Saturday, August 9, 2014

Orange-Fennel Semifreddo with Spicy Chocolate Bits & Almond Streusel | Guest Post by Reclaiming Provincial

Orange-Fennel Semifreddo with Spicy Chocolate Bits & Almond Streusel

The past week has been filled with a flurry of activity. Organizing, coordinating, writing, cooking, shooting, repeat. I've been spending these toasty summer nights relaxing with either a popsicle, cocktail, or mircrobrew in hand to help wind down after the long days (and I mean long, the sun doesn't set around here until about 9:30!) I'd be hard-pressed to find something that goes down as a smooth as a creamy wheat beer on these hot and balmy evenings, and luckily Portland has plenty of those in ready supply. I've made plans to experiment with beer ice cream in the near future, but until then I have something even more delicious to share with you, and that's this Orange-Fennel Semifreddo with Spicy Chocolate Bits & Almond Streusel. Yes, you read that correctly, the most amazing semifreddo title OF ALL TIME. This sweet and spicy creation comes from my dearest friend on the web, Carey Nershi of Reclaiming Provincial. Carey is not only an incredibly talented cook, stylist, and food photographer, but she's one of the kindest ladies I know, and I am so incredibly excited to have her here with us today. Welcome, Carey!!!

Orange-Fennel Semifreddo with Spicy Chocolate Bits & Almond Streusel

Hi guys! I’m so so excited to have a guest post here on Eva’s blog today. Eva and I became fast friends a couple years ago after I left one of my trademark ramblings-of-a-crazy-person comments on her homemade bitters post, and I had the opportunity to meet her in person the following spring when she came out to VT for the King Arthur Flour Blog & Bake. She is one of my favorite gals and a constant source of food and photography inspiration. With that in mind, it seemed fitting that I make a semifreddo for this post, given that (1) I didn’t even understand what semifreddo was until Eva made one last year, and (2) my KitchenAid freezer bowl attachment decided to start leaking blue mystery liquid, putting a damper on my usually excessive ice cream making this summer. So frozen dessert that doesn’t require fancy freezing equipment? I’m in.

Orange-Fennel Semifreddo with Spicy Chocolate Bits & Almond Streusel

I have been thinking about making some sort of orange ice cream-y thing ever since a bar of Chili-Cayenne dark chocolate from Jelina Chocolatier found its way into my life. I am a bit addicted to the Jelina chocolate bars, and will buy one every now and then when I’m having a treatyoself moment. This Chili-Cayenne bar is definitely something else though. The adjective choice of “fire” is very appropriate, as it is the spiciest chocolate I have ever tasted. It’s a bit much for me to eat as is, but it was perfect peppered in amongst the cold, orangey sweetness of this semifreddo. The fennel-infused cream (btw fennel whipped cream might be my new favorite thing) complements the orange custard in a perfect way, and the almond crumble adds a wonderful flavor and texture to the whole dessert. And it slices! Who can resist a sliceable frozen treat? Not me.

Orange-Fennel Semifreddo with Spicy Chocolate Bits & Almond Streusel

Orange-Fennel Semifreddo with Spicy Chocolate Bits & Almond Streusel


Orange-Fennel Semifreddo

1 3/4 cups heavy cream
2 tsp fennel seeds
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
½ cup orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest
pinch of salt
2 squares of Jelina Chili-Cayenne chocolate, finely chopped (or another spicy chocolate of your choice—if you pick something less fiery, feel free to use more and/or not chop it into teeny tiny pieces)

Almond Streusel

1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp almond paste
4 tbsp butter, cubed
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Orange-Fennel Semifreddo with Spicy Chocolate Bits & Almond Streusel

Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a good amount of overhang on the edges.
Crush fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle. Combine fennel seeds and heavy cream in a sauce pan and heat until the cream just begins to show signs of simmering around the edges. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for one hour. After an hour, pour the cream through a sieve into a stainless steel bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (ideally), or until cream has chilled completely.

Whip fennel-infused cream to stiff peaks and set aside. Combine egg yolks, sugar, orange juice and zest, and salt in the top of a double boiler. Whisk constantly over simmering water until the mixture has thickened a good deal. Immediately remove from heat and pour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat for approximately 6–8 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy and has doubled in volume. Fold whipped cream and chocolate into the mixture, then pour into the loaf pan. Fold plastic wrap over top and freeze until solid (at least 6 hours). Once frozen, unwrap the plastic wrap on top, then invert onto a serving tray (if it doesn’t slide out of the pan right away, give it a few minutes). Unwrap, slice, and serve topped with almond streusel.

