I think anyone in Victoria, and probably Australia, could safely say that it has been a pretty hot summer. This weekend is a prime example of the heat that has seen all of my town’s supply of fans decimated. From the forecast, it looks like there’s more to come.
In times of heat, if you have a dinner party or simply just want something sweet, icecream is ideal. For those without icecream makers and who don’t want to spend their nights freezing and mixing icecream every hour, there is a joy called semifreddo. It is very similar to an icecream, except you just freeze it once. It is a slightly more melty version of icecream, and is quite delicious. It is equally as delicious as ice cream, and half the effort.
So for the January edition of the Australia Times, where I write food articles monthly, I decided that it would be a perfect time to share my semifreddo recipe. So go down to the shops and grab these few ingredients, simply freeze and then you’ve got yourself an instant dessert success. Stay cool!
Coincidentally, this was a good way to practice making semifreddo. I had an inkling that my boyfriend would like it, and it was his birthday this week. He’s not a big fan of baked cakes (see Non Cake Birthdays for last year’s icecream-cookie combo), but he’s a big fan of icecream, as well as rainbow colours, and Magnum Ego’s combination of two chocolate layers with caramel in between.
To make his birthday cake, I used the recipe below. I separated the egg mix into 5 bowls, mixed a few drops of different colouring into each bowl, and folded through 1/5th of the whipped cream to each mix. I then poured them into 10 ramekins (2 for each colour), and froze. The following day, I scooped out and spread out each colour into a glad-wrap lined 7 inch springform cake tin, freezing for 10-20 minutes between each colour addition so the colors wouldn’t mix. Finishing with a layer of melted chocolate (then freeze a few mins), a few spoonfuls of tinned caramel (then freeze a few mins), then a final layer of melted chocolate. Before serving, I melted a little white chocolate and piped on top. Remove the cake tin sides, peel back the glad wrap, and voilà! An impressive but genuinely simple, and immensely thoughtful birthday cake. Hope you like it!
Also featured in The Australia Times.
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks, extra
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 2 cups thickened cream
- 100g pistachios, chopped
- ⅓ cup water
- ⅔ cup sugar
- Summer fruit, sliced, to serve.
- Place eggs, egg yolks, vanilla and 1 cup caster sugar in a heatproof bowl.
- Place over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk with an electric beater for 4-5 minutes or until thick and pale.
- Remove from the heat and whisk until cool. Set aside. Note: This is where you can add other flavouring ingredients, such as fruit or melted chocolate for your version of this dessert. This is where I added colouring to my cake.
- Place cream in a large bowl and beat with an electric beater until soft peaks form.
- Gently fold the egg mixture into the cream until just combined.
- Distribute your semifreddo mix among the ramekins.
- Place in freezer for 6 hours or until ready to use.
- Place pistachios on a tray lined with foil, covering about a 10cm2 space, close together.
- In a small saucepan, on a low heat, mix water and sugar until dissolved.
- Bring to the boil, and leave for approximately 10 minutes until the syrup is golden. Do not mix during this time or it will crystallize.
- Let the bubbles subside and pour syrup over the pistachios.
- Leave for 10-20 minutes until cool and hard, then roughly chop.
- Place fruit on top of semifreddo in the ramekins and sprinkle praline over. Serve.