It really started out of desperation and rummaging through my refrigerator looking for something to snack on. My search for something salty and addictive failed but i knew all wasn’t lost when i found a container of candied kumquats, the same ones i used here and there, except that the syrup has morphed into in the most flavorful kumquat extract imaginable. I made the executive decision that very moment that this precious liquid just couldn’t be lost.
Then there was a beautiful pineapple ripening on the kitchen counter. While it’s available year-round, pineapple’s peak season runs from March through July so keep that in mind, friends. Now is the time. So my brain went on overdrive and resolved this very complex equation in the matter of seconds.
Pine, (97)+(+,234 quat)*-P
(x – apple)^2 + (quat - r^2kum)^2 = r^2
(x+pineapple)^2 + (kumquat+8)^2 = kumquat-pineapple soup
Impressed? eh? You shouldn’t be. I failed math in school.
Serving a chilled fruit soup on its own would be a bit boring but luckily i’ve been playing with different versions of nougat glacé recipes lately. In case you’re not familiar with it, a nougat glacé is a frozen dessert where creamy meets nutty meets frosty. In other words, a frozen meringue made with honey enriched with whipped cream, nuts and candied fruits. The one that won the popular vote at work was made with agave syrup, macadamia brittle, cardamon and little chunks of crystallized ginger. I used agave syrup instead of honey because i wanted something more neutral to allow the cardamon infused whipped cream to shine through, and it worked beautifully.
Cardamom-Macadamia Nougat Glacé with Kumquat-Pineapple soup
- serves 8
- Presentation inspired by the Passion fruit iced soufflé with Pineapple soup. Kate Zuckerman in “The Sweet Life”
Cardamom-Macadamia Nougat Glacé:
- 1/3 cup macadamia, coarsely chopped
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon cardamom pods
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 8 egg whites
- few drops of lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup agave nectar, or honey
- 4 Tbs crystallized ginger, chopped (optional)
For the Kumquat-Pineapple soup:
- 1 ripe pineapple, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 1 Tahitian vanilla bean
- 1 cup Kumquats
- 1 cup sugar
- Fresh mint, julienned
- For the macadamia brittle:
- Preheat oven to 350′F. Toast the macadamia nuts on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes.
- Combine the butter, sugar, dark corn syrup and 2 tablespoons of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until it turns golden brown. Add the chopped macadamia nuts and the salt and stir with a wooden spoon until the caramel is smooth. Pour the brittle on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and spread. Let it cool. Chopped coarsely.
- For the nougat glacé:
- Crush the cardamom and add it to the cream. Bring to a boil and let it steep until cool to infuse. Strain and refrigerate until cold. Whip to soft peaks.
- Combine the sugar, agave syrup and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Bring the syrup to 250′F.
- Meanwhile, place the egg whites in the bowl of a kitchenaid and whisk on medium-high speed. Add a few drops of lemon juice. When the egg whites have gained volume pour the syrup at 250′F and beat for 10 minutes. At this point you should have a shiny, compact meringue.
- Fold the chopped macadamia brittle, chopped crystallized ginger (if using), and cardamom whipped cream into the meringue. Scoop the mixture into molds, or a terrine lined with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
- Combine the kumquats and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Strain and repeat 2 more time.
- Combine the 1 1/2 cup water and 1 cup of sugar in the saucepan and add the kumquats. Bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes. Cool in the liquid and refrigerate (at least overnight).
- Combine the pineapple chunks, 1 cup of kumquat syrup, 1 cup of water and 1 vanilla bean (split and scraped) into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.
- Transfer pineapple and some of the liquid to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain and chill. Serve with the nougat glacé with some julienned mint and candied kumquat chunks.
Cardamom-Macadamia Nougat Glacé:
For the Kumquat-Pineapple Soup: