Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Shabbat Dessert Roundup Part 3: Sunshine Orange Semifreddo

To me, it’s a no-brainer that Shabbat afternoon dessert for a day that is blisteringly hot should be cold and creamy. I’ve ragged on and on about the Israeli heat and in this small way I feel I can battle it that much easier. That’s right, cold desserts. And air conditioning, of course. This was the finale to a very cute and cleverly themed Burgers Bar (the ubiquitous burger joint here in Israel) meal, hosted by friends of mine, R and I. I’ve renamed this dessert, which comes from Flo Braker’s Desserts for All Occasions, Creamsicle Cake, both because it tastes just like creamsicle and because explaining semifreddo is just too complicated. I loved this dessert- it was light and creamy and perfectly orange flavored over a crunchy cookie crumb base. You can choose to add the orange flavored liqueur or opt to leave it out, as I did. The filling starts with reduced orange juice and is then cooked with eggs and some sugar. Once the desired temperature to kill all the bacteria is reached the eggs are then beaten until thickened and whipped cream is folded in. It is then poured over the baked crust and frozen until solid. Care must be taken to eat it either in an air conditioned room or fast, as it will melt otherwise. The only thing I would do differently is to bake the cookie crust a bit less, or use a softer cookie to begin with, so the crust is not as crunchy. It was a tad difficult to cut all the way through and chew although I did enjoy the contrast of crunchy and creamy. This dessert is a definite keeper and got rave reviews. I’m particularly proud of this one and I hope to actually repeat it. Which would be a first.

Sunshine Orange Semifreddo or Creamsicle Cake
adapted from Flo Braker's Baking for all Occasions

150 grams zwieback toasts, graham crackers or tea biscuits
2 tbsp powdered sugar
2 ounces chocolate chips or bar chocolate
3 ounces butter or margarine, melted and cooled

2 cups strained fresh orange juice
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
2 tbsp corn syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9inch springform pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Place the crackers, chocolate, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor.Grind into a find powder.Add the margarine or butter and pulse briefly to distribute.Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.Pat the crumbs into the pan to form an even crust and bake for ten minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Cover and place in the freezer. To make the filling, place the orange juice in saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the juice is reduced to one cup. Set aside to cool completely.Meanwhile, place the cream in a large metal bowl,and whip until soft peaks form. Cover and set aside while you continue with the filling.Add the sugar, corn syrup and egg yolks to the cooled orange juice.Whisk until thoroughly blended. Place over low heat and whisk constantly until the mixture registers 170 on a thermometer.
Pour the orange-egg mixture into a bowl. Place ice cubes underneath the bowl to cool it down. Using a handheld mixer, beat the mixture until it is cold, light and fluffy. The time will depend on your mixer. It could take as long as twenty minutes.

When the mixture is thoroughly beaten, add the cream.Gently fold to combine.

Pour the batter into the pan and smooth evenly over the crust. Freeze overnight.

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