Tropical Snow Egg

August 3rd, 2010

After our trip to Quay last year, I have wanted to replicate Peter Gilmore’s Snow egg. It never occurred to me again, until I saw Peter Gilmore in a Gourmet Traveller video, where he showed roughly how his two signature desserts (the eight-textured chocolate cake and the snow egg) were made, along with his inspiration behind them. I went searching for recipes for poached meringues, crispy tuilles and with terrible luck (and terrible search terms) it took me quite a few hours before I had found the actual recipe on the internet…

And then I saw it everywhere, even little searches brought me to his recipe, either posted by someone who went to Peter’s cooking class or even on a lifestyle website. Then it was the final dish to be prepared by MasterChef contestants in series 2.

The best part of this dessert being on MasterChef were the comments by people below the recipe, as everyone was discussing where to buy maltose. Beforehand I tried looking in the shops and found rice malt – a brownish liquid maltose (+ carbohydrates and a little glucose). I decided to try it out, without trying any other parts of the recipe, to see if this would work. It didn’t. The tuilles melted into a terrible mess. After checking out the MasterChef website I found people suggesting going to Asian grocery stores. And with much luck, my local Asian grocery store had it. I had to ask for it though as it was too difficult to find, although the lovely staff member there found me some – it was labelled: Wheat Sprout Sugar, Ingredients: Rice, malt…

These tuilles were perfect! They worked very well on baking paper and hardly any broke. It also didn’t matter if they stayed on the paper a while.

The other piece of equipment I was missing were the hemisphere moulds. Although my Mum came up with the brillant idea of using an egg poacher for the meringue moulds. Lucky my mum’s one had smooth hemispheres compared to mine with a flat base. These worked perfectly, with the only problem being that there were only 4 moulds, so I had to clean them between cooking each batch of 4 halves. I made a total of 8 snow eggs, so this part got tedious after the 2nd batch.

The flavours Peter uses are gorgeous, although trying to make this using seasonal fruits or frozen fruits I had on hand, made me change the recipe to suit the timing of the year. I decided on a passionfruit ice cream for the “yolk” of the egg, with a tropical, strawberry, pineapple and passion fruit granita along with a strawberry cream. I think most flavours worked wonderfully – although the strawberry cream was maybe a little overpowering in flavour.

I have learnt so much from this challenge – the maltose experience was extremely interesting, as were making the poached meringue and granita. I am so glad I have made this, and even more glad the extremely talented and incredibly gifted Peter Gilmore shared such a beautiful recipe of his. I would much like to go back to Quay at some point as the experience was just amazing. I am also greatly anticipating the launch of his book on 1st November this year!!! I tried to make my own version of Peter Gilmore’s eight textured chocolate cake as I could not find his recipe anywhere – although it didn’t turn out particularly well in the presentation department (and obviously didn’t compare to the flavours of Peter’s, but was still delicious). I’m not sure whether I should post it due to the bad photos… – although I have heard his actual recipe may be in his book – making me super excited!!

And to answer your questions, I think this dessert is worth making. Many components can be made the night or a few nights beforehand, the presentation is lovely, the flavours are beautiful, the concept is amazing. (Although, this is on the condition of getting some hemisphere moulds – as cleaning the egg poachers was too tedious. Please let me know if you find any in Sydney or on the internet?) {now that’s not a hint for a birthday present, if I ever did give one 🙂 }

Tropical Snow Egg

Recipe adapted from Peter Gilmore from Quay‘s Guava and Custard Apple Snow Egg

Passion fruit ice cream
100ml milk
3 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
100g passion fruit pulp
50ml pouring cream

Vanilla custard base
400ml pouring cream
2 vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped
1 whole egg
3 egg yolks
80g caster sugar

Tropical granita
100g caster sugar
500ml water
150g pineapple, diced
100g passion fruit pulp
100g fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

Poached meringue (I used all the left over egg whites from the ice cream and custard – making a meringue of ~200g egg whites and ~200g caster sugar)
Canola oil spray or vegetable oil
150g egg white
150g caster sugar

Maltose tuiles
200g liquid maltose
100g caster sugar
20g flaked almonds

Vanilla cream

100g vanilla custard base
100g double cream

Strawberry Cream
100g of strawberries, pureed and sieved
200g vanilla cream

1 cup icing sugar, to serve

Preheat oven to 150ºC and turn on ice cream machine to chill.

