Friday, September 23, 2011
If you think that if you don't have an ice cream maker, your ice cream will be grainy and icy. Then you should try this. It's smoooooooooooooth. Maybe due to the absense of water or liquids, this semifreddo is smooooooooooth. The yolks used here are raw, therefore I recommend that you get yourself some pasteurized eggs, available in major supermarkets in the chiller section.
I rewrote the instructions as I assembled this base on the picture in the book. The instructions don't sound like what it showed. It was supposed to be like a big mac. You know, with a 3 pieces of bun and in this semifreddo, the meringue is the bun. But the picture only shows one meringue, that is on the bottom. And the berries don't look mixed in, instead are meticulously assembled. For new bakers, this book will definitely create havoc and the instructions are sometimes unclear, too short, or doesn't match the picture. You have to read it through and through and make your own adaptations if needed.
I also constructed my own casing for this semifreddo instead of using cookie cutter or mini cake rings as I do not have any of those mentioned. And being a homebaker, I can hardly get the meringue pieces uniform in size. Some big, some smaller, some round, some ovalish. Some even looked squarish. They just don't look perfect. So, if you make customized rings according to each meringue, you definitely will make them fit like a glove, preventing any leakage.
Actually I made this the same time as I made my Peach Sorbet Vanilla Ice Cream cake for this year's Ching Ming(Chinese All Sou's Day) when the relatives came back. And this was the first choice for them to eat, maybe it's more colourful? Or maybe it looked more special in the casing :)
The meringue base also added a wonderful light crunch to the "ice cream". Which made me loved this so much in contrast to the smoooooooooth semifreddo. Ther frozen fruits also lightened up this rich frozen dessert. Very delicious.. very.
Mixed Berries Vanilla Semifreddo
Recipe adapted with modifications: Dessert by Page One
2 egg whites (pastuerized)
1 tsp cream of tartar (you must use this amount with pastuerized eggs, if not you won't get them to whip)
Preheat oven to 100C. Beat the egg white with sugar until stiff peaks. Drop spoonsful (I piped 2.5 inch rounds) of the mixture onto a lined baking sheet, and bake for 1 hour. Let meringue cool down and peel off the parchment paper. Keep in air tight container until time of use. Select your favourite 12 pieces and leave the rest for snacking.
Prepare 4 firm plastic sheets (like transparencies type of plastic sheet, you can buy those used as covers for comb binding documents, or just recycle those from your kid's project documents). Cut each sheet along the long side into 3 long pieces. Prepare 12 pieces.
When it's time to make the filling, take one sheet of plastic and one meringue. Place meringue on a flat surface and wrap the plastic around the meringue, securing the ends with sticky tape. It should fit snugly and will look like a drinking glass with the meringue on the bottom. Place all wrapped meringue onto a tray/container that you will use for freezing later.
2 egg yolks (pastuerized)
100gm whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp gelatin
1 Tbsp water
2 cups of mixed berries (I used strawberries and blueberries)
Place water into a heatproof bowl and sprinkle gelatin over. Melt and let it cool down.
Whip cream until soft peaks and place in fridge.
With the same beaters(I didn't bother to wash), beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract.
With lowest speed, beat in whipped cream and the melted gelatin. Use immediately
Divide berries into half. Put half the berries into prepared cases.
Spoon the mixture into cases over the berries, dividing equally.
Spoon remaining berries right into the center of the semifreddo base and freeze until firm. After the semifreddo has frozen well, transfer to a covered container to prevent frost bits on the fruits and to maintain the crispness of the meringue.
Place semifreddo on serving dish, with a sharp knife/blade, cut the sticky tape like as seen in this post and discard the plastic wrap.