And now for some very very sweet results.....literally!! After reading possibly the longest recipe I've ever seen, and been challenged by my un-believing brother, I gave the almighty Snow egg from Masterchef a try. I'm happy to say that I succeeded and my brother ate his words! HA! I finally got you back for making me eat dirt when I was a kid......revenge is sweet.......just like dessert.
I'm glad that I wasnt on Masterchef with only a limited time to complete this recipe. It took me nearly 4 hours to finish it. Most of it was waiting around, trying to get custards to set, ice creams to cream and water to freeze. When I first read the recipe I thought it was going to be a breeze, and to be honest there wasnt any particular part which was difficult. The only problem was that it was 8 separate desserts crammed into one almighty uber dessert. So by the end of it I was well and truly over the snow egg. So much so that I didnt really like it. I thought it was way to sweet and a little un-impressive. Daz, my borther, sister-in law and my 1 and a half year old niece disagreed, saying that the dessert was VERY delicious. I guess I'll just have to agree to disagree.
What I absolutely loved about the recipe was the custard apple ice cream and the custard cream. These were so fantastic. I'm glad I had plenty of left overs, I've been making left over bonus desserts with the custard cream, I truly recommend trying it with some fresh strawberries. A thousand times better than ordinary strawberries and cream. Yes, simple strawberries and cream are now ordinary to me.
I did come across a couple of tricky issues when attempting this dessert. Firstly, I couldnt find strawberry guavas. Guava season in Australia ended in June, so I was hoping for a miracle to find strawberry guavas. On my hunt I actually come across ordinary guavas but decided not to buy them because I thought I'd hold out. Big mistake. I searched high and low, I even went to Coles where apparently Masterchef's shop....but still no luck. In the end I opted for rhubarb as a replacement. It was a great substitute, rhubarb and strawberry as a combination is a favourite of mine. I later found out that at Quay they often have the dessert as white peach instead of guava, so my artist licence has not been revoked.
Next was finding liquid maltose. After a chance discovery, I was in an asian grocery looking for beef jerky - as one does, I found the maltose staring at me begging me to buy it. So that was alot easier than I thought.
My next issue was finding a silicone dome tray for the meringues. I remember seeing one during my quest to find the perfect tart pan for my French party, but considering that an 101 year old Alzheimer suffer has a better memory than me, I couldnt remember where I saw it. So instead I used the tiny little glass bowls I use to put sauces in. Worked a treat. I even put baking paper inside them, just in case the meringues got stuck, but there was no need.....they slid out like a weekend at wet-n-wild.
Even though this recipe was pretty straight forward I did make one fatal error. My maltose tuiles were a little under done. They produced the perfect crack (see the below video), but unfortunately I didnt quite caramelize the sugar enough, giving the snow eggs a very pale appearance. I also had difficulty with the tuile melting onto the eggs. I'm not quite sure if that was due to a thickness issue, the sugar being too pale hence under done or the fact that I was trying to melt them with possibly the most pathetic torch imaginable. I've never had a size issue before, but yesterday I just wished for something bigger and hotter. *giggles*
The most important question, would I make these again? Probably not. The effort clearly outweighs the rewards. I'm all for complicated dishes, in fact I love a challenge....but even this was too much for me. I will certainly be making parts of this dish again, but will be paring them with less diabetic inducing elements. Still, I have admire Peter Gilmore for even contemplating a dessert o this caliber.