For the passion fruit ice cream, bring milk to the boil in a small saucepan. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together by hand, then pour boiling milk onto the egg yolk mixture while whisking. Pour into a stainless steel bowl and cook while whisking over a pot of simmering water for about 10 minutes or until it is thickened. Whisk sabayon until cool over ice, then whisk in the passion fruit pulp and the cream. Strain and then place the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn for about 40 minutes. Place in the freezer until set.

For the vanilla custard base, heat cream and vanilla seeds together in a small saucepan until it just begins to boil, and then remove from the heat. Whisk by hand the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together in a stainless steel bowl until combined. While whisking the eggs, slowly pour on the hot vanilla cream. Mix well and remove the vanilla pods. Pour this mixture into 4 dariole moulds to a depth of 5 cm, place the dariole moulds into a small baking dish with boiling water around the dariole moulds up to halfway to form a water bath. Place the water bath into a 150ºC oven and cook the custard 25 minutes or until the custard is just set. If the centre is still runny place in the freezer until set then place in refrigerator until needed.

For the granita, combine sugar and water in a large saucepan; bring to the boil then lower heat. Add diced fruit and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Take off the heat and allow to infuse at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pass the liquid through a muslin cloth and discard the solids. Pour the syrup into a lamington or slice tin to a depth of 5cm. Place in the freezer until solid. Scrape with a fork into crystals and then transfer to the freezer until required.

For the poached meringue, whisk the egg whites in an electric mixer until they form soft peaks and then slowly add the sugar bit by bit. Keep whisking until the meringue forms firm peaks and the sugar has dissolved. Spray hemisphere moulds lightly with canola oil spray. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle. Pipe mixture into moulds so it sits above the surface. Place the filled moulds into a large baking dish and pour boiling water into the baking dish to a depth of about 3cm. Bake at 150ºC for 15 minutes until just. Allow to cool for 2 minutes, then trim off tops so they are perfect hemispheres. Gently un-mould and place cut side up on a baking paper lined tray in the fridge until needed. Increase oven temperature to 180ºC.

To make the maltose tuiles, stir maltose and sugar together in a small saucepan then bring to the boil until it reaches hard crack stage (until it caramelises) (this will occur at 160ºC or a little higher). Take care to brush down the sides with a pastry brush dipped in water so it doesn’t crystallise. Once golden add the flaked almonds and immediately pour the mixture onto a silicon mat, allow to cool completely. Process the cooled praline in the bowl of a hand blender to form a fine powder. Next sift a fine layer of the praline mixture through a drum sieve, over an acetate stencil with 11cm circles cut out of it onto a silicon mat on a baking sheet. Melt this mixture in a 180ºC oven for a few minutes until it forms a clear liquid paste. Cool tuiles slightly and peel off silicon sheet while still flexible. Store flat between sheets of baking paper until ready to use.

For the vanilla cream, whisk the cream and custard together to form soft peaks. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

For the strawberry cream, place the strawberry puree in a small bowl and fold through the vanilla cream gently to form a rippled effect. Do this just before you are ready to assemble the dessert.

To assemble, take 8 of the half hemisphere poached meringues. Using a teaspoon or half teaspoon measure remove a small scoop from the centre of each half hemisphere being careful not to break through the outer edge. Then place a teaspoon or half teaspoon measure scoop of passion fruit ice cream in four of the hemispheres. Invert the other four hemispheres over the ice cream filled meringues to form a complete sphere. Use wet fingers to stick the two halves together. Place a tuile on top of each sphere and using a blow torch and an even motion, melt it over the sphere, patting it down if necessary. Dust spheres liberally with icing sugar. Next add a generous spoonful of the strawberry cream in the bottom of each serving glass. Top the cream with the tropical granita. Use two teaspoons to place the snow egg on top of the granita and serve.

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45 Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    hats off to you for making this. looks delicious!

  2. Steph says:

    Wow, awesome stuff. Your tuiles look perfect and the flavours you use sound like they would work together wonderfully. Would be a great summer dessert!

  3. Sarah says:

    WOW! these look great – when I saw these on Masterchef I was just dying to try it!

  4. Beta Gal says:

    Looks complicated and delicious, however I personally don’t like the look of the pink/red granita with the snow egg. Bit too “fleshy”, perhaps blueberries could work?

