream with the mixer on moderate speed, so as not to cook the yolks. Whisk until completely cool.

Whip the cream in a separate bowl to form stiff peaks. Fold in the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the chilled raspberry mixture. Pour into a two litre loaf tin lined with plastic wrap so the ends and sides of the plastic wrap hang outside to provide a handle for later removal. Stir in the maple syrup gently to create a marbled effect. Cover with the overhang of plastic wrap and freeze for five hours until firm. Remove by grabbing the plastic wrap, lifting from the tin and turn out onto a serving plate.







 

Salted caramel semifreddo


Praline
150g caster sugar
¾ tsp sea salt

Caramel
100g caster sugar
50ml water
50g salted butter chopped
1 tsp sea salt
150ml pure cream, slightly warmed

6 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
350ml pure cream

For the praline, pour the sugar in an even layer in a heavy based saucepan. Line a baking tray with baking paper that has been lightly greased with vegetable oil.

Heat the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat for five minutes until it is just beginning to darken and the sugar has dissolved. Mix with a silicone spatula, gently scraping the bottom and edges and mix any lumps back into the centre. Any lumps will eventually melt. Work fast to stop the praline from burning and immediately mix in the salt. Quickly pour the mixture onto a baking tray, swirling and tilting the praline so it spreads thinly over the tray. Set aside to cool and set.

For the semifreddo mixture, crush the set praline into small chunks and place into a plastic bag. Bash it with a rolling pin to crush. Set aside.

Combine the 100g sugar and 50ml water in a heavy saucepan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Brush the sugar from the sides with a wet pastry brush then cook without stirring until a deep amber colour. This will take about eight to ten minutes. Add the butter and salt and stir to combine. Add the cream and stir until mixed. If sugar crystals form when you add the cream, return the pan to a low heat for one or two minutes, then remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, the 50g of sugar and vanilla paste in the bowl of an electric mixer on high speed for five minutes until creamy, light and fluffy. While the yolks are still whisking, pour the hot caramel mixture into the egg yolks in a thin, steady stream with the mixer on moderate speed, so as not to cook the yolks. Whisk until the egg yolk mixture cools and refrigerate until completely cold.

When the yolk mixture has completely cooled, whip the cream until soft peaks form and gently fold the cream and the crushed praline into the cooled yolk mixture. Pour into a two litre loaf tin lined with plastic wrap so the ends and sides of the wrap hang outside to provide a handle for later removal.

Cover with the overhang of plastic wrap and freeze for five hours until firm. Remove by grabbing the plastic wrap, lifting from the tin and turn out onto a serving plate.








 
 

Coconut pineapple and basil semifreddo

6 egg yolks
1 cup caster sugar
½ cup fresh pineapple, finely chopped and extra to serve
½ cup pineapple juice
1 cup coconut cream
1 cup of pure cream
2 tbsp dessicated coconut
2 tbsp fresh Thai basil leaves, finely chopped

Heat the sugar and pineapple juice in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

Whisk the egg yolk s in the bowl of an electric mixer on high speed for five minutes until creamy, light and fluffy. While the yolks are still whisking, pour the hot sugar and pineapple liquid into the egg yolks in a thin, steady stream with the mixer on moderate speed, so as not to cook the yolks. Whisk until completely cool. The mixture will gradually thicken and go pale and creamy.

Whip the coconut cream and the pure cream together till soft peaks form and gently fold through the egg yolk mixture along with the coconut, pineapple and basil.

Pour into a two litre loaf tin lined with plastic wrap so the ends and sides of the wrap hang outside to provide a handle for later removal.

Cover with the overhang of plastic wrap and freeze for five hours until firm. Remove by grabbing the plastic wrap, lifting from the tin and turn out onto a serving plate.

Serve with fresh pineapple pieces.

Coconut roughs

125g unsalted butter
2 egg whites
1 tspn vanilla paste
120 plain flour
120g caster sugar
80g shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 200C
Mix the butter, egg whites and vanilla in a bowl, then fold in the flour and sugar. Beat until smooth.

Spread teaspoonfuls on baking paper lined oven trays. Spread each spoonful to about one millimetre thickness in random elongated shapes.

Bake for five minutes until golden and keep an eye out for burning. Leave to cool and harden. Serve with semifreddo or ice cream.