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Peppermint Semifreddo

  I'm eating the leftovers of this, right now.  The only healthy thing I've done this post-Christmas week is exercise and eat two salads.  Inbetween that...sugar.  Too much sugar. 

(Photo credit for this pic: sister Carol)

  Okay, I'm feeling slightly guilty.  I'm seriously considering fasting or doing a week of health-food making.  I'm a girl that loves baking, I really do.  But I need to get off this sugar binge.  I need bread, pasta, herb dips, meat...
  How's that for screwy?  I post about this lovely, fluffy Italian dessert while ranting about how tired I am of my over-indulgence with sugar.  Don't let my mood dissuade you!  It's just that post-holiday treats are everywhere.
  But everyone needs to know about this dessert.  It takes maybe half an hour to throw together, then you stick it in the freezer and go on with other dinner preparations.  The only trouble that I had with this was getting the egg yolk to thicken.  I don't why but I always do when trying to use the double boiler method.  I ended up sticking it in the microwave in short intervals at half the power, and that did the trick.  Just don't scramble it, ew. 
  This is also supposed to yield 6 servings.  I would maybe cut it back into 8-9, especially if you've had a big dinner.  Even though this is light in texture, it's quite rich, and most of us couldn't finish the entire cup.
  I love having this recipe up my sleeve; and I'm already thinking of some flavor variations.  Coffee, vanilla bean, lemon...

  That all being said, Christmas was grand and I got some lovely new additions to my ever-growing kitchen tools supply.  Although, I never really did get into the Christmas mood or spirit...I let the general stress of preparation, gift-buying, looming New Year's, and money get to me.  It's ridiculous, and no fun.  I've learned that there's a difference between 'tackling' and 'embracing' Christmas, and I certainly hope to be doing more of the latter next year.  

Peppermint Semifreddo
Yield: 6 servings (feel free to cut back and use smaller dishes if you're susceptible to richness)

  • 4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) peppermint candy, plus more for serving
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 9 tbsp. sugar
  • 6 tbsp. peppermint liquer
  • Warm chocolate sauce, for serving

Place 5 tablespoons of candy in a heavy-duty plastic storage bag and crush finely (I opted for less-than-fine crushing, for a little crunch throughout the dessert) with a meat mallet or rolling pin.  Roughly crush remaining 3 tablespoons of candy, set aside.  Place cream in a medium bowl; whisk in finely-crushed candy, and whip until stiff peaks form. Chill until ready to use in the last step.

Prepare an ice bath. In a large metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water, whisk egg yolks and 3 tablespoons sugar until pale. Add liqueur; whisk vigorously until mixture is thick, 3 to 4 minutes (resort to microwaving at half the power, stirring between short intervals if you can't get it too thicken). Transfer to ice bath; whisk until cool.  

In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water, whisk egg whites and remaining 6 tablespoons sugar until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Attach bowl to mixer, and beat until stiff and glossy peaks form.

Fold the egg-white mixture into the egg-yolk mixture, one-third at a time. Fold in the whipped-cream mixture. Spoon mixture into six serving dishes, layering it with reserved crushed candy. Freeze until firm, at least 1 1/2 hours. 

Serve with warm chocolate sauce and peppermint candy on the side.

Sources: Martha Stewart