Thursday, 15 July 2010

Peach Melba

Summer's here and peaches are everywhere in this side of the world. Although I'm not a peach lover like my H, I wanted to make something out of those sweet blushes that I always eye on in the fruit isle of the grocery. My library for desserts is kind of scarce when it comes to peaches; all I could think of was peach pie or peach cobbler, but I didn't want to make either. I passed by Baskin Robbins yesterday, and there I saw my inspiration - Peach Melba.

Peach Melba is a classic dessert invented by a French chef, Auguste Escoffier, in honour of an Australian opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba; Escoffier got his inspiration from watching one of Melba's opera, in which there was a swan boat. Originally, peach Melba was poached peaches served with vanilla ice cream in a dish set on top of a swan ice sculpture. He later developed the recipe for the opening of Ritz-Carlton Hotel in London in which he was head chef by adding raspberry sauce and omitting the ice sculpture; and this is now the peach Melba we know - poached peach served with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce.

I have recently learned a way of making ice cream without having to use an ice cream maker, so I took this opportunity to make homemade vanilla ice cream, using vanilla beans of course! The process is really fun, but I'll save the experience for another post. It was also my first attempt on poaching fruits, in this case peaches. I poached my peaches on a vanilla infused sugar syrup, the poaching part is relatively easy. The hard part is peeling off the skin of the peaches as well as taking the stones out! Note to self: don't peel the skin off while the peaches are newly poached (it's super hot, duh!); allow the peaches to cool down before peeling. The peaches came out really really good (a lot better than tinned peaches!), and the syrup was good too. I actually kept the poaching syrup so I can use it to brush on my future cakes.

This was actually my first time to taste peach Melba; it was surprisingly delicious! As I mentioned, I'm not a fan of peaches, but I think I have to make an exception when it's peach Melba. Who knew peaches and raspberries go well together? Well, Escoffier did; after all, he wasn't called a legend for nothing. As for vanilla ice cream, well I think that goes with anything! For people who are lucky enough to have fresh peaches and raspberries this summer season, I say try to make peach Melba. It's definitely a great delight in this heat of sunshine.

Components used for this dessert treat:
Bisou bisou,

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