COFFEE SEMIFREDDO WITH ALISON JOHNSON, ROSE BAKERY
4 min read
The inspiration for these flavor pairings — apricot, coffee, hazelnut — comes from the spices I like to use when I poach apricots — ginger, vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon. Cardamom, apricot and Turkish coffee marry nicely. The freshness of the ginger with vanilla and cinnamon takes the coffee flavor to another level. The hazelnuts add an earthly touch (plus, this crumble recipe is a keeper).
Spiced Poached Apricots, Coffee Semifreddo & Hazelnut Crumble
For the coffee semifreddo:
250g cream (35% fat)
1tsp vanilla extract (optional)
200g or 4 large eggs at room temperature
125g wildflower honey
1⁄4 tsp fine sea salt
10g finely ground espresso
For the hazelnut crumble:
50g cold butter cut into cubes
50g golden cane sugar
1⁄4 tsp fine sea salt
50g Piedmont hazelnuts (plus a small handful of toasted nuts to crush and add to the crumble once it’s baked)
For the poached apricots and apricot coulis:
10 ripe apricots
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
Juice of 1⁄2 orange
5cm knob of fresh ginger
1 vanilla bean
15 green cardamom pods, slightly crushed
1 cinnamon stick
For the coffee semifreddo:
First, make your coffee semifreddo.
1. Place your ramekins or individual moulds in the fridge to chill.
2. In a small pot, bring 100g of the cream to a boil. Add the ground espresso, stir then cover the pot off the heat to infuse for 20 minutes.
3. Add the rest of the cold cream to the pot, combine then pass the liquid through a fine mesh strainer directly into the bowl of a stand mixer.
4. Whisk the cream on medium high speed until thick and voluminous. Transfer the cream to a container and chill.
5. In another bowl, add the eggs and honey. Place over a bain-marie, being careful not to let the bottom of the bowl sit in the simmering water. Whisk the eggs and honey together for a few minutes, until the eggs and honey have lightened in colour and the mixture is just hot to the touch. Remove from the bain-marie and whip the eggs on a medium high speed until cool, light and triple in volume.
6. Gently fold half of the whipped eggs into the previously whipped espresso cream, then add the rest delicately so as not to deflate the mixture. Pour into the moulds and freeze immediately. Let chill for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight.
Next, make your hazelnut crumble.
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and mix until crumbly bits form about the size of peas.
3. Turn out the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread into a layer and bake for 5 minutes. As the mixture tends to spread, open the oven and use a spoon or spatula to gently move the crumbs around to create more chunky pieces. Bake for another 7 minutes or so until the crumbs are just lightly colored and crunchy. They won’t get very dark but you will begin to smell the toasty aroma of hazelnuts.
4. Set the crumbs aside to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Poached apricots and apricot coulis:
1. Wash the apricots, cut them in two from the stem and set them aside.
2. Peel the ginger and slice it into a few pieces lengthwise. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds. Add these and the rest of the poaching liquid ingredients into a pot large enough to hold the liquid and the fruit.
3. Bring the poaching liquid to a gentle boil and scrape off any foam that forms on the surface.
4. Reduce the heat to a simmer and carefully add the apricot halves. Cook them gently for a few minutes, until they are cooked through without falling apart.
5. Gently transfer the liquid, spices and fruit to a container. Let it come to room temperature then cover the container and let the apricots sit refrigerated overnight. The next day, the fruit will be tender and aromatic.
6. Now to make the coulis. Take out 150g of liquid and 150g of fruit and put into a small pot. Cook both gently until the fruit begins to fall apart. Take the pot off the heat and with a hand blender, carefully purée the mixture. Push the coulis through a fine mesh strainer and chill.
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