To make the streusel: Preheat oven to 350°. Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until crumbly but not too fine. Spread on a baking sheet (it’s best to not spread it too thin, as it can burn easily), crumbling up any still-large bits of butter or almond paste. Bake for 10–12 minutes, or until streusel has just begun to brown around the edges. Let cool, the break it up a bit with your fingers.



Orange-Fennel Semifreddo with Spicy Chocolate Bits & Almond Streusel

Orange-Fennel Semifreddo with Spicy Chocolate Bits & Almond Streusel


20 comments:

  1. His has got to be of of my to-do recipes this summer! Plain perfect :)
    Have a nice sunday!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Ines!! Doesn't it look and sound amazing. Definitely going to be giving this a try :)

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  2. Looks simply delicious. I just love the flavor fennel adds.

    Blessings, Catherine.

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    Replies
    1. Such a great idea! I just had fennel in ice cream for the first time yesterday and was blown away by how delicious it was.

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  3. Oh my gosh that looks amazing! Love the addition of fennel :)

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    Replies
    1. Agreed! The flavor combination going on there sound prettttttty amazing.

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  4. Absolutely phenomenal in every way. Love this!!

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  5. First of all, this recipe looks and sounds uh-mazing. I have never had semifredo before, but now I am convinced I need to make one (especially with orange and fennel!) before this summer quickly runs out! Secondly, I can't get over how awesome this whole food blogging world is- realizing that bloggers I follow know each other is the coolest! Such a great job ladies - so inspiring! And I might need to get in on that King Arthur Flour thing next year…

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Meg! And yes yes yes, that is one of my favorite things about this funny online food community. It seems so vast at first, then you realize how friendly and cozy it can be. :)

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  6. i have never had semifreddo before... but now i know i have to try it NOW. You both are truly inspirational.

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  8. My two favorites in the same place!! What a bummer about your ice cream machine, Carey! The semifreddo is a more than acceptable replacement, though. I love the orange and fennel combination, and with chocolate and almond, too?! Dang. This sounds amazing. I like the rainbow book stack in the background of these photos. It adds interest, but doesn't take away from that delicious dessert :) Eva, I hope the move and remodeling and your work continues to go well. That wee pup you've just got! So cute! You are certainly staying busy :)

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    Replies
    1. OMG THANK YOU FOR NOTICING MY RAINBOW OF BOOKS! :D Funny story: I've started taking photos in my downstairs neighbors' dining room because it's way better than putting an old door on my bed every time I want to take pictures of food...on my bed. And they have these super nifty built-ins that make for a great background, especially since they let me fill them with my overflow of props. I decided to add some cookbooks to the built-ins, grabbed a few of my favorites, then realized that I'd accidentally arranged them into a rainbow-ish pattern after I'd taken the berry cake pictures. Buuut I kinda dig it, so I left them as is!

      Also, I am so peeved at that stupid ice cream bowl. I think the problem is the fact that I have the "professional" KitchenAid instead of the artisan, so the bowls for it have this weird little nub that snaps into part of the mixer and move up and down with a crank thing, instead of twisting to lock at the base of the bowl and the head of the mixer tilting. The freezer bowl started leaking near that nub thing, so I think it's all the snapping in and out of the lock position over the past couple years that's done it. (If I could go back in time I would definitely get a regular old artisan mixer. I prefer the tilt head action. And non-leaky ice cream bowls. Blerg!)

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  9. i definitely am guilty of repinning these images too many times.. looks so delicious and beautifully captured!

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  10. dayummmm!!! this is what i need in my life.

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  11. A semifreddo is one of my favorite things to make for when I have company. They can be made a day ahead, and they are deliciously fabulous and make a pretty presentation. These photos are incredible. Love the flavors!

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  12. OMG, this looks incredible!! I just tasted fennel gelato this week for the first time (at Delfina, swirled with blueberry compote -- yummm!) and I'm a believer. The flavor is so different when softened by cream and sugar - it's magical. I was just dreaming about fennel whipped cream, and then you went and mentioned it! I was talking to my dad last night who lives near Portland and he told me about a fennel maple ice cream he had at Salt and Straw (Eva - you gotta get on that!). This semifreddo is gorgeous, and I can imagine how thrilling all of those flavors must be together. Mmmm... Ok, I'm off to obsess about fennel desserts! :)

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