There's double the corn in this sweet-and-salty, coffee-tinged dessert: Fresh corn and Corn Pops® are infused with milk, then made into a semifreddo with the help of some heavy cream and egg yolks. The unexpected crunch on top? That would be more Corn Pops®, dusted in espresso powder.
Note: You'll need a candy thermometer for boiling the sugar.
To learn more, read "Endless Summer."
Corn Pop Semifreddo
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 5 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes, plus marinating time
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes, plus chilling and resting time
For the Semifreddo:
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder, divided
½ cup heavy cream
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons honey
¾ cup whole milk
1¾ cups Corn Pops® cereal
2 cups fresh corn kernels (2 cobs)
½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3 large egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
For the Espresso Corn Pops:
2 cups Corn Pops® cereal, slightly crushed
1 egg white
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon sugar
Flaky sea salt, to taste
1. Make the semifreddo: Sprinkle half of the instant espresso powder into the bottom of five small dessert or tumbler glasses. Chill in the freezer.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the heavy cream, vanilla and honey until medium peaks form. Chill in the fridge.
3. In a blender, combine the milk, Corn Pops®, corn kernels and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Purée on medium-high speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Strain the corn mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl and chill in the fridge.
4. Place the egg yolks in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar and water, and bring to a boil. Cook without stirring, using a wet pastry brush to push down any crystalized sugar around the inside of the saucepan, 3 to 5 minutes. Continue to boil, and when the sugar reaches 230° on a candy thermometer, after 4 to 6 minutes, begin whipping the egg yolks on high. Cook the sugar 1 to 2 minutes longer and, when it reaches 240° (soft ball stage), remove it from the heat and pour it in a steady stream into the standing mixer bowl while beating the egg yolks. Aim to pour down the side of the bowl, not touching the whisk attachment. Add ¼ teaspoon of the salt and continue beating until the mixture is thick, creamy and pale yellow, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold the chilled corn milk into the egg yolk-sugar mixture. Fold in the whipped cream until smooth, being careful not to deflate the semifreddo too much. Pour the semifreddo batter into the prepared dessert glasses and freeze until firm, 2 to 3 hours.
5. Meanwhile, make the espresso Corn Pops®: Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the slightly crushed Corn Pops® into a medium bowl.
6. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white, espresso powder and sugar until it reaches a syrup consistency, about 1 minute. Pour the espresso mixture over the Corn Pops® and fold evenly to coat. Spread the mixture onto the prepared sheet pan, sprinkle with the flaky sea salt and bake in the oven until toasted, 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300° and let the cereal dry out 10 to 12 minutes more. Remove from the oven and let cool for 3 to 5 minutes before breaking into smaller pieces.
7. To serve: Remove the frozen semifreddo glasses from the freezer and sprinkle the remaining ½ teaspoon of espresso powder over each. Let sit at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes to soften. Top each semifreddo with a handful of espresso Corn Pops® and serve.