Thursday, 15 January 2015

Burnt Honey and Glace Fig Semifreddo

A semifreddo is much like icecream, it is usually made with a custard like base that has whipped cream added. This version is made with honey which has been cooked until it became a dark golden colour, not quite burnt. This process makes it slightly bitter and much less sweet. The glace figs are optional, however, they add to the texture and appearance. This is very nice with slow roasted stone fruits such as apricots that are covering my tree, or in Autumn with quinces and  pears.

The starting point - a gift of some honey. My friend Nicole keeps bees,  gorgeous fresh honey, home produce at its best.

Burnt Honey and Glace Fig Semifreddo

1 cup honey
4 egg yolks
600ml cream
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped glace figs

Place egg yolks in a medium sized bowl that will be able to contain the honey mixture and whisk lightly.
Put honey in a saucepan, place on stove and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until honey becomes a deep golden brown colour. If you have a sugar thermometer it should reach soft ball stage. This will take about 6 -8 minutes. The honey will foam and change colour. It is not meant to be really burnt despite the burnt in the title.

Carefully pour hot honey over the egg yolks and whisk. The mixture will thicken. Strain through a fine sieve and place in the fridge to cool.

Whip cream and vanilla until stiff.

Combine the cold honey mixture with the whipped cream. I soften the honey mixture by folding/stirring some of the cream into it and then fold the honey mixture into the remaining whipped cream.

Stir chopped glace figs into the semifreddo.

Pour the semifreddo into a container* and freeze. This will take several hours or longer depending on the depth of the container. If making into a loaf shape it is best to freeze overnight.

*To make a loaf shape
Wet the inside of the loaf tin, place a long strip of baking parchment that goes along the along the tin, up the sides and overhangs the tin. This forms handles and help to remove  the dessert from the tin.

Line the tin with cling film, the wet tin helps it stick.

Pour the semifreddo into the loaf tin, tap on the bench a few times to settle the  mixture.

Freeze overnight.

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