I’m a great fan of semifreddo: if you’ve got an electric whisk and some mixing bowls you can whip up a tip top pudding in no time at all. What’s more a semifreddo can be served straight from the freezer as the texture is more of a frozen mousse than a classic custard-based ice cream. I buy pistachio paste online –it doesn’t have a particularly strong flavour but it does give the semifreddo an exquisite eau de nil colour. For a more elaborate pudding I serve the semifreddo withrosewater-scented poached rhubarb or a few raspberries when they come into season.
- 75g shelled pistachios
- 100g white chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 75g icing sugar
- 90g pistachio paste (see intro)
- 400ml double cream
- 4 tablespoons caster sugar
- Dampen the inside of a 1 litre high-sided loaf tin with a little water and line with cling film (the water helps the cling to stick to the tin). Heat the oven to fan 160°c, mark 4. Lay the pistachios on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 6-8 minutes until lightly coloured and nutty smelling. Leave to cool then grind to a fine powder. Sprinkle a third of the ground nuts over the base of the loaf tin. Set aside the rest.
- Put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt in a microwave in short bursts, stirring every 30 seconds. Set aside to cool a little. If you haven’t got a microwave put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl resting on a saucepan filled with 3-4cm depth of gently simmering water and stir until liquid smooth.
- Put the egg yolks in a large bowl, the egg whites in a slightly smaller bowl and the double cream in a similar sized bowl. Add the icing sugar to the egg yolks and whisk with an electric beater for 3-4 minutes until thick and frothy. Beat in the pistachio paste. Without cleaning the whisks, beat the cream to floppy peaks-just until it is starting to hold its shape. It’s better to underwhip than overwhip. Fold the cream into the egg and pistachio mixture followed by the remaining ground pistachios.
- Clean the whisks really well- the egg whites will not stiffen if there is any fat on the whisks. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks then beat in the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time. Fold into the pistachio mixture. Spoon into the loaf tin, cover with cling film and freezer overnight.
- To serve, unmould the loaf onto a serving plate and cut slices of the semifreddo. Serve with poached rhubarb or raspberries.