Nancy Olson's Peanut Butter Semifreddo with Chocolate Macarons. Reprinted from THE GRAMERCY TAVERN COOKBOOK. Copyright © 2013 by Gramercy Tavern Corp. Photographs © 2013 by Maura McEvoy. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.
Nancy Olson, Pastry Chef at Gramercy Tavern, New York, NY, and one of DessertProfessional.com's Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America 2013, shares her Peanut Butter Semifreddo with Chocolate Macarons recipe.
Read more about Chef Nancy Olson's Top 10 Pastry Chef 2013 Honors.
Yield: 14 servings
Peanut Butter Semifreddo:
9 large egg yolks
4.4 oz/125 g granulated sugar
6.3 oz/180 g smooth peanut butter
¾ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
12.27 oz/348 g heavy cream, whipped to very soft peaks and refrigerated
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yolks and 0.88 oz/25 g of the sugar, and whip on medium-high speed until the mixture is pale yellow and holds a line drawn with a finger down the back of a wooden spoon, about 3 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the remaining sugar and 2 oz/59 g water (being careful not to get sugar on the sides of the pan, where it can crystallize) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil the syrup, without stirring, until it reaches the soft ball stage (235° to 240°F on a candy thermometer), about 5 minutes. Immediately remove from heat.
3. Reduce mixer speed to medium and gradually and carefully pour the syrup in a thin stream into the whipped yolks. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip until the bowl feels completely cool, 7-10 minutes.
4. In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, vanilla and salt. Using a large rubber spatula, stir in 1/3 of the whipped egg mixture to lighten the peanut butter mixture, then fold in the remaining whipped yolks. Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream, then gently fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spoon the mixture into fourteen 2-ounce silicone savarin molds or ramekins. Freeze until firm.
7.2 oz/205 g almond flour
8.6 oz/244 g confectioners’ sugar
1 oz/28 g unsweetened cocoa powder
7 oz/200 g granulated sugar
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 350°F, with racks in the lower and upper-middle positions. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit a pastry bag with a ½” (#6) plain tip.
2. In a food processor, pulse the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and cocoa powder until combined. Sift by scraping the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer with a rubber spatula into a large bowl.
3. In a very small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and 3 liq oz/90 ml water (being careful not to get sugar on the sides of the pan, where it can crystallize) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil the syrup, without stirring, until it reaches the soft ball stage (235° to 240°on a candy thermometer), about 5 minutes. Immediately remove from heat.
4. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, whip 2 of the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy, about 2 minutes. If the syrup isn’t ready by the time the whites are foamy, turn off the mixer while you wait for it to heat. When the syrup is ready, increase the mixer speed to medium and gradually pour the syrup in a thin stream into the whites. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip the meringue until soft peaks form and the bowl feels completely cool, 7-10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, mix the remaining 3 egg whites into the dry ingredients using a sturdy spatula.
6. Stir half of the cooled meringue into the almond flour mixture, using the spatula, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl. Gently fold in the remaining meringue; the mixture will resemble a thick cake batter. Stir the mixture several times to thin it. It takes practice to know exactly how much to stir – too much and your macarons will spread; not enough, and they will be lumpy. Transfer the batter to the prepared pastry bag and pipe about 28 2” circles, about 2” apart, on each baking sheet. Let macarons sit until a skin forms on top, about 10 minutes. Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the cookies puff up and the tops are hard but still jiggle around when you touch them, 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheets. The macarons will keep in a covered container for up to 5 days.
2 oz/56 g unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 Tbs light corn syrup
6.13 oz/174 g heavy cream
7.6 oz/216 g lightly packed dark brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the chocolate with the butter and corn syrup over low heat. Add the cream and brown sugar, increase the heat to medium, and bring the mixture to a full boil, stirring gently but constantly with a spatula to keep the mixture from burning.
2. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla and salt. If you aren’t using the sauce immediately, transfer to a container and let cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for up to a week.
10.5 oz/300 g granulated sugar
1 14-ounce (397 g) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 4.16 oz/118 g water (being careful not to get sugar on the sides of the pan, where it can burn) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil the syrup, without stirring, until it becomes an amber color (about 340°F on a candy thermometer), about 10 minutes. Immediately remove from heat.
2. Very slowly and carefully, pour 3 liq oz/90 ml water down the side of the pan into the caramel, making sure your hand and arm are not over the saucepan. Carefully add the condensed milk, vanilla and salt, and stir to combine, making sure to get the edges of the saucepan. If sauce is lumpy, stir over medium heat until the lumps dissolve. Transfer to a container and let cool to room temperature. The caramel sauce will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a month.
1 Tbs unsalted butter
3.5 oz/100 g granulated sugar
8 oz/228 g unsalted roasted peanuts
1/8 tsp salt
1. Lightly coat a baking sheet with ½ Tbs of the butter.
2. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 2 Tbs water (being careful not to get sugar on the sides of the pan) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil the syrup until it reaches the thread stage (220° to 235°F on a candy thermometer), about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add the peanuts, and stir with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula until the sugar turns white and crystalizes on the nuts. Cook the peanuts over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar turns an amber color, about 5 minutes. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining ½ Tbs butter and the salt.
3. Turn the nuts out onto the buttered baking sheet. Quickly and carefully, separate the nuts with your fingers. This can be tricky – the nuts are really hot! Or do it after the nuts cool; you won’t get perfect pieces, but they will be just as delicious. Let the nuts cool completely. The candied peanuts will keep in a covered container for up to two weeks.
Whipped cream, as needed
To serve, pour some Hot Fudge on the bottom of a shallow bowl. Place 1 macaron upside down on the bowl, top with a semifreddo, and then rest another macaroon against the side of the semifreddo. Fill the centers of the semifreddo with caramel sauce and sprinkle with sea salt. Dollop whipped cream on each bowl and sprinkle with the candied peanuts.
This recipe is reprinted from THE GRAMERCY TAVERN COOKBOOK. Copyright © 2013 by Gramercy Tavern Corp. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.