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
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.
Semifreddo is an Italian style semi-cold dessert – 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.
30 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
40 minTotal Time
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.
- 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.
- 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.