TIP OF THE DAY: Make A Semifreddo | THE NIBBLE Blog - Adventures In The World Of Fine Food TIP OF THE DAY: Make A Semifreddo – THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food
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TIP OF THE DAY: Make A Semifreddo

It’s National Ice Cream Month, which we interpret to include all frozen desserts. There is no National Frozen Yogurt Month, No Sherbet/Sorbet Month.

The history of frozen desserts dates back to 2000 B.C.E., when the Chinese used syrups to flavor snow. Fruit juices made fruit ices. Honey and aromatic spices expanded the menu of flavors. So, the first frozen dessert was more sorbet than ice cream. Here’s the history of ice cream.

Since ice cream is one of our favorite foods, we created a glossary of the different types of ice cream 10 years ago. Today’s tip, straight from the glossary, is to make a semifreddo.

You don’t need an ice cream machine to make semifreddo. As with granita, it is often made in a loaf pan, or even an ice cube tray.

  • You can use cake pans or a springform pan make a semifreddo “cake,” with a center filling of caramel or fudge sauce, curd or fruit preserves, fresh berries or other fruit, Nutella, nuts, whatever.
  • If you use a springform pan, you can rim the semifreddo with lady fingers; or cover the sides of the cake with cookie crumbs.
  • You can make two or three layers of different flavors.
  • You can make individual semifreddos in custard cups or other molds.
     
    In fact, anything you can do to create ice cream cake can be applied to a semifreddo.

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    strawberry-pistachio-semifreddo-safeeggs-230

    Make semifreddo in a loaf pan. Then slice it instead of scooping it. Photo courtesy SafeEggs.com.

    Semifreddo is the word for “half cold” in Italian; frozen soufflé is the English term. Semifreddo may look like ice cream but it is more of a frozen mousse, created by combining equal parts of ice cream and whipped cream. It is frozen in a pan or other container, then sliced and served.

    Semifreddo is a special occasion or party dessert that you can prepare ahead of time. The elegant Strawberry-Pistachio Semifreddo recipe below is from Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs.

    Since the recipe uses raw eggs, pasteurized eggs are a worry-free solution (here’s more about pasteurized eggs and the 12 popular foods where you should consider them to eliminate the Salmonella risk).

     

    strawberry-semifreddo-myrecipes-230
    Strawberries and Cream Semifreddo. Here’s the recipe from MyRecipes.com.
     

    RECIPE: FROZEN STRAWBERRY-PISTACHIO SEMIFREDDO

    Prep time is 25 minutes; allow another 12 hours for freezing. You can make and freeze the semifreddo up to three days in advance.

    You can use a different fruit, replace the nuts, etc. (we just made a raspberry-chocolate chip semifreddo adapting this recipe, and replaced the vanilla extract with Chambord raspberry liqueur). You can also be trendy, as in this recipe for Chocolate Semifreddo with Chile-Chocolate Sauce.

    You can also garnish with nuts, sliced fruit, chocolate savings, crushed cookies or candies, and sauces: chocolate sauce, custard sauce, fruit sauce, whipped cream, etc. You can also top it with meringue, Baked Alaska-style.

    Check out the different types of dessert sauces in our Dessert Sauce Glossary.

     
    Ingredients For 18 Servings

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2-1/4 cups whipping cream (heavy cream)
  • 5 pasteurized egg yolk(s)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped, toasted pistachios
  • Garnishes as desired
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    Preparation

    1. LINE a 9×5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.

    2. PLACE the strawberries in a food processor or blender. Add 1/3 cup of the sugar; process until the berries are puréed and set aside.

    3. BEAT the cream and 1/3 cup of the sugar in large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed, just until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

    4. BEAT the egg yolks with the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a separate large bowl, until pale yellow and tripled in volume. Add the vanilla. Fold the whipped cream into yolks. Stir in the pistachios.

    5. POUR half of the egg mixture into loaf pan. Top with half of the strawberry purée. Use a small spatula to swirl the purée into the egg mixture. Repeat with the remaining egg mixture and strawberry purée.

    6. SMOOTH the top with a spatula and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze until firm, about 12 hours. To serve, remove the plastic wrap and invert the semifreddo onto a clean cutting board. Cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. Garnish as desired and serve.

      




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