The unusual holiday heatwaves seem to be well and truly behind us here in Cape Town, and all of a sudden the dark, chilly mornings and early sunsets are more obvious and a reminder of the cold (and hopefully very rainy) months ahead. As I sit here I am wearing two jerseys and clutching a hot cup of tea and I had second thoughts about posting this recipe given the shift in seasons and the fact that this is a frozen dessert. Then I laughed at this silliness because frankly any time of the year is appropriate for a chocolate dessert, frozen or not. Who’s with me?
I created this recipe as part of an Italian inspired magazine feature I put together earlier in the year. (Did you catch my pizza
recipe last week?) If you have never enjoyed semifreddo before then you are in for a treat my friends. Something in between a chocolate mousse and ice cream this frozen chocolate treat makes a sophisticated pud for a crowd. It is creamy, rich, dotted with chunks of crunchy amaretti biscuits and all rather heavenly if you ask me.
It would be wonderful to step back in time for a day, to again be on a train headed for beautiful Italy (and the best gelato in the world!), but since that will probably not be happening any time soon I would say this dark chocolate semifreddo makes a pretty fantastic substitute. Buon appetito!
DARK CHOCOLATE AND AMARETTI SEMIFREDDO
- 250g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 50g castor sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 500ml double thick cream
- 100g amaretti biscuits, slightly crushed
- extra amaretti biscuits for decorating
- cocoa powder for dusting
1.) Grease a large loaf tin and line with cling wrap.
2.) Melt the dark chocolate and leave to one side to cool. Whisk the egg whites to soft peak stage and set aside.
3.) Place the egg yolks and castor sugar in a large mixing bowl. Whisk on high speed for a few minutes until pale and thick. Whisk in the vanilla extract and cooled chocolate.
4.) Add the cream and whisk until everything is combined. Carefully fold in the egg whites by hand. Lastly, fold in the amaretti biscuits.
5.) Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Cover and freeze until firm (about 4 hours).
6.) Remove the tin from the freezer just before serving. Carefully turn the semifreddo out onto a serving platter. Top with crushed amaretti biscuits and a dusting of cocoa powder. Slice with a sharp knife and serve immediately.