Rhubarb and caramelized almond semifreddo

Small individual rhubarb and caramelized almond semifreddos with rhubarb syrup.

Semifreddo is Italian for half cold and is basically a frozen dessert, pretty close to ice cream but still not. You don’t need any ice cream machine and it’s perfect to prepare a couple of days in advance which makes it a great dinner party dessert. Just make sure to take it out from the freezer in time so it’s not too hard when served. Another great thing about semifreddo is that you can flavour it with your favourite ingredients: chocolate, strawberries, blueberries or what ever you prefer. For your semifreddo you can either use small individual molds or a large one, if you use a large mold you need to slice the semifreddo before serving but that is easily done and gives you beautiful slices.

Rhubarb and caramelized almond semifreddo, made in a large mold and then sliced.

    Rhubarb and caramelized almond semifreddo

    (From “Två Systrars Söta”)

    1 batch of caramelized almonds
    500 gram rhubarb, rinsed and cut into 1-2 cm pieces
    100 gram caster sugar

    1 vanilla pod
    4 eggs, separated into yolks and egg whites
    50 gram sugar
    500 ml whipping/double cream
    1 pinch of salt

    First make a batch of caramelized almonds. In a small sauce pan, cook the rhubarb with the sugar. You don’t need any water as the rhubarb will start to “leek” juice due to the heat and the sugar. Cook the rhubarb until it’s soft but not mashed. Let cool.
    Strain the rhubarb, but don’t squeeze it as you want the rhubarb juicy and nice for the semifreddo. Set a side the rhubarb syrup (keep it in the fridge until serving the semifreddo).

    Cut the vanilla pod in half lenghtwise and scrape out the seeds.Stiffly whisk the egg whites with the salt in a grease-free bowl. Stiffly whip the cream in another bowl. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and the vanilla seeds in a third bowl until pale and fluffy, then fold in the egg whites, followed by the whipped cream. Mix very very gently. Fold in the rhubard and the almonds, very gently and pour the semifreddo into a large mold or small individual ones, cover with plastic wrap. Myself I made 8 small individual ones and 1 large.

    Chill in the freezer for at least 4-5 hours. To serve, invert the semifreddo over a platter and remove mold and plastic wrap. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature to soften. Serve the semifreddo with the rhubarb syrup, it should be at least enough syrup for 8 small portions. Depending on which molds you use the semifreddo should serve at least 14 people and not 6 as written in the original recipe. Saving the rhubarb syrup for serving with the semifreddo was my own idea and it makes a nice touch to the semifreddo.

23 Responses to “Rhubarb and caramelized almond semifreddo”

  1. Anne
    January 7th, 2007 21:33

    I was lucky enough to eat it – and wow, it was absolutely awesome. I loved it! Especially served with the syrup. But how on earth did your rhubarb get so pink?? Mine never, ever does. :)

  2. Dagmar
    January 7th, 2007 22:08

    Anne: I\’m glad that you liked it. We had it again today, but unfortunately without the syrup.
    The pink colour is lovely, isn\’t it? The stems were really pink when I bought them, probably very young and fresh.

  3. eva
    January 7th, 2007 22:41

    It just looks delicious !

  4. Thalie
    January 8th, 2007 03:21

    Wow !!
    It is simply wonderful ! I love it you have really been inspired on this one !
    Thanks, I put in my favorites.

  5. mercotte
    January 8th, 2007 06:17

    Wahou, love the photo and the recipe too of course! beautiful

  6. Pille
    January 8th, 2007 12:40

    Wonderful colours!!

  7. Lena
    January 8th, 2007 20:42

    I was also one of the lucky to get to eat absolutely wonderful dessert. It was so good and had such a pretty color.

  8. Dagmar
    January 9th, 2007 22:46

    Eva: I really recommend making it!

    Thalie: It’s easy and really yummy!

    Mercotte: Thanks!

    Pille: I love pink :-)

    Lena: Your dessert was great, I really liked the raspberry jelly which also had a pretty colour!

  9. virginie
    January 9th, 2007 23:12

    Wouaou !!! Wonderful
    It looks delicious !

  10. Scott at Real Epicurean
    January 10th, 2007 07:19

    Half cold sounds good to me. This is probably the most “professional” looking desert I’ve seen in a long time – your blog keeps getting better and better. Rhubarb is also one of my favourites.

  11. Pene
    January 11th, 2007 08:45

    Dagmar, this looks enticing. And I like rhubarb also. But the big bubbles can be removed by very gently ‘bumping’ the molds after filling them & the air pockets rise to the surface. I learnt that trick when I made molded chocolates.

  12. Brilynn
    January 11th, 2007 16:44

    That looks amazing! I always have tons of rhubarb growing in my garden.

  13. Dagmar
    January 11th, 2007 20:07

    Scott: Thanks, you’re so kind :-)

    Pene: I bumped both the small molds and the large one but apparently not enough. The small molds were made of silicion and maybe I should have bumped them more. The semifreddo in the large metal mold came out without air pockets though.

    Brilynn: Oh, I so envy your rhubarb!!!

  14. Burcu
    January 12th, 2007 22:56

    I love rhubarb and your rhubarb semifreddo looks absolutely fantastic!

  15. Shaun
    January 13th, 2007 00:46

    Hi Dagmar – Your rhubarb and caramelized almond semifreddo is absoltuely beautiful. What possessed you to make this combination? I would never have thought of it, though I am now convinced it is a wonderful pairing. You make the semifreddo process sound easy, so I may try to replicate this very recipe in the near future, for it is one of the best desserts I\’ve seen on a foodie blog in a while.

  16. Voidan
    January 13th, 2007 01:31

    I love rhubarb, but so far I tryied fresh, in compote & in yeast cake (the last one is my speciality in every variation :P )

    I guess it’s time to try somethng new :)

  17. Dagmar
    January 13th, 2007 18:10

    Burcu: Thanks!

    Shaun: Thank you so much for your compliments. I found the combination in the Swedish cookbok “Två systrars söta” (which I meantioned in my post). When I read the recipe I got very curious and after tasting it I can just say that it is a fantastic combination. A friend has done a semifreddo with rhubarb and caramelized hazelnuts which sounds great as well!

    Voidan: This semifreddo is perfect to try if you want a new rhubarb recipe! :-)

  18. Voidan
    January 16th, 2007 00:41

    Dagmara: You know – old habits die hard, so drożdżowe still rules ^_- But you got me here – I love experiments in a kitchen, there for you can be sure I’ll try it as soon as I get some rabarbar :}

  19. Angela
    February 16th, 2007 10:20

    Wow! This is absolutely beautiful, Dagmar! I’d forgotten that rhubarb is in season, so I may well give this a try soon….

  20. Sheridan
    April 11th, 2009 04:05

    Excellent! I made my dinner guests try to guess the secret ingredient. The lovely pink color threw them off… my husband finally guessed correctly. I am delighted to have a new recipe for rhubarb; it’s one of my favorites. To answer the first posters’ question: field grown rhubarb will never turn pink, only the greenhouse variety will produce that fabulous pink hue. Thanks again.

  21. Julia
    June 7th, 2010 21:33

    hi, in relation to the first/second comments – better rhubarb is actually LESS pink. Very pink rhubarb is forced rhubarb, meaning it is grown unnaturally by people so it can be sold when natural rhubarb is not in season. Natural rhubarb is a lot less pink, but is preferable – however you can only get it in season, so if it’s not the rhubarb season and you want rhubarb, you don’t really have any choice!

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