Friday, 31 December 2010

two-toned yum

Two tone yum!

A nice light dessert that screams "IT'S STILL THE HOLIDAYS DAMMIT!", and is perfect when heavy foods are just sooo last week. Plus (for those of you in the UK), I'm pretty convinced it counts for two of your five a day.

cranberry layer:
1 - 1.5 bag (4-6 cups) fresh or frozen cranberries
75 mL apple cider or redcurrant vinegar
3 whole star anise
5 whole green cardamom pods
1/3-2/3 cup agave (1/3 if you're using redcurrant vinegar, 2/3 if you're using apple cider vinegar)
1/2 tsp
splash lime juice
1/2 tsp aniseed, crushed (optional)
1/2 tsp guar or xantham gum

Put cider vinegar and whole spices in a pot and simmer until reduced by half. Add cranberries and cook until you have a glorious mush. Allow to cool. Fish out the whole spices, add the agave, lime juice, aniseed, and guar or xantham gum and then blend until creamy. Start with a little agave, taste, and then add more until it's as sweet as you want. The blood orange layer is quite sweet, so you might want to leave the cranberry layer a little tart. Push through a fine sieve if you are so inclined. I am not so inclined, especially since my vitamix pulverizes cranberry skins to nothingness anyway. Plus, life is far too short to be pushing things through fine sieves, but I'm not going to stop you if you are more of a kitchen perfectionist than me, and let's face it, the bar is low in terms of perfectionism in my kitchen. Anyway, after that harrowing decision, pour your unstrained (or strained) goo into a freezable container where your cranberry layer will fill it up halfway. Freeze. When the cranberry layer is frozen (say, the next day), do the blood orange layer:
2-3 cups blood orange sections
1/4 cup elderflower cordial
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/8 cup rosewater
1 tbs vanilla
splash lemon juice
agave to taste
1/2 tsp guar or xantham gum

Blend! Blend! Blend! Go through the whole difficult "to strain or not to strain" rigamarole again, then make peace with your decision and pour the blood orange goo on top of the frozen cranberry layer and replace in freezer until both layers are frozen. Remove from freezer about 10 minutes before you plan to eat it. Slice. If you are feeling extremely fancy, drizzle with caramel sauce, or maybe decorate with a bit of candied lemon peel, or even some mint and basil leaves. Admire briefly. Devour. Be pleased.

Two-toned music: two-toned skuds theme, on the All Skanadian Club...

No comments: