SyllabubPosted: March 12, 2012
His heart, which (to use your favourite comparison) was as delicate as sweet and as tender as a Whipt-syllabub, could not resist her attractions…
Lesley Castle, Jane Austen, 1792
Yes, I am a Jane Austen fan — I’m not ashamed to admit it. And given my interest in historical food, it’s no surprise my copy of ”The Jane Austen Cookbook” by Maggie Black and Deirdre LeFaye is dog-eared and stained. One of the most interesting historical recipes in it (to me!) is for Whipped Syllabub — a sweetened, white wine spiked whipped cream commonly served at balls and other upper class gatherings.
While delicious in its traditional form, I have been wondering what it would be like with brandy and sherry instead of the traditional white wine. I took the experiment further by using a whipped cream substitute that piqued my interest at the grocery store – its called MimiCreme Healthy Top, a paste of almonds and cashews that you whip like heavy cream. No advertisements, here. It just looked like something interesting to try. It worked out very well, but swallowed the flavor of the alcohol, and I ended up adding more than usual.
Syllabub is perhaps a little rich for modern palates(even back then, port glass size servings were usual), but I’ll be posting a recipe for the trifle I made with syllabub as the cream layer later this week.
1 pint of heavy whipping cream with 1/4C sugar OR 1 package of MimiCreme Healthy Top
juice of 1 lemon and 2tsp of the zest
2-4tbsp brandy(more for the MimiCreme, less for the heavy cream)
2-4tbsp sherry(again, more for the MimiCreme, less for the real stuff)
In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and zest with the sherry and brandy, and set aside. Whip the sugar and cream or the Healthy Top(it’s presweetened) with a mixer or, if you have the fortitude, a wire whisk, until soft peaks form. Fold in the lemon/brandy/sherry mixture, and you’re done!
For the record, the MimiCreme was delicious. I’d absolutely use it again. It holds up to storage better than whipped cream, and tastes not at all fake. It has a slightly different texture, though. I don’t think it would ever get to a really stiff whip. At first I was worried about over-whipping the artificial cream, so I used an electric hand mixer instead of my trusty Kitchen-Aid. No problem there, I thought it would be fragile, but it turns out to be sturdier than regular cream!