Say Syllabub with me

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Syl-la-bub? Sy-lla-bub? Syll-a-bub? Such a funny little word, but I can’t seem to find any data about its etymology. My whole 3 minutes of google research pulled up no satisfactory explanation.

I did find however, some interesting information about this dessert. History buffs might like this link. Or just hop over to Wikipedia, where there is a quote on how to make syllabub in the old days: "place the bowl under the cow, and milk it full”

Apparently syllabubs used to be a drink made with frothed cream and wine (like a wine float? Or as we say in Oz, a wine spider?) . Then it evolved into a whipped cream dessert flavoured with wine. At least that’s what I think it’s supposed to taste like, having never actually tried the “proper” version before.

After looking at a few recipes, I based my creation on a cream to wine ratio of roughly 1 : 1/3.  Most of the modern-day syllabub recipes I came across paired the cream with some type of fruit.  Two almost-too-ripe guavas were languishing in the fruit bowl, so they were offered up as sacrifice. The syllabub deities were happy, and the Guava Syllabub was born.

The syllabub on its own was good, but so far, so whipped cream. Once the guava was added, the floral scented fruit really lifted this concoction to another level.

I used verjuice instead of wine in my creation because I wanted to serve it to the mini-critics. The end result even impressed Mr. Kitchen Hand, who gave it the “one-raised-eyebrow” seal of approval.

Guava Syllabub

(substitute with strawberries or other berries if guava is unavailable. Please bear in mind I use Australian measurements)

2 small guava, deseeded and diced
juice from quarter of a lime
1-2 tbsp brown sugar

Mix the guava with the lime juice and brown sugar and set aside. Can be left for a little while or even overnight in the fridge. I left mine overnight and was rewarded with a syrupy bowl of fruit.

For the syllabub:
1 cup pure cream
1 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar (1 tbsp=15 ml)
2 tbsp verjuice (or white wine)
lemon rind
Toasted slivered almonds to serve

Dissolve the sugar in the verjuice, stir in the lemon rind . Whip cream util soft peaks form, then carefully fold in the verjuice mixture. Spoon into glasses, add the guava on the side and sprinkle with toasted almonds.



Hungry Dog said...

Wow. What an education I get here at your lovely blog! Syllabub? Curious. I like guava and would try it with anything.

Heavenly Housewife said...

What a wonderful desert. You know, I've never tried guava fresh, only had it from a can. Its so pretty when its cut open.
*kisses* HH

kirbie said...

Ooh, pretty pink guavas. All the guavas available to me are white. I didn't know the ones in Australia are pink. So much prettier when they are pink! I've never heard of syllabub but it looks yummy.

Esi said...

Funny name for a delicious dessert!

3 hungry tummies said...

This is something I can manage :) Love the colour of the pink guava and it looks very delicious with the cream. We have a white guava tree back home which I used to climb as a child :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

That looks fabulous Shaz-like a tropical twist on a traditional dessert! :D

Anh said...

Ohh! I haven't seen pink guava around at all! Love this dessert! Yum!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

I had no idea how to pronounce it too! Nice dessert :)

Deeba PAB said...

This is something I've read about but haven't tried making. Looks yum, and if you got the one brow approval, I know how good it is! It sounds lovely Shaz!!

grace said...

i thought google knew everything!! what a fun name (any which way you pronounce it) for a tasty treat. great post, shaz!

shaz said...

Hungry Dog - glad to be of service:)

Heavenly Housewife - I never knew one could buy guava in a can!

kirbie - actually I was quite surprised too when I cut the guavas open. I'm used to white ones as well, althought I did see some pink ones in Malaysia before.

Esi - I kept calling it a silly-bub (yes, I am Soooo mature).

3 hungry tummies - aaah, a fellow tree-climber - we used to climb the rambutan tree at my grandfather's house :)

Lorraine - cool, the tropitraditional dessert

Anh - thanks dear, it was very yum, especially the smell of it!

Ellie - I'm still not quite sure how to pronounce it!

Deeba PAB - thanks dearie...the eyebrow approval scheme is worth a lot :)

grace - cheers.I too was surprised at google's lack of a definite answer

Velva said...

Wow, what an interesting fruit. What an interesting name.

Your dessert looks delightful.

Barbara said...

Just about my most favored jam! And don't they look pretty inside?
I love syllabub, knew it was a really old English dish, which is how we came by it in the U.S. It's written about in a lot of really old cookbooks and historical reports of meals.
I'd love to try it with rhubarb!

dessert girl said...

Interesting! I've never heard of a syllabub before! Apparently, it's as easy as milking a cow...not that milking a cow is easy. :-)

The Beso Team said...

Dear Shaz,

Thank You for entering the Bake Up Summer Sweets Contest. I hope you are given the opportunity to own a new KitchenAid mixer so you can whip up your red ruby recipe with ease.
Thank You and Good Luck!
The Beso Team

shaz said...

Oh yes Barbara- a rhubarb version would be fab I think

Dessert girl - too easy. BUt not sure about the cow milking

Thanks Team Beso

msmeanie said...

I have never heard of Syllabub but it looks delicious. I love guavas and would eat them when my family visited India, but I haven't had them in so long. I bet they are great in this dessert.

shaz said...

msmeanie - i used to have guava often in Malaysia, but not as much here in Australia, and I'd forgotten how scented it is when ripe.