Arabian nights


  • Serves 6 people

  • 440 gm (2 cups) caster sugar
  • 6 cardamom pods, cracked
  • Thinly peeled rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 9 apricots, halved, stones removed
  • Saffron goat’s milk ice-cream
  • 600 ml goat’s milk
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • Brioche
  • 35 ml milk, lukewarm
  • 4 gm dried yeast
  • 175 gm softened butter
  • 15 gm caster sugar
  • 250 gm (1 2/3 cups) plain flour
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly whisked with 1 tbsp milk, for eggwash
  • For scattering: flaked almonds
  • Honey pistachio toffee
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • 75 gm honey
  • 30 gm slivered pistachios
  • 10 gm sesame seeds
  • 10 gm sunflower seeds
01   For saffron goat’s milk ice-cream, bring milk, cardamom and saffron to just below boiling point in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Pour in milk mixture and whisk to combine. Return mixture to pan and stir over low-medium heat until mixture thickly coats the back of a spoon (5-6 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, refrigerate until chilled, then freeze in an ice-cream machine until required. Makes about 800ml.
02   For brioche, stir milk and yeast in a bowl to dissolve yeast and set aside in a warm place until foamy (4-5 minutes). Meanwhile, beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (2-3 minutes), transfer to a bowl and set aside. Combine flour, eggs, yeast mixture and 1 tsp fine salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes). Add butter mixture a little at a time, kneading well to incorporate between additions, then knead until smooth and glossy (4-5 minutes). Cover and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size (1½-2 hours). Knock back dough, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. Divide dough into 6 even pieces, roll into balls, place in 6 buttered and floured 125ml dariole moulds, cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size (45 minutes-1 hour). Preheat oven to 220C. Brush brioche tops with eggwash, scatter with flaked almonds and bake until golden brown (15-20 minutes). Stand to cool slightly (5 minutes), then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Brioche will keep stored in an airtight container for 3 days.
03   Stir sugar, cardamom, lemon rind and 500ml water in a wide saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add apricot halves, bring to the simmer, poach until tender (10-15 minutes) and set aside to cool. Remove apricots and set aside, stir lemon juice into syrup and refrigerate apricots and syrup separately until required.
04   For honey pistachio toffee, scatter sugar over the base of a heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat, add honey and cook, swirling pan occasionally (do not stir), until dark caramel (2-3 minutes). Remove from heat, stir in pistachios and seeds, pour onto a large piece of baking paper, top with another piece of baking paper and roll as thinly as possible with a rolling pin. Set aside to cool completely and break into coarse pieces. Honey pistachio toffee will keep stored in an airtight container for 3 days.
05   Place brioche in a wide container, pour apricot syrup over and set aside, turning occasionally, to soak (5-10 minutes). Serve with poached apricots, a scoop of saffron goat’s milk ice-cream and a shard of honey pistachio toffee.
This recipe is from the February 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.







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