Friday, September 24, 2010

Sensational Semifreddo

Kneeling down, cleaning out the fire in the Sitting Room again this morning, lugging in the wood & resetting & lighting it, I had an overwhelming feeling that I'M OVER WINTER!!! I want to wear only one layer of clothing, chuck out the boots in favour of bare feet & eat light, summery food. And what I really want more than anything is icecream. I don't have a flash icecream maker, instead I just follow on from my Mum, who made delicious icecream each Summer in metal trays. She would lift them out of the freezer after a few hours, their yummy contents sitting happily in their glistening containers, with just a hint of ice starting to form on the sides. I remember standing in the kitchen, excitedly hopping around from one foot to the other, while Mum scooped the icecream into little square wafer icecream cups. These days Mum's creations are best described as Semifreddo, which literally means 'semi-cold.'

Gourmet Traveller magazine says about Semifreddo 'While ice-cream uses many of the same ingredients as semifreddo – egg yolks, sugar, cream – the technique for making it is different. For ice-cream, you make a crème anglaise, or custard, by creaming the yolks and sugar, then combining them with hot cream (and milk). This is cooked slowly, gently and with constant stirring until it thickens; the mixture is then cooled and frozen in an ice-cream machine.'

'In contrast, semifreddo doesn't require churning & consists of a sabayon and a roughly equal quantity of whisked cream. Its mousse-like texture means it doesn’t freeze as solidly as ice-cream. Semifreddo is typically presented as a frozen terrine, but it can just as easily be scooped as you would serve ice-cream.'

Here's their basic Semifreddo recipe.
Serves 10
Cooking Time/Prep Time 30 mins, cook 35 mins (plus freezing)
9 egg yolks
250gm caster sugar
Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla paste
600mls. thickened cream
250gm crème fraîche

1. Line a 2 litre-capacity mould with plastic wrap or baking paper.
2. Whisk yolks, sugar, vanilla seeds and 1 tbsp water in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until mixture is tripled in volume, thick and pale and holds a ribbon (4-5 minutes).
3. Transfer to an electric mixer and whisk until cooled to room temperature (2-3 minutes).
4. Meanwhile, whisk cream and crème fraîche in a bowl until soft peaks form.
5. Carefully fold into egg mixture.
6. Spoon into container, cover, freeze until firm (6 hours-overnight). Makes about 2 litres.

Once the sabayon is cooled, then the fun part can begin. Add your desired flavourings, these could be chocolate and hazelnut, or you could fold though some puréed fruit, or some spices.

While Mum's recipe was invariably vanilla, here's a few slightly more sophisicated ideas to whip you into a heavenly Semifreddo frenzy!

Turkish Delight Semifreddo with Fresh Strawberries & Raspeberries

Honey & Chocolate Semifreddo

Christmas Pudding Semifreddo

Passionfruit Semifreddo with Mango & Raspberries

Strawberries & Cream Semifreddo

Chocolate, Fig & Hazelnut Semifreddo

Pistachio Nougat Semifreddo

Double Chocolate Brownie Semifreddo

Raspberry Semifreddo

Caramel Semifreddo with Salted Maple Pecans

White Chocolate & Amaretto Semifreddo

Meyer Lemon Semifreddo

Tangerine Semifreddo with Salted Almond Brittle

Images 1 - 7 Gourmet Traveller
Images 8 - 11 Donna Hay
Image 12 - Martha Stewart
Images 13-14 Epicurious



  1. i love the look of semifreddo, sooo creamy and easier to make than icecream!
    hope your weekend is full of sweetness Ms Millie

  2. Ah geez! I just got back from the gym and now I want dessert! :-)
    Wanted to let you know I mailed out your print a couple of days ago (finally) so you should get it soon. So sorry for the delay in getting it out, we have been really busy here.
    Yummy yummy post!


  3. Oh Millie....absolute YUM!! Thanks so much for the recipe and even the other different pics on how to "dress it up" :)


  4. mmmm this recipe has me craving some right now, I was contemplating exercise.....

  5. Thank you for educating me on semifreddo. I have never heard of it. Have a wonderful weekend, you too MOTH. Love, Heidi

  6. My mouth is watering and I don't care if it is still cold we are having some tomorrow. Pity the raspberries are not out yet! Chocolate looks good and so does the lemon and......!

  7. Absolutely delicious - it's raining, cold and grey here in the UK - perfect conditions to try out some semifreddo - thank you!!! xx

  8. Wow, first, being from the US, I forgot that you all are heading to the end of winter while we are just heading into it! Sorry, I know how the end of winter is, I am always ready for it to leave!!! Second, thank you so much for sharing about semifreddo! I had never heard of it, and you are right, it would be so much easier than ice cream! I have two ice cream makers, one 5 quart and a 1 1/2 quart. They are great, but sometimes I just don't have the time to churn (yep the big one is a hand crank.) or I just don't have enough ice. I am definitely keeping this recipe on hand.

  9. Oh goodness, the most delicious post of the week - anywhere - I think!!!! YUM!!!!!

    I must try some of these :)

    Reminds me of the hot chocolate post you did months ago Millie, GORGEOUS!

    Happy Week-end Millie - and I loved your "fashion show" comment over at mine!! ;) xx

  10. Oooh...this looks fabulous and I too am sans ice cream maker! I'll have to make some quick before winter arrives.

  11. Brilliant - I definitely want to give this one a go. They all look incredible, I love the idea of Christmas pudding semifreddo - yum.

  12. Hello .. I just found your blog by way of Chateau de Lille. I love this story of your mum making ice-cream and I do love semifreddo especially turkish delight! I can remember whenever my mum would be baking we would be hanging around the kitchen waiting to lick the bowl and now my kids do it! I love your blog header and am following. Thank-you for your lovely comments about Queenslanders! So glad to have found you!

  13. Hi Millie,

    Reminds me of when I was young making the icecream in the old Kenwood mixer and adding cochineal to make it go pink. This job was fun and loved eating it when it was all creamy before it went into the freezer.
    Thanks for the recipe and would like to try this.
    Hope that you are having a lovely Sunday.


  14. I'm an adult & I'm jumping from one foot to the other. Everyone today seems to be posting about food, & I'm starved. Now I'm craving semifreddo too!! I must try and thank you Millie for the recipe (I think). Hugs to you & MOTH. xo xo

  15. Oh yum! Stop it I am dieting AGAIN! Thought you might know Ruth! Yes I am in love with Fawley. My mum and Ruth met whilst in hosptial with their eldest babies! Letitia x

  16. hi sweet friend...that an amazing post.... whew... i am so NOT looking forward to putting on boots, the rain etc... but i have my pot pie recipe out... and looking forward to every bite... xx

  17. Oh my God I am drooling. Thanks, I haven't even had my second cup of coffee yet!
    Copy & print!!!!!

  18. MIllie I could nearly eat your page! YIPPEEE - at last a recipe that doesn't require the icecream maker that I don't possess. I guess now all i have to do is wait for Autumn to leave briefly so I feel like eating it again.


And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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