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.