All good things must come to an end, and now here I am back in my kitchen, in my pajamas, my hair in tangles, listening to the chickpeas boil on the stove. I rub my eyes- was it all a dream?
I am physically back from Rome where I’ve spent the last seven days playing Maid of Honor at my cousin Mel’s fairytale wedding. Being a maid has never been so fun! It’s been hard getting back into the groove after such an extravagant time.
(picture courtesy of Jerry Ghionis)
I spent the last seven days being lavishly pampered and courteously waited on. Hair and make-up was professionally done, with no exaggeration, twice a day. Exquisite dresses and gowns were draped on, before we were ushered away to smart lunches and 7-course dinners at some of the most beautiful & historic spots in Rome. One of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had was the spectacular dinner at Villa Medici. Need I say more? All this while succumbing to the mighty photographic powers of the ever so brilliant, Jerry Ghionis. The only other surreal experience I can compare this to was Miss World 2002. I have to say this topped it for many reasons but primarily being my cousin’s wedding.
If you read my last post you will know that the reason this recipe comes a little bit after Valentine is because I managed to forget my recipe book at home and didn’t realize it till I got to Rome. Let’s not get into the details of all that, O.K?
I’m not much of a fan of rosewater usually, always preferring to use orange blossom water. However, in Lebanon, we have a rosewater ice cream that I’ve never been able to resist. I also love semsimiyeh or sesame candy. It’s sweet and crunchy and so moreish that I warn you: Make at your own peril or welfare if you’re anything like me! The combination of the two could, well, perhaps, maybe soothe the withdrawals I’ve been nursing.
Rosewater & Mascarpone Ice Cream with
Time: 1 hour + waiting
For the rosewater & mascarpone sorbet (Will last in freezer about 2 months)
- 350g or around 2 cups of mascarpone
- 30ml or about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 107g or 1/2 cup of sugar
- 60ml or 1/4 cup of golden or corn syrup
- 250ml or 1 cup of water
- 15ml or 2 tablespoons of Rose water
For the semsemiyeh candy (if, IF there are left overs they will last 2-3 weeks in a closed container)
- 125g or 1 cup of sesame seeds
- 100g or 1/2 cup of sugar
- 125ml or 1/2 cup of water
- 25ml or 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 12′x9′ thin baking tray slightly oiled with sesame oil (see below)
- about 1 teaspoon of sesame seed oil
For the sorbet
Begin by adding water, sugar, syrup, rosewater and lemon juice to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat on medium flame and stir occasionally till the sugar dissolves. Now, increase the heat and bring it to a boil. Remove and leave to cool.
Once it has cooled add it to the mascarpone, mix well and place in the freezer or if you have an ice cream machine then use according to machine directions.
If you are going to churn by hand then follow this method: After 45 minutes remove from freezer and mix well making sure to break up all the ice crystals to get a creamy end result. Return to the fridge and then after 30 minutes remove and repeat the process again, breaking up all the ice crystals that have developed. Repeat 2-3 more times.
For the semsemiyeh
Begin by toasting the sesame seeds in a heavy-bottomed chef pan, stirring continuously. this should take no longer than 5 minutes and be sure not to take your eyes off them. Once toasted remove and set aside in a bowl, allowing them to cool down.
In the mean time, add the sugar, water, lemon juice to a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and bring to a bowl and then lower to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add the syrup to the toasted sesame seeds, mix well and quickly spread thinly on a oiled baking tray. You will need to use a spoon as well as your hands to help push the syrupy sesame seeds into place. Once they are spread evenly across take a sharp knife and score them. First cut a line through the center vertically then continue with scoring triangles from each half. Leave out to cool about 15-30 minutes. The end result will be crispy sesame triangle candies.