2017 Josef Chromy Botrytis
600ml whipping cream, 35% fat
50g fennel seeds
100g white couverture chocolate
4 egg whites
4 egg yolks
80g castor sugar
Pinch of salt
80 g butter
Lemon rind syrup
4 lemons, juice and peel
Other ingredients for the dish
2 leaves of sorrel, if you can get it
1 bulb baby fennel, keep the fronds
Although there are several steps it’s not a very time consuming dessert as there isn’t much cooking time involved.
For the semifreddo, start the fennel cream the day before. Toast the fennel seeds until golden. Then blitz them to a fine powder in a spice grinder. Bring the cream to scalding point and add the toasted fennel. Cover the pot and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to cool, then pass the cream through a fine strainer and discard the fennel, keeping the cream.
Melt white chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler and set aside to cool down slightly. In a mixer, use the whisk attachment to whip the egg yolks with half of the sugar until fluffy and pale, then fold in melted chocolate.
Whip the fennel cream to a medium peak and set aside.
Whip the egg whites with half the sugar until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold in the whipped cream to the egg yolk mix until mostly but not fully combined then add egg whites and fold until all combined.
Divide into silicone muffin trays and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Remove from the freezer 5 minutes before serving.
For the snap, melt butter glucose and sugar in a pot until it bubbles but before it colours. Whisk in flour and glucose. Very quickly spread onto baking paper and spread it out. Place another piece of paper over the mixture and, using a rolling pin, roll out flat and set in the freezer. This doesn’t need to be perfect!
Once it’s set hard, break into small pieces and blend in your food processor until a crumb, then sprinkle the powder in circles onto baking paper and bake in oven at 160 for 5-7 minutes and cool. Tip - use a cookie cutter to get the right shape.
Peel lemons and cut peeil into large strips, trying to get as little white on as possible. Then cut into thin long strips. Juice the lemons and strain through a fine strainer. Put the sugar, water and lemon juice into a pot and bring to the boil. Add the lemon rind and reduce the heat to a simmer until the rind is tender (if the rind isn’t quite tender but liquid has reduced, add a touch more water). Remove from the heat, add a pinch of sea salt, allow to cool.
To make the salad, cut the green top off the fennel and pick the fennel leaves into a container for use in the salad. Very carefully, finely slice the fennel bulb. Take your nectarines and remove the seed, slice these also and mix with the shaved fennel bulb, torn sorrel leaves and dress with some of the sugar syrup and lemon rind.
When ready to serve, place one disk of chocolate snap onto the bottom of your serving plate. Up-end your semifreddo from the silicone muffin mould and place on top of the chocolate snap. Place a tablespoon of the salad on the semifreddo and top with one more disk of chocolate snap. Serve immediately so the snaps are still crispy.
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