Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Espresso-Chocolate Semifreddo

Usually I don't care for semifreddo; it's not quite ice cream and not quite a substantial torte, cake, or pudding. I picked this recipe out of food and wine magazine because the picture was really pretty, and i'm happy to say it turned out quite well.

I'm a fan of Sherry Yard's recipes. They're usually very sophisticated, though sometimes a little hard to execute at home. This recipe didn't give an indication of just how much batter it produced. Make sure you use a very large mixing bowl.

This recipe was also a good excuse to play with my dad's huge La Cimbali espresso machine. I brewed shot after shot and tasted them all before measuring them out for the recipe O.o

If you like Tiramisu, I think you'll like this. It's got great coffee taste and a really nice texture. It'd be great with some raspberry coulis, or at least some muddled fruit.

Espresso Chocolate Semifreddo
(adapted from Food and Wine Magazine)
1.5 cup sugar
3/4 cup water+ 2tbsp
1.25 cup strongly brewed espresso
1/2 cup whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1 tsp gelatin dissolved in 2 tsp water
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 large eggs
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1.25 cups heavy cream
18 dry ladyfingers
1 tbsp cocoa for sprinkling
Raspberries, for serving

1. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of the sugar with the 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup of the espresso. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Let the espresso syrup cool.

2. In a small saucepan, boil the remaining 1 cup of espresso over high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 8 minutes) Pour into a medium heatproof bowl.

3. Warm the milk with the vanilla bean and seeds over moderate heat until bubbles form around the edge. Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin until melted. Discard the vanilla bean. Add the hot milk to the reduced espresso and whisk in the chocolate until melted.

4. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the eggs at high speed until light yellow and foamy. In a small saucepan bring the corn syrup, the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, and 2 T of water to a simmer. Cook over moderately high heat until the syrup registers to 235 on a candy thermometer*, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually beat the hot syrup into the eggs. Continue beating until the mixture is very pale and has tripled in volume, about 4 mins. Fold in the espresso mixture**

5. In a bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into the mousse mixture until no streaks remain**

6. Spoon about 1/4 of the mousse into a 9 inch springform pan. Dip 6 lady fingers into the espresso syrup until just soaked through. Arrange the ladyfingers over the mousse in rows. Repeat the process 2 more times, then top with the remaining mousse. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze at least 6 hours.

7. Before serving, warm a thin sharp knife under hot water. Run the knife around the edge of the semifreddo and remove the ring (you can refreeze after this if the sides are a little melty) Sift cocoa over the top of the semifreddo. Cut into wedges and serve with raspberries. The semifreddo will keep frozen for up to three days (so says the magazine.)

*If you don't have a candy thermometer, you can cook the syrup and periodically drop a little of it into a bowl of cold water. You want to cook it until a little before the soft ball phase. You should be able to shape the cold syrup with your fingers, but it shouldn't form a really dense ball. It takes a little practice sometimes.

** I was running out of room in my bowl, so I just gently whisked in these ingredients. It didn't deflate the mix or anything.

1 comment:

deeeeeeena said...

What a great dessert and such beautiful photos!