Tamara Graffen - Goat's Cheese and Fennel Semifreddo
with Olive Oil Pastry and Pears
Goat’s Cheese and Fennel Semifreddo
150g goat’s cheese
2 egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup cream
1 tbsp finely chopped fennel fronds
200g caster sugar
2 Corella pears, finely sliced lengthways into 2mm slices
Small handful fennel fronds
Small handful Vietnamese mint
Olive Oil Brik Pastry
1/2 tsp vinegar
1/2 tsp olive oil, plus extra to brush over pastry
3 tsp Scotch whisky
Salt, to sprinkle
1 cup cream
¼ cup Scotch whisky
Puffed Wild Rice
3 tsp wild rice
Olive oil, for shallow frying
¾ cup sugar
½ cup cream
¼ cup Scotch whisky
Pinch salt, to taste
Fennel fronds, to serve
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- For the Goat’s Cheese and Fennel Semifreddo, place goat’s cheese into a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until melted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool until needed.
- Place the egg, egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk for approximately 10 minutes over low heat or until thick and pale. Remove from heat, add the melted goat’s cheese and stir through until combined. Set aside to cool until needed.
- Meanwhile, whisk cream to soft peaks. Once whipped, fold the cream through the goat’s cheese mixture, along with the fennel fronds.
- Place a sheet of 6 x 6.5cm dome moulds on to a flat baking tray. Fill each dome mould with the mixture, level the surface with an offset spatula and place the tray in the freezer to set. Once set, unmould the semifreddo and reserving domes in freezer until needed for serving.
- For the Candied Pears, heat the sugar and 100ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add remaining ingredients and cook until the pear slices are tender and almost falling apart, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain the pears through a fine sieve to remove the liquid. Spread the herbs and pears onto a baking tray and bake for in the preheated oven until translucent and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- For the Olive Oil Brik Pastry, combine flour, 250ml water, vinegar and oil in the bowl of a food processor and blitz to a smooth, thick pouring cream consistency.
- Heat a crêpe pan over a pot of rapidly boiling water and, using a pastry brush, brush broad strokes of batter, in a thin layer, onto the surface of the pan, covering the surface. When the batter begins to lift from the pan, flip over using a palette knife and cook for approximately thirty seconds before transferring a baking tray. Repeat with the remaining batter.
- Brush both sides of the brik pastry with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake in oven for approximately 15 minutes or until golden and crispy. Break into large shards and set aside on a baking tray until needed for plating.
- For the Chestnut Purée, score the base of the chestnuts with a cross, place in a glass bowl and cook in the microwave for about 2 minutes, in 30 second bursts, checking at each interval to see when they are opened. Once the chestnuts have opened, transfer to a baking tray and roast in the preheated oven for approximately 15 minutes.
- Once roasted peel the chestnuts, chop finely and place into a small saucepan along with the cream over medium heat. Cook until liquid is reduced by half. Once reduced, transfer the mixture to a stick blender canister, add the butter and whisky and blitz until smooth.Set aside until needed.
- For the Puffed Wild Rice, heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once almost smoking, add the wild rice. When the rice has puffed, scoop out of the oil with a spider strainer. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside until needed for plating.
- For the Whisky Caramel, heat the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until dark amber in colour. Whisk in the cream, whisky and butter, a little at a time, and continue to whisk to incorporate well. Once the mixture is fully incorporated, remove from heat. Season with salt to taste. Transfer the caramel to a jug and set aside until needed for plating.
- To serve, spread a tablespoon of Chestnut Purée onto the base of each plate and cover with shards of Olive Oil Brik Pastry. Top with the Candied Pears and herbs. Scatter with fennel fronds and place a dome of Goats Cheese and Fennel Semifreddo on top. Serve with Whisky Caramel on the side.