I also served up a side order of Nigella's delicious Tuscan fries from her new book, Nigellissima. You can find the recipe for those here.
Now onto dessert. Again taking inspiration from Nigellissima, one of my newest culinary acquisitions, I opted for something cool and summery to end our evening: The Double Amaretto semifreddo. A semi-solid parfait, if you like, littered with shards of crunchy amaretti biscuits and enhanced with a dosh of Disaronno- that headily aromatic, almondy liquor, often referred to as Amaretto. I LOVE anything almondy: Marzipan, almond croissants, friands, Dr Pepper, Maraschino cherries. If it contains almond, I'm a taker. This dessert was, to my great delight, as intensely almondy as you can get. It was just as well that Nat and Amy both like Almond- or so they told me- because if you weren't a fan of Almond, you most certainly wouldn't like this dessert.
The only thing I would say against the recipe, is that there wasn't really much process involved. I suppose that's good if you are in a hurry or you don't really enjoy cooking; if, however, you are like me, it is a joy to spend a little more time pottering in the kitchen. I suppose, in truth, had I made the sauce to go along with it, there would have been a bit more to do, but anything that contains Apricot- apricot jam being a core ingredient in the semifreddo sauce- is of absolutely no interest to me. I just served mine with a little maple syrup and a scattering of a few more crushed amaretti biscuits instead. If you enjoy apricot, the by all means, make the sauce.
Before we knew it, it was Sunday morning and time for brekky. I had made enough brioche dough on Saturday to be able to make a small loaf in addition to the burger buns. What do you do with stale brioche? French toast of course. I cut the brioche into fairly thick chunks, so they did need quite a long time to soak. It is so vital that you take the time to soak the bread properly, as there is nothing worse than dry french toast. After soaking in a mixture of egs, cream, sugar and vanilla, cook at a low heat until golden and cooked through. I had some lovely ricotta left over from the triangles, so I sweetened that with maple syrup and added a little cinnamon and vanilla. I then macerated some strrawberries in some sugar and balsamic vinegar. To serve, I smeared some ricotta across the plate, sprinkled over some of the remaining amaretti, put the strawberries along side and the french toast on top with a mint leaf garnish. Serve with extra maple syrup, if desired. In my books, a little maple syrup is always desirable.
This post is dedicated to Nat and Amy! Thanks for sharing the weekend with me :)