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.
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