The year is coming to an end and this will be not only our last recipe in this 2021 but also the last recipe in our One Cookie, One Story challenge. Life changes, circumstances change, and for the moment we will leave the challenge parked until we have time to dedicate to it as it deserves. It has been many years of knowing stories, classic, international, funny, sad, but all chosen with the same purpose, to make our holidays are not always of the typical characters that make us see Disney and others, according to their own point of view. In this challenge, we have seen the stories from the inside, so that children and adults know them as their authors made them. With this delicious and simple nougat semifreddo cake I will say goodbye: See you later!
This month, we have dedicated the challenge to Christmas, as we did every year, and the story chosen was The Gingerbread Man. Although it is a classic in American culture, its true story is little known and what at first seems to be a funny little man, when you read the story you notice that there is something more, that the little man is not as good as he is painted and that his attitude has its consequences.
“Once upon a time there were some old men who lived in a little old house on the top of a flowery hill, which was surrounded by golden orchards, woods and streams. The old woman loved to bake, and one day she decided to make a gingerbread man. She formed the head and body, arms and legs. She added juicy raisins for the eyes and mouth and a row in front for the buttons on his jacket. Then he put a candy for the nose. l finally, he put it in the oven. […]”
And so begins this little tale whose first appearance was in 1875, in St. Nicholas Magazine, where it was published as The Gingerbread Boy.
Although the author is unknown, at the end of the story there is a paragraph where he tells us that he heard this story from his son who in turn heard it from some maids in his house in Maine. The maid told him that she had heard this story from her grandmother when she was a child, who had received it from her mother, and so on.
But the tradition of the gingerbread doll is older than it seems, since in the Slavic countries there is a mythological figure that is the kolobok, a yellow doll, with a round shape, made of bread dough, which also meets different animals and also ends in the jaws of a fox.
Well, I’m sure you want to see the recipe, don’t you? Well, let’s get to it!
- 3 eggs M
- 150 gr. of normal sugar
- 300 gr. of Alicante nougat
- 3 tablespoons Baileys
- 500 gr. of whipping cream +35% M.G. very cold
Chop the nougat into very small pieces. We reserve 50 grams to decorate and 50 grams to spread in the first layer we make. Put the rest in a saucepan and add the Baileys. Heat over low heat and stir until it has melted and the almond granules remain. It is a quick process so do not get lost. Whip the cream with the bowl and the very cold whisk and set aside. Do not whip it until it is very stiff. Rather a point harder than when we leave it with the texture of Greek yogurt. Separate the egg whites from the yolks and whip the egg whites until stiff. Set aside. Put the egg yolks with the sugar and beat well until you have a whitish and fluffy mixture (about 5 minutes). Mix the egg whites until stiff with the egg yolks using a spatula, with encircling movements so that they do not drop. Gradually add the cream to the mixture and continue to mix in a gentle mixing motion. Line an adjustable ring mold with acetate paper, so that it fits well and put it on a cake base or a flat plate. I used a 16 cm diameter mold, although you can also use an 18-20 cm one. Pour the melted nougat with the Baileys. It is possible that it has cooled and you have to heat it again, but that's okay. Reheat it a little and it's ready. Line the bottom of the ring with the nougat well spread. Add half of the cream we have prepared. Add the chopped nougat that you had set aside to spread on this first layer. Add the rest of the cream and smooth the surface a little. Decorate with the rest of the chopped nougat. Wrap with plastic wrap and put in the freezer. Leave overnight or at least 8 hours. Unwrap and decorate as desired. Enjoy!
Isn’t it so simple? Did you notice that it only takes 5 ingredients? I think it’s a perfect recipe for the holidays, and for any celebration. If you have some nougat left over, be sure to make it because I’m sure you’ll like it.
To decorate it there are several ideas that I want to give you so you can choose the one that best suits your tastes:
You can decorate it with a little cocoa powder on top and chocolate shavings. You can also add berries such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, red currants and finish with some mint leaves. A little cinnamon with some white chocolate shavings will also go very well. Anything you can think of that you like, hehe!
As you can see, there will be nothing that can resist this delicious cake. But be warned, it’s not an iced cake, it’s a semifreddo. You should keep it in the freezer while you are not going to eat it, but if you take it out 30 minutes before, the cake will be perfect for you to feast. If you are in summer, take it out about 15 minutes before.