We have made it to week #8, in our Nailed it or Failed it series. It’s still a little hot in Texas, so why not go with a popsicle was my thought for this week. It was perfect for eating, but almost a little too hot for photographing. Even with keeping these frozen for the image, once plated, I had just a few minutes to photograph this before it started melting and wilting in the fall heat.
Not a lot of changes to this Bachour recipe. I did scale down the ingredients to make only six popsicles. One other change was that the recipe called for almond hazelnut praline paste in the semifreddo and the cremeux. Best I could find locally was Valrhona Hazelnut praline paste. If you don’t have access to this in a local grocery store, seems like Amazon has just about everything now a days.
I made popsicles in a mini Silikomart silicone mold. Each popsicle was about 3″. The mold was easy to use, but I would recommend gloves when you take the popsicle out of the mold. The best part about making this was, of course, the hazelnut malto. Every time we get a chance to play with tapioca maltodextrin to make snow, it puts a smile on my face. My second favorite part was the microwave sponge cake. I have seen this done before, but I had never made one. I must say I was skeptical, and if I were a betting woman, I would have lost the bet on how easy and delicious the cake was. There is something great about 40 seconds in the microwave and you have a cake.
I will say that this dessert may be more than a home cook might be up for. It isn’t that it is hard, but I don’t know a lot of home cooks that have an iSi whipper in the cupboard. Once we start talking about specialized equipment, and ingredients like maltodextrin, praline paste and agar agar, it could make a lot of people’s eyes glaze over and run them off. It’s not that any of these ingredients are hard to come by, they just aren’t a regular pantry staple. But if you are looking for a wow type of dessert that isn’t too difficult to make, with perfectly paired flavors, this praline semifreddo popsicle could easily be your go to recipe.
Go ahead and give this semifreddo a try, we would love to hear how you do. If you are still catching up on the other seven weeks of the nailed it or failed it series, here’s where you can find all the past weeks.
Praline Semifreddo Popsicle
- 48 g heavy cream
- 137.5 g almond hazelnut praline paste
- 35 g egg whites
- 30 g granulated sugar
- 137.5 g heavy cream
- 100 g mango puree
- 15 g granulated sugar
- 1 g agar agar
Almond Caramelia Microwave Sponge Cake
- 70 g granulated sugar
- 125 g egg whites
- 80 g egg yolks
- 60 g ground almonds toasted
- 19 g all purpose flour
- 40 g Valrhona Caramelia chocolate melted
- 40 g tapioca maltodextrin
- 60 g hazelnut oil
- 15 g confectioner's sugar
- 1 g gelatin sheets
- 15 g heavy cream
- 100 g almond hazelnut praline paste
- 50 g heavy cream
- Heat 48 g cream in a small pot and whisk in praline paste until smooth.
- Heat the egg whites and sugar over a double boiler, whisking constantly, until the graininess in the sugar is gone.
- Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip to medium peaks. Fold 1/3 of meringue mixture into praline cream, then fold in the remaining whites.
- Whip 137.5 g heavy cream to soft peaks and fold into meringue praline mixture.
- Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small pot. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and then blend until smooth.
Almond Caramelia Microwave Sponge Cake
- Process all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Strain into an iSi whipper, charge with 1 N2O charger and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours. Cut slats in plastic cups on the bottom, fill halfway with batter and microwave for 40 seconds to cook.
- Flip cups upside down and set aside to cool.
- Combine all ingredients in food processor. Process, scraping sides of bowl occasionally, until crumbs form.
- Soak gelatin in ice water until softened; squeeze out excess water and set aside.
- In a small pot, bring 15 g cream to a boil. Add gelatin and stir to dissolve.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, slowly beat praline paste and hot cream to combine. Add 50 g cream and mix well to combine.
- Pipe praline semifreddo into popsicle molds, insert sticks and freeze until firm. Unmold a popsicle and place onto center of plate.
- Top with Almond Caramelia Sponge Cake, Mango Gel, Hazelnut Malto and Praline Cremeux. Garnish with chocolate.