  5. Mum says:

    This dessert was just superb!!! Beautifully flavoured and very light to finish off a meal. I would definitely love to have this dessert again! Every component was exquisite!! Well done Anita, I will have to have a look for the moulds you are after so I can persuade you to make it again. 🙂

  6. lis says:

    found your blog from a comment left on SMH.. your snow eggs look amazing..!

    love the extra tips and notes as well… i think i might actually give these try sometime soon .. 🙂

  7. David says:

    Hi Anita,

    Can you tell me exactly where the shop was in Sydney where you bought the Maltose, I have looked in Asian groceries stores around Eastwood/Epping and they have never heard of it!

    Many thanks.

  8. Louise says:

    Well Done! I thought I’d let you know that I found the mould – a kitchen store in Corws Nest will order it for you – it takes a day or two to get them it. I’m picking mine up today – then I just have to find the maltrose!!!

    the link is: http://www.kitchenkapers.com.au/home.php?cat=3956

    enjoy! 🙂

  9. winnie says:

    To David: Copy these chinese characters on a sheet of paper “麥芽糖” and show the asian grocery staff at the shops. Most asian groceries should have them especially the ones in eastwood/epping.

    Great work Anita!! makes me really wanna try as well!! now to search for those moulds… hmmmm

  10. Anita I’m so impressed by how you always push your limits and take on the top desserts in the country with excellent results!

  11. Von says:

    Wow! These turned out so good! I love your idea of using egg poachers for the meringue hemispheres =D Such a shame I dont have an egg poacher =[ *sigh* Thanks for the deatiled instructions + pictures. Now I really want to try this out!

  12. FFichiban says:

    Woowww!! 8 of them and I didn’t get a single one /sadface hee hee these look like the real deal, too pro!

  13. Trissa says:

    When are you going to join masterchef? If this was the final dessert – I am assuming it was the hardest but you seem to have just breezed through it.

  14. The flavours you chose sound like a great variant to the original. Pity about the strawberries but I guess it’s a lesson learned for next time.

  15. how wonderful, it looks delicate and so hard to make.. well done

  16. Katie says:

    Anita you are a star!! Well done 🙂

  17. WOW!!!! Looks absolutely amazing. Super impressed as always but not surprised. You have a natural gift for these desserts with multiple components. How many hours all up did this one take?

    Please show the chocolate cake pics too. I doubt they are as bad as my photos.

  18. Y says:

    Stunning dessert! I love the ‘yolk’ of the egg.

  19. maria says:

    Hi Anita,
    Its great to see someone show such interest in the desserts, i have just finished making the snow egg followed Peters ingredients, but your method and looked at your photos to put it together.

    It was because of your blog that i found the maltose in the local asian market quite quickly and i used the egg poacher for the hemispheres but like you i dont want to do like that again as by the time the last ones went in the oven the meringue was going flat.

    I will follow your blog from now on as it is the fist time i have come across it.

    Keep up the good work i felt like i had a friend helping me today, now all i have to do is find the spheres.

    Thank you very much for your assistance.

  20. This is such a delicate dessert… with all the preparations and enormous efforts of caring out this recipe, thumbs up!!

    Sawadee from bangkok,
    Kris

  21. Tenina says:

    You are my new hero! WOW, clever girl…looks amazing!

  22. Obesebaby says:

    Wow I am so proud of you and all the Master chef desserts you have made. your snow egg variation looks awsome and the V8 cake is up to Adriano standard. keep up the good work!!

  23. Clare says:

    Looks amazing. I’m now going to have spend the next hour trawling through all your past recipes!

  24. Oh my goodness, what a brilliant effort! The pictures of you making the snow eggs look exactly like the contestants’ on Masterchef, especially the part where you’re torching the maltose circles. Congrats!

  25. sweetlife says:

    anita, great job…I love the pics and you always give us such a special treat!!

    sweetlife

  26. Nic says:

    Anita can I ask if you know where to get the guavas from? I wanted to make it with them as they taste fab but I have been on the look out with no luck

  27. Anita says:

    Hi Nic
    As far as I’m aware guavas are an autumn/early winter fruit, so it may be a while before we see some in season guavas. Otherwise they are normally found at your local fruit stall or supermarket.

