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What Is Semifreddo?

Asked by jkhullar. Answered on 28th August 2012

Full question

I saw Nigella make a no-churn ice cream on TV the other day the other day - she called it Semifreddo ice cream. It was made with cream and eggs and honey. I cannot seem to find the recipe any more. Please help! It looked so good that I want to try making it. Thanks, Jyoti

Honey Semifreddo
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Honey Semifreddo
By Nigella
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Our answer

Semifreddo is an Italian term which means "half cold" and it is a very popular iced dessert in Italy and other countries. It is very easy to make as is not made in the same way as a regular ice cream (which would use custard), but instead the egg yolks are whisked until moussey and then whipped cream is folded in. Sometimes whisked egg whites are also included. As there is air incorporated in the mousse mixture and whipped cream, the semifreddo does not need churning but still has a very smooth, velvety texture.

Nigella makes a Honey Semifreddo, which we suspect is the recipe you are looking for. The recipe appears in her book Forever Summer and is also available on Nigella's website (link below).

Often a semifreddo is frozen in a loaf form, but can also be frozen in individual moulds and freezer-proof glasses. For clean slices cut the loaf with a knife that has been dipped in hot water. As it softens very quickly it is best to serve the semifreddo almost directly from the freezer. For a firmer texture let the semifreddo freeze overnight.

Please note that semifreddos tend to contain raw or lightly cooked eggs so are not necessarily suitable for the very young, the very old, those who may be infirm and anyone with a compromised immune system.

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