8/8/09

Gourmet's Cantaloupe Grappa Semifreddo & Our Old Man Wrinklebottomfreddo

Anyone see Julie & Julia this weekend? Anyone read this article about the insane food styling on the set? Allow me to quote one sentence: "Making the food look bad is harder than making it look good, food stylists said." So, let me get this straight: I am a super genius??

OK, so, this could perhaps be our gravest aesthetic failure to date, bordering on cosmetically inappropriate for certain readers (hi, Brock). But, hey, you guys be the judge.

Gourmet's cantaloupe grappa semifreddo:
our old man wrinklebottomfreddo:

Looks like old man wrinklebottomfreddo sat out in the sun too long. Fortunately, I think I know what went wrong, but as always, let's rewind and start at the beginning.

The recipe called for grenadine for coloring. We both didn't have and didn't want to buy grenadine, so opted to substitute freshly-squeezed cherry juice. Speaking of substituting things, we also subbed brandy for the grappa. Namesake or not, bon appetempt is on a budget this month, and the brandy was on hand. Also, in the genre of substitution, remember the movie The Substitute (tagline: He has a lesson to teach. And nobody's going to have a problem with it.)?


Remember the leaky blender? We used it again, but this time with a patent-pending juice catcher at the bottom. note: The juice catcher is a cutting board.

Clearly though, I was still afraid of it.

Stir in five egg yolks.

At this point, the beating begins and doesn't really stop for the next half hour. If you don't have or can't borrow (as I did here) an electric handheld mixer, I really wouldn't even think about attempting this recipe (unless, of course, you simply love the look and feel of well-aged desserts). We had to hold this thing over the stovetop for 8 minutes.

And then again over an ice bath for another 6 minutes.

Now, here is where old-man wrinklebottom came out to play. 1. Matt was in charge of lining the loaf pan with plastic wrap, and though I didn't know it at the time, he wasn't up to the task--I've never seen more wrinkled plastic wrap involved in lining such a small pan.
2. We had to mix this mixture with whipped cream, and our first batch of heavy cream didn't turn into whipped cream. I know, whipping cream is a simple exercise we've done a million times, but due to a long, frustrating story involving wayward cantaloupe juice, the first batch was a major failure.

The second time it worked, only the cantaloupe mixture had been hanging out during the whole first failed whip and clean-up of said whip and then, of course, during the re-whip. In short, I think it sat too long. Nevertheless, we folded the whipped cream into the cantaloupe mixture and poured it into the wrinkly plastic-wrap-lined loaf pan.
We let it hang out in the freezer overnight, which I don't think helped our cause. When we pulled it out, the two mixtures had clearly segregated while freezing, and the extra time in the freezer seemed to only sharpen the plastic-wrap imprint into the top mixture.
Despite the failed aesthetics, it did taste good--sort of like a subtle Creamsicle--and I guess it was at least a good learning experience. (Yeah, cuz I learned to never attempt this semifreddo bitch again. Oh, burn! High five!)

Uhm, seriously though, how was Julie & Julia? (I was on vacation so missed out, but want to see it ASAP.)
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7 comments:

Matthew said...

Old man wrinklebottom still tasted good though! I think they didn't use any plastic wrap in theirs though... Anyway, let's see Julie and Julia one night soon!

Anonymous said...

The cataloupe grappa semifreddo (which was a new gastronomic adventure for me) was delicious and very refreshing. Keep the appetempts coming.
Mombers and Dadbers

jessica said...

Julie & Julia was fun. Meryl Streep was incredible. You should try one of Julia's recipes!

Jenny said...

Loved Julie and Julia! Great blog btw!

Mary Anne said...

Wow, that wrinkly-ass wrap job made me laugh out loud. Way to go, Matt! Did you use the entire roll in there??

That was one ugly dessert and I don't think I could have eaten it, especially since in addition to the wrinkly texture it was also so flesh toned (old white man flesh). Old white man buns. Wow. No can do.

brock said...

WOW, thanks for the shout-out. i don't even know where to start on this one...

"where the beating begins" ??

"wrinklebottom" ???

THE SUBSTITUTE??!!

there's a dessert called CHERRIES IN THE SNOW. the old-school equivalent of this madness. would you consider investigating?

love,

brock

Heather Taylor said...

LOVE JULIA. JULIE - not so much...