August 31, 2010

Almond Coconut Frozen Fluff or Tortoni

Italian influenced fluff

This post goes out to our Italian sweetheart Claudia and her many friends at What’s Cooking Italian Style where you will always find glorious recipes, warm family values and a whole lot of love.

As mentioned before, our family tree has no Italian roots as far as I know. And, as stated earlier, that doesn’t mean our family didn’t cook the foods from Italy or at least what we thought was Italian in nature. Maybe not real Italian cookery, but close enough for us. Spaghetti with a thick red meat sauce made from cans of store-bought tomato sauce and fresh ground beef, baked chicken with a Venetian lemon sauce, fried pork chops smothered in tomatoes & basil, veal cutlets in wine and of course, lasagna with a sauce pretty much the same as the spaghetti. All Italian, right?

Then there are the southern sweet recipes that aunts, cousins, even Momma made that we never thought of as being ‘foreign’ but just good eats. Aunt Tac’s Tutti Fruitti Candy, a chewy nougat loaded with candied & dried fruit, nuts and lots of sugar, grandmother’s buttermilk coconut & pecan cake iced and filled with her nutty cream cheese frosting and Momma’s fruit parfaits covered in a creamy Marsala custard. We knew these to be good eating, never discerned our thoughts of their origin.

When I sat out to find a tribute for Claudia, my first thought was to avoid her area of expertise since there are no Italian leaves falling from our tree. Then I thought of the sweets mentioned above lovingly made by my family and of the recipes unknowingly having hints of Italian influence. That’s when I remembered this one from Aunt Ida; a frozen dessert that follows a resemblance to Tortoni. It contains both the whipped egg white and cream mousse uninhibited by gravity, tastes of almond with chewy nutty bits and frozen as ice cream snuggled with crunchy essence of macaroons. Aunt Ida made hers with bourbon and pecans; I changed the recipe for Claudia and used brandy. Think of it as a 'melt-in-your-mouth' southern Tortoni if you please. Enjoy!

Aunt Ida's Almond Coconut Frozen Fluff
6 servings

1/4 cup chopped pecans or almonds
1/4 cup flaked coconut
Almond biscuit or vanilla wafer crumbs
6 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 to 2 tablespoons bourbon, brandy or dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 drops walnut or almond extract (depending on the alcohol)
1 cup whipping cream
1 egg white
4 maraschino cherries, chopped and drained
    Spread the almonds and coconut on a sheet pan and toast in the oven until coconut is slightly brown. Set aside to cool.

    Spread a teaspoon of biscuit crumbs in the bottom of 6 paper cupcake liners and set liners in a muffin tin.

    Whip the cream until fluffy, fold in 4 tablespoons sugar, brandy, vanilla and almond extracts.

    Beat the egg white to soft peak stage; add 2 tablespoons sugar and beat stiff. Fold the cream mixture into this followed with the almond and coconut reserving about a tablespoon to sprinkle on top of the servings.

    Mound the mixture into the liners, sprinkle with the reserved almond and coconut. Add a few cherry bits on top of each and place tin into the freezer for several hours. Serve frozen.

    Note: May be prepared and frozen several days in advance.

    19 comments :

    1. YUM! The crunch of the nuts and coconut against the creaminess of the rest of the dessert sounds like wonderful eating sensation. This is perfect for the end of summer!

      ReplyDelete
    2. I think you've created quite a nice little frozen Italian style dessert with, of course, some southern flair, congrats!

      ReplyDelete
    3. This sounds quite heavenly! I would love to try this frozen treat!

      ReplyDelete
    4. WOW it really looks wonderful :)

      ReplyDelete
    5. you are such a wonderful foodie inspiration, I just ended my diet looking at this one oh my what a wonderful cupcake, my weakness. Boy did you pick the right one for me and frozen, so perfect for these hot days, love the little southern flair here! Thank you so much!

      ReplyDelete
    6. I love creamy, creamy airy coconut desserts and frozen is even better. Thanks for a zero calorie dessert. (At least there are no calories if I just read the recipe, a few more when I make it.)

      ReplyDelete
    7. Love coconut, nuts and everything and this dessert! Great post.

      ReplyDelete
    8. Those look fabulous Drick. I'm not much of a dessert eater but I might be persuaded to try one of these!! A top nine photo for sure :-) Kate (kateiscooking)

      ReplyDelete
    9. Wish I could try some, they look nice and light.

      ReplyDelete
    10. Oh my gosh. So delicious looking. My mouth is watering!

      ReplyDelete
    11. What a nice tribute to Claudia! This reminds me of a dessert I had years ago. You have to love the old recipes.

      ReplyDelete
    12. You have definitely made a wonderful tribute here Drick. The is so perfect for Claudia! I would love a taste of this myself.

      ReplyDelete
    13. Yum! It looks like a great crowd-pleaser!

      ReplyDelete
    14. Oh wow....beautiful frozen dessert! This looks like the day to gain weight...haha. Looks like a cup cake and yet it's like ice cream to me. Cupcake ice cream?? Awww....Drick, that's creative! I would eat a few and then hit the badminton court to burn off the calories...haha

      ReplyDelete
    15. Drick you have such a way with desserts : ). This is another one I'm going to have to try. I hope I'm successful with this because it looks absolutely divine.

      Thanks for sharing,
      Joanne

      ReplyDelete
    16. That is one gorgeous treat... beautiful dessert :)

      ReplyDelete
    17. what a great treat, I love the combo of nuts, coconut. how wonderful a frozen treat in a liner, great for presentation...yum

      sweetlife

      ReplyDelete
    18. Yum I love tortoni! I don't really find it too often--this is a great way to recreate it at home to have at any time. Beautifully presented.

      ReplyDelete