SHF: Honey & pinenut semifreddo
Wow, three recipes from Forever Summer in as many days. I guess it's the right season for it. This one came about because I had seen the theme for this month's Sugar High Friday, which is "Sugar Low Friday". In consideration of the excesses of the recent holiday season, the challenge is to make a sweet recipe but to be a bit more frugal with the fat and the sugar. In fact, try not to use any processed sugar at all, but look to natural unprocessed products like fruits and syrups, or experiment with sugar substitutes.
In fact, Sam asked for feedback on what it's like to cook with these sugar-low products like Splenda, and I can provide that because when I was on a serious low-carb diet a few years back I tried making many of the substitute recipes you find on those crazy zealot-dieter websites, including one for some peanut cookies made with Splenda. They weren't actually too bad, you know, but they had strange, somewhat crumbly texture and an rather unnatural aftertaste, which is difficult to describe. I'm sitting here playing with words and I still can't come up with anything more than "unnatural" and, perhaps, "chemical". They smelled funny too. Hmmmm. Also, I don't know about anywhere else, but in Australia Splenda is pretty expensive, and pouring out a cup or so felt like a pretty frivolous thing to do. At a pinch I ate them and enjoyed the experience, but they were just not a patch on cookies made with real sugar.
I didn't think I'd have a chance to make anything for this SHF installment, but when geting my chocolate pavlova recipe I noticed this honey semifreddo in the icecream chapter - a chapter I'd always pretty much ignored cos I don't have an icecream maker - but this recipe doesn't require one. It also doesn't require any sugar. Double bonus! It uses honey as its sweetener, and very effective it is too. However, whilst this recipe may be low in processed sugar, low in fat it certainly aint. This baby contains 5 eggs and a whole pot of cream. Sorry.... :-( But, hey, no sugar...... :-)
It's an absolute doddle to make - just whip cream, and mix honey and eggs together, and throw it in the freezer. The taste is extremely rich, and I (yes, even I) recommend small portions, which is very unlike me. It's also a showcase for good honey, and I had the perfect stuff for the occasion, in my unrefined stuff I get from the uni market. The pinenuts on top add a real interest, and I think they're an essential component to the dish. The intensity of the honey flavour needs something to break it up, and the pinenuts do that really well. A dead easy dessert that tastes like something that took hours to make.
Read on for the recipe:
from Forever Summer, Nigella Lawson.
4 egg yolks
100g best-quality honey, plus 3 tablespoons or so for serving
300ml double cream
25g pine nuts, toasted
-Line a 900g/1 litre load tin with clingfilm or greased aluminium foil
-Beat the egg and egg yolks with the honey in a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water (or just use a very heavy saucepan like a Le Creuset) until mixture is pale and thick. You can use a balloon whisk if you want a workout, but using an electric beater will be much easier.
-Whip the double cream until thick, and then gently fold in the egg and honey mixture. Pour into the prepared loaf tin, and cover with clingfilm before putting it in the freezer for about 2-3 hours.
-When it is ready to serve, turn out the semifreddo and drizzle with honey and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts before slicing. It thaws quickly as it stands, so be careful.
Tagged with: SHF # 15 + Low Sugar