Catherine drove from Newcastle to Canberra, to stay with us for a few days. On the way she bought a tray of mangoes from a vendor by the side of the road. James and Karen hosted a family BBQ on Sunday evening and I volunteered to bring dessert. Catherine suggested we make a mango semi-freddo with praline, so we had a look at a couple of recipes online and a few more in my large collection of cookbooks and devised this between us. A triangular tin bought in Paris about 10 years ago in a kitchen shop called E. Dehillerin made a perfect mold. I could spend hours in that shop. The mold is also a good shape for pâté and terrines.
2 large mangoes, flesh pureed in a food processor
4 eggs, separated
⅓ to ½ cup plus 2 Tbs caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ cup caster sugar
80-100g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
⅓ cup caster sugar
Make praline: Place nuts in a small frying pan and stir for a minute or two over medium heat until lightly toasted. Tip out. Add sugar to pan. Heat and swirl until you have a nice caramel, then add nuts, mix through and tip out onto a piece of foil. Leave to cool then break into pieces and blitz very briefly in food processor. It should remain quite chunky.
Line a plastic or metal mold which holds 1.5 to 2L with plastic wrap, leaving excess hanging over. Take out three large bowls. Place egg yolks and sugar (⅓ to ½ cup according to taste) in one, cream in another and egg whites and a pinch of salt in the third. With electric beaters, whip egg whites until soft peaks, then add remaining 2 Tbs sugar and whip till thick. With the same beaters (no need to wash) whip egg yolks and sugar till pale and frothy and lastly the cream till thick. Scrape cream and meringue into egg yolk mixture, add vanilla essence, then whip the whole lot together until well mixed. Taste and if liked add a little more caster sugar.
Tip praline into mold to cover the bottom. Tip in about half the semi-freddo mixture, then drizzle with half the mango puree. Use a knife to swirl the mango evenly through, then pour in remaining semi-freddo, drizzle with the rest of the mango puree and repeat the swirling. If you have too much filling pour into small glasses and freeze individual ones.
Freeze for several hours or overnight. Remove from freezer about 20 mins before serving. Tip out onto a serving plate and cut into thick slices with a knife dipped in hot water. You may need to hold a cloth rung out in hot water on the outside of the mold for a few seconds to loosen this dessert.
Note: this recipe contains raw eggs