This is my first blog post, so allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sondra, and I’ve worked at the downtown Caputo’s Market for five great months. When I’m not geeking out at work, you can find me philosophizing, eating chocolate, hiking, or cooking with my adorable husband. I also love to teach and to learn, so come to Caputo’s to chat! Or comment below and tell me all the things you would like us to blog about (questions about cheese pairings, recipes you want to see us make, olive oil suggestions, whatever!), and we will try to make you happy.
Now let’s talk semifreddo.
Utah got really hot really fast. And suddenly all I wanted to do was eat fruit all day and gelato all night and jump in swimming pools in between. You know the feeling. But the thing about gelato is that usually it requires an ice cream maker and is just altogether more complicated. So we decided to go for something with all the goodness of gelato without all the hassle, and include the hottest ingredients of the summer (tiki bitters aren’t just for cocktails anymore).
This is another Italian dessert, but is closer to a frozen mousse than an ice cream. In spite of what the name implies (semifreddo means “half cold” in Italian), this is a fully frozen dessert, so expect the perfect cooling summer treat!
1 tablespoon of butter
1 cup unsweetened coconut
6 ounces Fruition Toasted White chocolate, chopped (or substitute Valrhona Opalys 33% white)
2 large eggs
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons Bittermen’s Elemakule Tiki Bitters
a dash of cinnamon
1 ½ cups chilled heavy cream
Line a metal loaf pan (8 1/2 by 4 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches) with plastic wrap, leaving a couple inches overhang so you can easily lift out the semifreddo at the end. Chill in the freezer.
In a skillet, melt the butter and toast the coconut until golden brown, but not burnt! Parts of the coconut will probably still be white (though most will be golden brown) when it reaches the perfect amount of toastiness. Turn off heat and set aside.
Put chopped white chocolate in a metal bowl or pan. Set over a pan of hot (but not boiling) water. Stir occasionally until melted. Turn off heat and set aside. Note on chocolate: I used Fruition Toasted White because it has a rich, caramely flavor that plays so nicely with the warmth of the Tiki bitters and cinnamon. But any high quality white chocolate will work deliciously.
Put eggs and sugar in another metal bowl and beat to combine. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and beat for about 5 minutes (because we don’t want your semifreddo giving you salmonella!). Remove from heat.
Beat in white chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and tiki bitters to the egg and sugar mixture. I’m a big believer in the phrase “to taste” so start out with the recommended amounts, and then experiment! More cinnamon or bitters is never a bad thing.
In another bowl, beat the cream until it just holds stiff peaks. Fold into the egg mixture until fully combined. Then stir in the toasted coconut and pour the mixture into the chilled loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze 7-8 hours or overnight.
Pop the semifreddo out of the loaf pan and voila! You’re practically an Italian pastry chef! The traditional way to serve semifreddo is sliced as if it were an ice cream cake and placed on a plate like this:
But we’ve included another fun way to serve it in case you want to mix things up.
Grated lime zest and un-toasted coconut both add a fun pop of color!
Happy dessert-making, and be sure to tell us all about your semifreddo adventures in the comments below!