My absolute favourite summer & Christmas dessert is Semifreddo. It’s an Italian style semi-cold treat – its not gelato or ice cream, but more like a frozen mousse. It is a close chic cousin.
It is made using only a few ingredients – mainly egg yolks, egg whites and pouring cream, however further ingredients can be added (such as ground coffee, nuts, chocolate, nougat, liqueurs, fruits, spices and much more) to create a flavour and texture sensation.
I think I was exposed to it from an early age because it feels so familiar to me – like a favourite childhood toy. My Mum says she can’t remember the exact age I was when introduced to it. She laughs ever time I ask her things like that – says that I’m crazy if I think she was able to record insignificant details like when I first ate a particular item! Even so, she said it would have been early on because it was a family favourite at Christmas.
Semifreddo is the King of entertaining desserts. If you don’t have this on your party treats register, then get it on there! And here is why:
* as mentioned previously, it only requires a few ingredients;
* takes little time to prepare;
* can be whisked all by hand – no mixer required;
* requires no churning like other frozen desserts such as gelato & ice cream;
* can be prepared ahead of time allowing seamless entertaining and generates space for you to enjoy your guests;
* visually appealing, especially as it is usually served unmoulded on to a serving dish (from a loaf tin), topped with shaved chocolate, nuts, caramel, and the like – then sliced;
* Tastes like a soft smooth velvety cold mousse which is a splendid way to finish a summer evening of dining. Add any crunchy texture (like praline, nuts, nougat) to that blend and I am in heaven!
I think you’re all now adding Semifreddo to your dessert repertoire!!! In particular, this recipe of Honey Butter Nuts & Seeds Semifreddo that I share with you today.
I am ecstatic with the result of this creation and its pretty funny that it came about via a mistake in making something else. I was actually experimenting with ingredients to craft a slice a few weeks ago. I heated honey and butter in a small pan then poured it into a bowl containing nuts – almonds & pistachios, and white & black sesame seeds. I poured this into a prepared slice tin and baked it for 30 minutes. When cooled, the mixture was too soft and unable to be cut into slices. I resolved that I didn’t heat the honey to the correct temperature in the initial stages when heated with the butter. As I don’t throw any food away, I decided to make a semifreddo with the added flavours of honey, butter, almonds, pistachio, and white & black sesame seeds. Since then, I have made this semifreddo dessert three times when entertaining friends and have received great reviews. I was told that I MUST share this recipe by my nephew, Xavier, who is a very hard food critic – so here it is. I have attached just below a video demonstration of how to make this recipe.
You will find this plus many more of my how to cook or bake food videos on my YouTube food channel – link is here if you would like to subscribe https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpi6My9y8ODHVx5NYLieeyg?disable_polymer=true
- 150g good quality Honey
- 75g Butter, unsalted, chopped into cubes
- 100g whole Almonds
- 75g whole Pistachio
- 75g White sesame seeds
- 75 Black sesame seed
- 6 Egg yolks
- 4 Egg Whites
- 110g Castor Sugar
- 1 tbsp Marsala or Dark Rum
- 500ml Pouring Cream
- Extra roasted almonds & pistachio nuts for topping
- Grease a loaf tin & a 1 litre pudding bowl with olive oil. Then line both with glad wrap and set aside. Preheat oven to 180c.
- Place almonds, pistachio, white & black sesame seeds on a baking tray lined with baking paper and set aside.
- In a small pot, pour 150g of good quality honey and 75g butter - stir over medium heat until both honey & butter has melted. Pour mixture over all nuts & seeds and stir through with a wooden spoon till all are coated. Then place tray in a preheated oven for 8-10mins. Take out and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add egg yolks, castor sugar and marsala. Whisk by hand or mixer until thick & pale in colour and then fold through the nut & seed mixture. Set aside.
- In a second bowl, whisk by hand or mixer, pouring cream until almost stiff peaks. Set aside.
- In a third bowl, add 4 egg whites and whisk by hand or mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- To assemble semifreddo: Fold the cream in two batches into the egg yolk mixture.
- Fold the egg white in two batches into the egg yolk mixture.
- Pour mixture into prepared loaf tin and pudding bowl. Smooth tops with plate knife, then cover top with baking paper & place in freezer overnight or at least 6 hours until firm.
- To serve: turn out a semifreddo onto a serving dish (if difficult - simply run a little warm water around the sides of loaf tin or bowl. This will losen the dessert). Top with extra honey coated roasted almonds & pistachio nuts. Can serve sliced or scoop into a bowl.
I take this opportunity to now wish you a Merry Christmas and hope Santa is good to you. Enjoy this time of indulging and I look forward to hearing all about your successful entertaining dessert of Honey Butter Nuts & Seeds Semifreddo.