What Pierre is cooking ....a French classic : Omelette Norvegienne
Pierre is back in the kitchen ! This is an easy desert that you can prepare ahead of time for most of it and that will really impress your guests !
Get your apron on !
An omelette norvegienne is Not an omelette and has nothing Norwegian about it .....it is an ice cream desert that you put in the oven to sizzle the meringue and finish by "flambe" at the table ! This desert was created in 1867 during the Exposion Universelle of Paris by a french chef of one of the grand hotel to impress their guests with a technical desert . It had been said that egg whites didn't conduct heat well so a meringue would be a good isolation from the heat of the oven ...and the "omelette Norvegienne " was created ! For the longest time it was the pride attribute of palace hotels only ....not any more !
You will need : 1 quart of Vanilla ice cream , some golden raisins, a good dark rhum to soak them in , 6 eggs and less than a pound of sugar.
Start by macerating the raisins in rhum over night . The next day take the quart of ice cream and let it soften at room temperature for a while so you can mix in the raisins and some rhum as well ...no measuring ...you can put as much as you wish . I like it on the strong side . ( You can also layer different type of ice cream or ad some crunchy toffee in)
Layer the bottom of a "pound cake"mold with plastic wrap so it is easy to take off the mold later . Fill the mold with the ice cream and put back in the freezer. This can be done weeks in advance.
The "genoise" bottom sponge-cake : Separate the egg yolks from the whites of 2 large eggs . Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks are formed , then ad 1,5 oz/ 40 grs of sugar to make a meringue . Beat until shinny and firm . Mix the yolks with 1,5 oz / 40 grs of sugar until creamy and fluffy . Incorporate a little bit of white mixture to loosen the batter , then sift in 1,5 oz /40grs of flour . Finish to incorporate the rest of the meringue by folding it in delicately with a spatula .
Put the batter down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper . Shape it to be big enough for your cake mold . Bake at 375F for 6-8 mns max until barely colored and cooked through .
Put the sponge cake on top of the ice cream and back into the freezer until last minute .
Last minute prep : Heat up your oven to 500F . Make a meringue with 4 egg whites , a pinch of salt and 10oz / 280 grs of sugar . Make sure you beat the whites until firm before to ad the sugar and keep beating until shinny and firm . I tried to make this before my guests arrive and keep it in the fridge . The meringue soften and my desert was a mess . So make this part at the last minute to insure you have a nice and firm meringue OR you could probably make an "italien " meringue witch means to boil the sugar into a syrup and ad this hot sugar into your beaten egg whites beating until the batter cools off making a more stable meringue that should be able to wait in the fridge . Put the meringue in a ziploc bag , cut a tiny hole at the bottom ( or use a pastry bag with attachment ) and you are ready to decorate your ice cream cake ! Take the ice cream cake out of the freezer and out of the mold onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil . Decorate with the meringue and put in the oven for 5 mns until the meringue get colored . In the mean time warm up some Grand Marnier in a pan so you can "flambe" your desert when it comes out of the oven .( Do not have the hood on when you Flambe anything or it will suck the flames up the hood ! )
Slice and serve immediately !! The combination of hot and cold is really what makes this desert so special and a perfect ending to a Holiday meal .