Saturday, 23 June 2012

Beautiful Fruitiful!

Zabaione di Cointreau, Ciliege e Nocepesca
Cointreau Zabaione with Cherry & Nectarine

I admit, I was on a bit of a roll this evening... so I did the unusual thing of making myself a dessert, even though I had just enjoyed a really yummy and substantial main course! I do, definitely think, that delicious as desserts are, we should not be eating them after every meal. No, they should be a treat, to be enjoyed with friends and something to look forward to rather than a standard. We are all trying to eat more healthily and to stay fit and trim... so it is good to enjoy these things in moderation. End of sermon!

At the same time, I also think that is is possible to make delicious and light sweet dishes, low on fat and sugar and high on taste and flavor. Like this one for example! This consisted of 1 nectarine, 5-6 fresh cherries, an egg and a shot of Cointreau. Well maybe 2 shots... but  it was worth it!

This was not quite a classic zabaione, but it was easy, fast and delicious, so I am going to share with you how I did it. I started off by separating the egg yolk from the egg white. Into the egg yolk I added the Cointreau, a teaspoon of Stevia, a little vanilla essence, a tiny pinch of salt and a pinch of cinnamon. I whisked this over a "bain Marie"- a metal bowl placed above boiling water, until it became light and fluffy and frothy. And yes, I used my electric whisk! 

I then set this to one side to cool off and whisked the egg white, also with a little Stevia and a pinch of salt, until it was nice and creamy. 

I then pitted the cherries and sliced the nectarine, turned on the oven to a high heat to prepare it, and went about putting my dessert together. I gently stirred the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and poured this into my baking dish. I then added the fruit, making sure it was spread out nicely and evenly. 

Into the oven it went- at 350°F for 10-15 minutes and then for an additional 2-3 minutes under the broiler to brown... it was that simple! It is pretty amazing how much volume develops when beating one little egg! This would have probably been enough for 2... but sadly I was on my own and had to sacrifice myself and eat the whole lot! Oh well! So much for my theory about not over-indulging in dessert! On the other hand... this was so ultra harmless that I enjoyed it without any pangs of conscience... lucky me!

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