Thursday, January 03, 2008

Eat, Drink and be Berry

Berry Semifreddo

January is here again, and the season of expanding waistlines is slowly winding up; it looks like gym memberships and low-fat yoghurt are back on the list of things hip and happening and pork and anything that ends with the word pudding are back the list of all things dreaded and uncool. Only during the festive season is it okay to reach for your third or possibly even fourth helping of Christmas ham (with extra glaze), and everyone knows when you have multiple festivities to attend the food tally always reverts back to zero at the start of every function.

Is it just me or does the capacity of one's belly tend to expand with each Christmas? I know now that I have had 26 years practice in eating to surfeit, and my belly can hold surprisingly more than I can fathom to eat. You should have seen the meagre amount of gingerbread men I could eat in the past, now I can practically down a whole tribe of them and their m&m covered house without even batting an eyelid. Luckily, the genetic lottery has supplied me with a quick metabolism that hopefully won't go south with age.

Berry Semifreddo

But just before you go back into that regime of pristine of fitness and health and while were still hanging on to our seemingly rapid metabolic rate, here is one more fat-laden dessert for the road- a Berry Semifreddo that is a nice balance between the good and the bad. Good = berries. Bad = Cream.

If you are teetering on the fine edge between saying no to desserts and all things sweet as your resolution this year, then perhaps consider this semifreddo as the last thing to tide you over until the next sugar binge. The dessert isn't overly cloying and the great thing is that all the ingredients are natural. If you are at all worried about all that cream then this dessert is probably not for you. Just think, all that cream aside, there are eggs and berries, both I imagine would have that giant red tick from the Heart Foundation. So what's to worry about?

Besides, with all the whisking involved in this dessert, half of what your eating is probably just air. And if you are still really worried abut all that cream, then the best thing to do is to invite ten of your closest friends and get them to help you eat all that extra dessert. What are your friends there for but to share the calories with?

Berry Semifreddo

What's great about most iced confections that contain cream, like ice cream, is that you really don't need to eat that much to feel full. Two modest scoops and you have had your fill. Not that this dessert isn't good enough for seconds but when you are curbing the expansion of that waistline, two scoops are perfect for drawing the line.

As you can see, I am still enjoying the bumper crop of berries available in the markets. Some berries have a markedly short season here so I like to get them as soon as they appear in stores before they disappear again. For this recipe I used blueberries and raspberries, although you could probably substitute any other type of berry that is is in season- strawberries which can be easily found are a good alternative, as would be mulberries and blackberries and redcurrants if you can get them.

Berry Semifreddo

The great thing about this dessert is that it not only tastes delicious but it looks a treat once you start to scoop into it. The berries tend to sink to the bottom as you freeze them, so when they emerge from the freezer it really doesn't look like much much, but when you dig in you will be pleasantly surprised by a deluge or colour.

Right now the weather has been surprisingly genial, considering the weather people had tipped an overcast and wet summer. So what better way to take advantage of the sunny days than with a dessert to beat the heat.

Berry Semifreddo
Adapted From Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 36
Serves 10

Berry Semifreddo

2 x 120g punnets blueberries
1 x 120g punnet raspberries
3 eggs
2 egg yolks, extra
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1 cup caster sugar
1¾ pure single (pouring) cream

Place blueberries in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.
Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
Clean out food processor bowl and process the raspberries and place in another bowl and set aside.
Place eggs, egg yolks, vanilla seeds and sugar in a large heatproof bowl.
Place over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk the mixture with a hand-held beater for 4-5 minutes or until thick and pale.
Remove from heat and continue to whisk until the mixture is room temperature.
In a separate bowl, whisk cream until soft peaks form and gently fold into the egg mixture.
Fold in the berries until evenly incorporated throughout the mixture.
Pour the mixture into a 12-cup capacity dish and cover with aluminium foil.
Place in the freezer for 4-6 hours until set.
Serve with strawberries on top.

32 comments:

gkbloodsugar said...

You're right about the fun factor in scooping - Wow!
It's like a rainbow crust.

Love your work so much.

sugarlaws said...

gorgeous!!! that first picture is just stunning. it took me a second to process but i love it!!!

Coffee & Vanilla said...

Your berry desert looks delicius...
Happy New Year Jenjen!!

Margot

tara said...