  28. Joshua Hrouda says:

    Hi.
    Looks good!
    I watch MasterChef, and felt it’d be great for me to be able to make what they made on the final (snow egg).

  29. Joshua Hrouda says:

    So I got the recipe, and slowly… I am attempting each stage, bit by bit.
    They had 2 or 3 hours, I think to make it. I’ve got MONTHS! Take my time, perfect each step, then combine them all together to make the final dessert.
    So far, only made the tuille powder, and stored it in a glass jar.
    I have a ‘namco’ hemisphere mould, but it appears to be made of zinc!! And it’s BADLY corroded. I have polised 2 hemispheres, and need to do a sample cook of the meringue.
    Is your egg poacher able to withstand the baking heat?
    How should I cook the meringues, if I don’t have an oven ?

    When you slice the overflow tops off the meringues, does it cause a rough edge, like in your photo?
    Perhaps slicing it while it’s still hot, would do the trick.
    Or using a serated knife/clean hacksaw blade.
    I asked for maltose at an Asian grocery store, and even wrote it down in English. They didn’t know of it.
    Then I tried to describe it “it’s a kind of sugar, you know glucose, sucrose, maltose”
    “Ah…. door 7, door 8” (between alise 7 & 8)
    I found it near the sugar and palm sugar.
    Damn! it’s sticky and hard to work with!
    Maybe due to the cold weather.

    Question: why use flaked almonds if it’s gonna get blended anyway?
    Why not use almond meal?
    I’ve got a pack of that.

    And, how thick should the circle stencil be?
    0.5mm, 1mm?

    Also, instead of using a blowtorch to drape the tuille, wouldn’t a griller be better? (more even heat)
    Thanks.

  30. Anita says:

    Hi Joshua
    I believe you are able to buy some Pujadas Silicon Mould’s if your mould’s don’t work very well. My egg poacher seemed to be fine, due to the low heat and short time. I had considered poaching them in a saucepan like you would normally poach eggs, although I don’t know if the heat would be even enough. I have no idea how you would cook the meringue without an oven.

    With all my trials of cutting the overflow, I kept getting the rough edge, due to the sticky edges. It may have helped using correct moulds and adding more meringue. I was cutting them whilst still quite hot and cleaning the knife after every cut.

    The almond meal should be fine, I can’t see why you couldn’t use it.

    My stencil was just made from a normal piece of paper – so not thick at all – I was just careful when moving it.

    Some grills may work better, although mine would have heated the top too much and not heated the sides to make sure it cooked evenly and draped over the sides.

    Good luck! Hope it all works out well.

  31. Well done on this one Anita. I love your persistence in finding all the ingredients and searching out for the recipe. Maybe we’ll see you on MasterChef next year??!!!

  32. Joshua Hrouda says:

    Thanks Anita.
    As for the Pujadas mould tray, I looked and saw the Media Bola, 24 hemispheres for $36.04? Is that the one you meant?

    I haven’t yet tried my metal mould tray. I’d like to.
    Paper stencil: no probs. Seems a bit thin to me, but I guess you can sift the powder onto it as high as you want.
    I was thinking something like plastic, with a bit of rigidity, and if necessary, screeding the top, to make it flat.
    I don’t have a grille, not yet.

    If it gave you trouble to slice the meringue whilst hot, then perhaps when they were fully cold, they would be more rigid and more likely to not break up around the edges. But then, the serated blade might be needed, to avoid cracking the skin.

    Problem with an egg poacher, from what I can imagine, is that you only get one or 2 halves at a time. As opposed to a tray full.

    I know what the texture a regular meringue is, but not a poached one (like in this recipe).
    It seems to look more like a cross between mousse & marshmallow. Is that right ? Seems crisp on the outside and not in the middle.

    How much would one of these snow egg desserts sell for in a restaurant? I wonder.
    Must be a lot, if it takes 2 hours to prepare!!

  33. Joshua Hrouda says:

    OK. I got me an electric 9L (tiny) oven. Works well. I don’t know how accurate the thermostat is.
    I tried to make the meringue for the first time.
    Why can’t I get frim peaks with an electric mixer?
    Do I need to add a stabiliser, like cream of tartar, or something?

    Should they still set well with only semi-soft peaks?

