Sunday, November 9, 2014

Summer berry semifreddo

Semifreddo, as it sounds, is only partly frozen. Here you have a fabulously creamy and smooth ice-cold dessert richly flavored with fruits and liqueur.

* Serves 4–6
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 to 6 tbsp. brandy or kirsch
  • 4 cups mixed small berries
  • 3 tbsp. toasted sliced almonds confectioners’ sugar

Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with the vanilla and sugar until really thick and creamy. In a separate bowl, beat the cream until thick. Add the liqueur and beat until thick again.

Purée or blend 2 cups of the berries, and strain in a fine-mesh sieve, if you wish.

Fold together the beaten egg yolks, the whipped cream, and the puréed berries. Fold in most of the remaining berries (save a few for serving with). Spoon into molds or pans that have been lined with plastic wrap, and freeze for 3 to 4 hours.

To serve, turn out onto plates and top with a few of the reserved berries, sliced almonds, and a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar.

Variations:

  • Strawberry semifreddo with fraise & wild berries
Use only strawberries in the basic recipe and replace the brandy with fraise. Serve with tiny wild berries, if possible.

  • Gooseberry & muscat semifreddo
Prepare the basic recipe, using gooseberries cooked with 1/4 cup extra sugar, and replace the brandy with Muscat wine.

  • Black currant & cassis semifreddo
Prepare the basic semifreddo recipe, using all black currants (add extra sugar to taste) and replace the brandy with cassis.

  • Blueberry & chocolate liqueur semifreddo
When preparing the basic recipe, use only blueberries and replace the brandy with chocolate liqueur. Serve topped with grated white chocolate.

  • Currant semifreddo
Prepare the basic recipe, using red, white, or black currants (one only or a mixture), and adding extra sugar to taste.