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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sii (Swiss Bread Cream)

sii for one

FRIDAY morning, I continued the two day process for making sii. When I went into the kitchen, one of the first things I'd noticed was the plumped-up raisins, swollen with wine!

I had to restrain myself from consuming
(all of) the raisins, as-is!

Next, I reduced some blackcurrant juice into 'a generous glassful' of blackcurrant syrup

blackcurrant syrup isn't the easiest thing to find; I found
this blackcurrant juice at Westside Market for $2

While the juice was reducing on the stovetop, I used a potato masher to crush the soaked bread to a pulp.

the wine-soaked bread, crushed to a pulp

The blackcurrant juice reduced, I added my best guess for a generous glassful to the pulp...

the juice didn't reduce quite as I'd wished... but
the flavor did become more concentrated

followed by the drained raisins.

I think this is going to be good

Next, I decided to follow the steps for "gourmet sii" and added some nutmeg, a dash of pepper and some cinnamon.

just a touch of seasoning seemed right

The final step for making sii is to reduce it on the stove into a custard-like consistency.

using a tablespoon of (unsalted)
butter to reduce a ladleful of sii

According to the recipe, sii should be served with Chantilly cream (whipped cream). However, in the excitement surrounding my sii-making endeavor, I forgot to pick up heavy cream that morning. Alas, I had the sii sans whipped cream... and was not thrilled with the experience. I'd told David about the sii and he said that it sounded pretty acidic and that it needed the whipped cream. Two days later, I prepared a second ladleful of sii.

second run

As you can tell from the above photo, I've yet to master whipping cream. As I lifted the lid from the covered casserole dish used to hold the sii, I was surprised to find that the bread had soaked up even more wine... and that the raisins had gotten plumper! It still took about the same amount of time to reduce on the stovetop, but the final result seemed a bit darker.

not the prettiest of presentations -
perhaps I'll get that on the third run

However, this time: the flavors--most likely concentrated over the three days--seemed to make much more sense. Where they seemed somewhat random and disjointed the first time, seemed much more purposeful... and satisfying the second time. "A solid hot wine or a liquid gingerbread" as the recipe implies, it's an ideal cold-weather treat. Perhaps on my third try, I'll mold the sii into a small glass or jar and turn it out into a bowl, surrounded by my "failed whipped cream" for my own take on a floating island.
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