Burnt honey semifreddo with seasonal fruits
Updated: Nov 3, 2021
Low Tox Life Food by Alexx Stuart
¾ cup (185 ml) local honey 600 ml (21 fl oz) organic thin (pouring) cream or coconut cream 8 organic pasture-raised egg yolks 2 organic pasture-raised eggs ½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder ¼ teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
2 cups (300 g) pitted cherries or your favourite seasonal fruits, chopped* fresh berries and local edible flowers in season,* to serve grated or ground nutmeg, to serve
Line a 24 cm (9½ inch) cake tin or 11 x 27 x 9 cm (4¼ x 10¾ x 3½ inch) loaf (bar) tin with baking paper (it will mould to the tin better if you scrunch it up well first, then spread it out to line the tin. I use two strips of paper at right angles, to get good coverage and to have plenty to fold over the top).
Combine half of the honey and 2½ tablespoons of the cream in a small saucepan and cook on high until the mixture smells super caramelly (almost burnt), about 4 minutes. Pour immediately into a room-temperature bowl to cool.
Half-fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. Place the egg yolks and remaining honey in a medium metal bowl that will sit securely on top of the saucepan without touching the water. Place the bowl over the simmering water and beat with hand-held electric beaters until the mixture is pale, creamy and frothy (taking care not to burn the electrical cord).
Remove the bowl from the saucepan and set aside.
Pour the remaining cream into a deep medium bowl and beat until thickened but not too stiff. Gently fold the cream and the cooled burnt honey mixture into the beaten egg mixture. Everything should now be in one bowl.
Pour into the prepared tin, then cover and freeze for 3 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, remove the semifreddo from the freezer,* take out of the tin by pulling on the paper, then remove the paper and place the semifreddo on a plate or cake stand. DO NOT PANIC if the paper sticks. Just wait a couple of minutes for the semifreddo to soften, and it will peel off super easily.
Scatter the fruit and edible flowers over the top and sprinkle with nutmeg.
*Notes: To roast hazelnuts, see the note on page 228. When cherries are out of season, try finely diced pear, sautéed in a pan with a little butter and vanilla bean powder, then cooled to room temperature.
For the photo, I used figs, about four. In spring/summer, you could use berries and small locally growing edible flowers such as elderflower. You can keep the semifreddo in the freezer for 3–4 days before serving.
Images and text from Low Tox Life Food by Alexx Stuart, photography by Cath Muscat. Murdoch Books RRP $36.99