Absolutely gorgeous - both the recipe and the photographs. You have done a mouth-watering job of capturing the texture, and charm, of this semifreddo. Beautiful stuff, what an absolutely tempting image. Love the touch of balance between cream and berries for the new year!

Gloria said...

This looks wonderful!!! We are in summer too! the pictures are lovely!!! Have a wonderful year!! Gloria

Nysa said...

hello jenjen... i discovered your blog yesterday and i am fascinated about it. very nice fotos :-) i want to ask you how much is 1¾ pure single (pouring) cream? 1 and 3/4 cups??? please tell me how much cups or g it is. thank you very much! xoxoxo from munich

Kimberley said...

Beautiful! The presentation is excellent!

Kevin said...

The berry semifreddo looks really good. I like the white top with the explosion of berry colour just waiting beneath the surface!

Mansi Desai said...

that looks great Jenn! nice start to a fabulous new year:)!

Rachael said...

Wow and yum! The photos look so delicious. I will definitely have to try it because it doesn't involve an ice cream maker. Frozen granitas never quite do the trick for me, because although they also don't require an ice cream maker, they just tend to get too hard. This looks wonderful!!

Tartelette said...

Happy New Year Jen! What a beautiful and heavenly creation!

Mar said...

I always forget you're in Australia when I start to read, my mouth waters... and then I realize I have to wait six months to try the semifreddo if I actually want the berries to taste good.

But I absolutely adore your photography. (I'm a lurker who very rarely says anything.)

rebel bea said...

DELICIOUS as ever...this is my favourite blog and you never fail! Even with this extremely unhealthy and appetizing semifreddo that I'd certainly eat because my belly didn't expand in these festive days...there's still place! bye bye go on this way!

Hillary said...

That is too beautiful to pass up for the gym! :) Just gorgeous.

Suganya said...

I would love to try this, but unlike you, whatever I eat ends in my hip. Just pictures will do for now. Happy New Year :)

Eva said...

Aaah, I think I can safely persuade myself to dig into that without feeling guilty - as you said, it's just berries after all! Thanks for sharing an ice cream recipe that doesn't require an ice cream maker!

Meryl said...

Hi,
This sounds great. I assume by "1¾ pure single (pouring) cream" you mean 1 3/4 cups?
Thanks.

jeena said...

Happy New Year! What an amazing post to start the new year with. The pictures are wonderful I am so hungry for ice cream now! :-)

Helen (AugustusGloop) said...

Wow this looks amazing, and its packed with fruit so it's totally good for you :)

A delicious way to start the New Year!

Aimée said...

Even though the snowbanks outside my house are nearing 10 feet high, this gorgeous frozen dessert has huge appeal. Nicely done!

VeggieGirl said...

oh Jen, no need to worry about bellies expanding - enjoy that gorgeous Berry Semifreddo that you've photographed and made!! Honestly, I've never seen a more beautiful scoop of a frozen dessert before, in my life.

Kieran said...

Very nice! Happy New Year.

Mommy said...

YUM. and beautiful.

KarenHarveyCox said...

Such a lovely blog...and yummy too. I found your blog through another favorite. Your desert looks amazing. We are in New England in the States and are knee high deep in snow. Yet, it's always a good time for ice cream. Karen

Beth G. said...

WOW!! That looks stunning and SO YUMMY!! Happy New Year :O)

Windy said...

Wow! Looks like some lovely ice-cream to me. Good stuff. :)

Betty C. said...

Your blog is beautiful, and the cross-season effect is great as I freeze here in Aveyron, France...

Happy New Year!

Katie said...

This sounds (and looks) delicious. I'm trying to figure out what to do with the multitude of plums still hanging on my plum tree.

amandalwh said...

You never fail to make me drool over your wonderful works! =X *drool-ing* Happy 2008! =p

chefshirley said...

Wow! Your semifredo is succulent! Your blog is wonderful, I've looked around and always wonderful recipes with droolworthy pictures, it's awesome!
Shirley

Happy cook said...

Happy New year.
Love them. They are just delicious. if i had them i would also say wait till tommorw to my waisline :-)

Cheryl said...

The colors on that is gorgeous. I have an idea. Just don't eat anything else all day, exercise for at least an hour. Then have a big bowl of it as your only meal. I think the fat and calories should balance out then. If I had to only have one meal it would definitely be what you made.