    I also get a roughly doubling of the mixture as its cooking. Then when I let it cool, it shrinks a bit. But unfortunately, where it contacts the hemisphere part of the mould, it’s oily and not hemispherical. What could I be doing wrong?
    I lightly oiled the mould, and the meringue shrinks in an uneven way, away from the mould.

    Also, when I eat it, it tastes more like fried egg white, than meringue. No cripsyness/crunch at all. More like marshmallow.

    I was silly to suggest using something like a hacksaw to cut it, when I hadn’t even attempted it. It’s nothing like I expected it to be, texture-wise!

    The instructions say “Bake at 150°C for 15 minutes until just.” what words could be missing from the end of the sentence?

    How critical is the 150°C ?
    How cricital is the 15min?
    I’ve tried increasing the temp. and the time, and they still don’t bake well.
    The ones that did turn out semi-ok, shrunk below the horizontal cut line, and are now too small.

    It says to pipe them into the moulds. I just spooned them in. Is that good enough?

    Thanks in advance.
    -Joshua

  34. Andy says:

    I found a metal mould in Woolworths- each hemisphere is not overly large but it is a start.

    Andy:)

  35. Joshua Hrouda says:

    Hi Andy. I’ve looked there. Not found it.
    They have a parabolic shaped mould tray, but it’s not hemispherical.
    Can you tell me the name of they tray you saw?
    Thanks.

  36. Anita says:

    Hi Joshua
    I had trouble emailing you, please check your email if you reply again, so I can get back to you.
    That’s quite strange you can’t get firm peaks with your electric mixer. Is it a hand held one or stand alone mixer? Make sure your egg whites are at room temperature and everything is clean. I don’t normally use a stabiliser, but that may work for you.
    My poached meringues were a little oily once they came out too. They weren’t crispy either, they should be light and poached, like marshmallow.
    I copied the method from the MasterChef website, so I think it said until it is just set. The time and temp depend on the oven, my were fine at that temp and time.
    Spooning the meringue in should be good enough, as long as it’s a lovely thick, glossy firm meringue.
    Cheers
    Anita

  37. andrew says:

    This week I saw perfect semi circle silcon moulds (24 hemispeheres) in Chefs Warehouse in Surry Hills. But… it was $190.

  38. steph says:

    is liquid light malt the same as liquid maltose?

  39. Anita says:

    Hi Steph
    It certainly sounds similar – but I can’t be positive – sorry. You could always give it a go if it’s not too expensive. Just make the tuilles in advance – they keep well for a week or so.

  40. Dylan says:

    Hi there,

    This looks great. I am hoping to make it for xmas this year (down under) but i was wondering how far ahead each component can be made?

    Many thanks

  41. Julie says:

    Howdi … any one out there tried to make these in New Zealand and has any one successfully sourced the liquid Maltose? Am heading to my local Asian store today but as I am in a small town not sure whether I will be lucky. Tried liquid amber malt to no success, so don’t waste your funds on that.

    The rest of the recipe is great. in a fit of excitement I upturned my sugar in to the whties before I realised I should not have. I just beat these for a little longer than i normally would and the meringue turned out great. I don’t have hemisphere moulds but turned my silicone muffin tins inside out and this worked well.

    I will fudge the tuilles for this evenings event as I don’t think I’ll be so lucky with the maltose and think I’ll have to go the glucose route. But if anyone has luck with the maltose in NZ pleae let me know.

    Many thanks

  42. Kristi says:

    Wow, the snow egg looks absolutley amazing! I could never pull it off to look that good. What a dish to make to certainly impress your guests. It’s so unusual, but looks delicious.

  43. […] Tropical Snow Egg – Any recipe that requires multiple pages is initially intimidating, often with satisfying results. This is a white meringue cup filled with a fruit cream, topped with a thin caramel disk and served with several flavors of ice cream.  Looks delectable.  Looks like this could take a significant time investment to create… […]

  44. Jocelyn says:

    Thanks so much for your recipe because it saved me! I went to make the Masterchef one but couldn’t find guava anywhere and the custard apples weren’t ripe so I went with your version instead and it was AMAZING! Took me close to three hours to do but so worth it when you see the end result and the look on everyone’s face when they’re eating what you made makes it all worth it. Thanks again for sharing =)

  45. Moira says:

    I have just sourced the hemisphere moulds through amazon.com. I think they were about US$20.

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