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Sunday, January 22, 2006
Honey Semifreddo - SHF # 15

Though I love to bake, I also like to cook from the most fresh and unprocessed produces with a preference for organic.
But are these two notions incompatible? I mean is it possible to make a delicious mouth watering dessert using only organic unprocessed and homemade produces?
This is the challenge for this month's Sugar High (Low) Friday hosted by Sam from Becks and Posh.

Nowadays, it's very difficult to come across good organic produces. It's accurate that now most of the supermarket stock them but I prefer to get my produces from local farmers and this is a hard task.
First you've got to find the farm – which is not easy.
Then you've got to immerse into the farm's world – not easy either (see here – my immersion into a goat cheese making farm).
But once you've achieved that you can access to a new world – the world of true taste!

Have you ever tasted homemade butter? Or homemade cream? Can you taste the difference? I definitely can.
Homemade organic produces may cost a little more than regular products, but by buying them you know:
- the origin of what you get
- that it's going to be good
- that the animals are happy (and this is very important for me – could you stand buying eggs when you know the hens are like sardines in a tin? I can't. I want my chicken to be bred outside and I want him to eat good cereals… You may think it's a 'cliché' but that's the way I feel.)

For this month's Sugar High Friday I decided to make a honey semifreddo.
I already know what you're thinking: 'Ice-cream? Full of fat!'. OK I'm not going to lie to you, this recipe calls for double cream; but actually I feel far less guilty when eating homemade organic cream than when eating industrial cream. And I suspect I am not the only one…
This recipe is from –guess who?- Nigella Lawson.
Indeed as soon as I saw SHF theme I remembered the nice honey semifreddo Nigella made for one of her TV series. I mean this has no bad ingredients – cream (see above), honey, eggs and pinenuts.
A semifreddo is an Italian dessert between a mousse and an ice-cream. I think Neil Perry describes it very well in The food i love: "Semifreddo is a flavoured mousse that sets in the freezer. It has a texture that is icier than ice cream or sorbet, but is at the same time very light."
The peculiar thing about semifreddo is 'la panna che lo rende spumoso e soffice' [the cream that makes it moussy and soft].

Semifreddo al miele [Honey Semifreddo]
serves 6

Note: all the produces I used to make this semifreddo were organic. The eggs were from a small farm 'de Fouras' (where my grand parents live), the honey is from Les ruchers du Freussin in Beurlay (a small town of Charentes Maritimes) –it is not your usual runny honey but more a golden paste with a charming smell- and the cream and the pinenuts are organic.

1 egg
4 egg yolks
100g best quality honey + few tbsp to drizzle
300ml double cream
½ cup pinenuts

Line a 1 litre loaf tin (fanny: I used 6 cooking rings) with clingfilm.
Beat the egg and egg yolks with the honey in a bowl, over a saucepan of gently simmering water, until the mixture is pale and thick. I use a wire balloon whisk for this, but if you feel like a bit of culinarily aided whirring, it will certainly be quicker with a hand-held electric whisk (fanny: and indeed it was).
Whip the double cream until thick, and then gently fold in the egg and honey mixture.
Pour into the prepared loaf tin, and cover carefully with cling film before putting it in the freezer for about 2-3 hours.
When it is ready to serve, turn out the semifreddo onto a suitably sized plate and drizzle this manilla-coloured log with honey, and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts, before slicing.
It thaws quickly as it stands, but that is part of its heavenly-textured charm.

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15 sweets:
Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Lovely piece of work, Fanny. And great picture as usual! It looks very appetizing!

22 January, 2006 17:28 

Blogger Sam said something sweet:

this looks delicious, Fanny, thank you for your charming entry.

I made semi freddo last year at cooking school, but it was less complicated than your version: just whipped cream and chestnut honey, popped in the freezer.

Have you ever tried chestnut honey? It's got a quite funky taste. I would call it an 'acquired taste'.


22 January, 2006 22:53 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Wow, this is one of our favourite desserts, my husband makes a version very similar to this and the recipe in Nigella Lawsons books. Summer heaven, though I'm sure I could eat one now!

22 January, 2006 23:38 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

I agree with you on organic! And this looks great.

I had semifreddo for the first time living in Italy last year and loved it. I have an old love story to parfait as well, and now I wonder: what is the difference between them?

23 January, 2006 02:11 

Blogger Andrea said something sweet:

Looks very nice!
Really liked your post. I cook everything from fresh. And am brought up on home-made produce, so as you say, you can taste the difference. My mum still gets farm milk that is still warm when she picks it up. When it sets a little, it has a thick layer of cream on top!

23 January, 2006 09:56 

Blogger *fanny* said something sweet:

Bea - thank you for being so nice. Actually i had troubles when shooting and wanst' very happy with the result. It's quite hard to take a good picture under pressure - 'oh no it's melting so fast!!!'

Sam - i have to thank you first for hosting SHF. What a great theme. I must have tasted chesnut honey when i was in Corse (the chestnut paradise) but really i couldn't tell you how it tasted. Actually it's only recently that i started to make differences between honeys. We have so much varieties over there...

GastroChick - you've got a great husband. I would send you one if i could... Oh but i'm going to London next week. Do you think i could bring one with me?

Carin - you might be interested in Mighty Foods a great blog about organic, raw and vegetarian produces.
Semifredo and parfait are the same things, really. Only the Alps separate this two deliciousy moussy confections.

Dreska - thank you for your comment. I remember when we rented a farm one summer we got delicious milk. We had to boil it twice and then it was ready to drink. Yum


23 January, 2006 10:36 

Blogger Claire ou Aida ou Flore !! =) said something sweet:

effectivement, c tro bo !!!




23 January, 2006 19:05 

Blogger Pille said something sweet:

I remember that recipe in the book, although I haven't tried it. Looks gorgeous! And you've just reminded me of the Sugar Low Friday - I must think of something soon..

24 January, 2006 12:50 

Blogger *fanny* said something sweet:

Aida - merci mon boubinou! Je t'aime fort aussi...

Pille - i can't wait to see what you're going to make for SHF.


24 January, 2006 13:21 

Blogger Banlieue Blog said something sweet:


24 January, 2006 17:52 

Blogger Niki said something sweet:

Hahahaha! Would you believe I made the very same dish from the very same cookbook! Evidentally, great minds think alike. :-) It's totally yum, isn't it, but oh so rich.

27 January, 2006 12:48 

Blogger Sam said something sweet:

thank you fanny, it looks way more successful than my attempt at semifreddo - i should use a recipe next time instead of fabricating one in my head!

28 January, 2006 04:27 

Blogger Sam said something sweet:

oh duh - i aready left you a comment - i thought i had but then i couldnt see it

28 January, 2006 04:28 

Blogger Elise said something sweet:

Hi Fanny,
This looks lovely! So simple. Thank you for sharing.

30 January, 2006 00:09 

Blogger celia kusinera said something sweet:

Hello Fanny, I must say that semifreddo looks gorgeous! :) And I do agree with you that local organic produce is the best. I just wish I have more of those in my area.

02 February, 2006 06:19 

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