Airier than ice cream, semifreddo is essentially a frozen mousse with a dream-like texture. This recipe needs no churning, and takes its inspiration from the traditional Sicilian Cassata cake, with a splash of Sicilian Marsala wine for good measure. Studded with candied citrus peel jewels, pistachios and dark chocolate chunks, it looks very pretty when sliced, making it fit for any Christmas feast.
3 eggs, separated
80g caster sugar
1 tablespoon Marsala wine (or Sherry)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
300 ml double cream
100 ml creme fraiche
50g dark chocolate, roughly chopped + extra to serve
30g candied peel, finely diced
30g stem ginger, finely diced
40g pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
Grease and line a loaf tin with cling film.
You’ll need 3 bowls and an electric whisk. First whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. In a second bowl whisk together the yolks, sugar, masala and the spices until lighter in colour. In a third bowl whisk the cream very lightly before folding in the creme fraiche. Combine the cream and sugar mixture before adding the peel, chocolate and nuts and finally carefully folding in the egg whites
Pour into the prepared tin and freeze for 4-6 hours or overnight. Take the tin out of the freezer 5 minutes before slicing and serve with generous gratings of dark chocolate.
IMAGE: Elly Kemp