Photograph by Peden + Munk Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Maple Semifreddo with Faux Bois Cookies

Desserts from Issue 2 – Fall / Winter 2013 – Traces

Tapping trees to gather crystalline maple sap clusters is a tradition that dates back to the Native Americans. The resulting sweetened syrup serves as the centerpiece of this swirling semifreddo, while a faux bois cookie perched alongside mirrors the trees themselves.

serves 6

Maple Caramel
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla

  • 1

    Bring syrup to a boil in a medium saucepan without stirring (syrup bubbles up considerably). Continue boiling, never stirring to prevent crystallizing, until syrup thickens and just starts to smoke, about 15 minutes. Bubbles slow and grow as it thickens. Once caramel barely smokes, remove from heat and carefully whisk in cream and salt. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely.

  • 2

    Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Add yolks and sugar and whisk until sugar is completely dissolved and yolks feel slightly thinner and loose. Continue whisking until yolks thicken and turn pale, about 3-4 minutes total. Remove bowl from heat and whisk vigorously or beat with an electric mixer until yolks have cooled completely and doubled in volume, about 5-7 minutes.

  • 3

    In a large bowl, whip cream and vanilla until thick and billowy. Gently and thoroughly fold in yolk mixture. Spoon half into a serving dish and gently swirl in a third of caramel. Repeat with remaining cream and another third of caramel (you’ll have a little caramel left over for morning oatmeal). Then freeze at least 6 hours or overnight.