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Honey Semifreddo

by . Featured in NIGELLA SUMMER
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Introduction

A semifreddo is not quite an ice cream, as the name - semi-cold, in translation - suggests. There's no custard to make, and no churning required as it freezes, which makes life very much easier. What you get is a smooth, soft block of chilled, almost frozen cream, with a texture of deep, deep velvetiness. This mellow, honey-flavoured version matches taste to texture. For some reason, sometimes when I make it, I end up with a block of uniformly buff cream; at others, I'm left with a honeyed, resin-coloured stripe along the base - or the top as it stands when you turn it out. But that's cooking for you. Either way, it works wonderfully. Pour more amber-coloured honey over as you serve, and scatter with toasted pine nuts, for quite the dreamiest, easiest pudding you could imagine.

A semifreddo is not quite an ice cream, as the name - semi-cold, in translation - suggests. There's no custard to make, and no churning required as it freezes, which makes life very much easier. What you get is a smooth, soft block of chilled, almost frozen cream, with a texture of deep, deep velvetiness. This mellow, honey-flavoured version matches taste to texture. For some reason, sometimes when I make it, I end up with a block of uniformly buff cream; at others, I'm left with a honeyed, resin-coloured stripe along the base - or the top as it stands when you turn it out. But that's cooking for you. Either way, it works wonderfully. Pour more amber-coloured honey over as you serve, and scatter with toasted pine nuts, for quite the dreamiest, easiest pudding you could imagine.

Honey Semifreddo
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 6-8

Metric Cups
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 100 grams best-quality honey (plus 3 tablespoons for serving)
  • 300 millilitres double cream
  • 25 grams pinenuts (toasted)
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup best-quality honey (plus 3 tablespoons for serving)
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons pinenuts (toasted)

Method

  1. Line a 900g / 2lb / 1 litre loaf tin with clingfilm.
  2. Beat the egg and egg yolks with the honey in a bowl, over a saucepan of gently simmering water, until the mixture is pale and thick. I use a wire balloon whisk for this, but if you feel like a bit of culinarily aided whirring, it will certainly be quicker with a hand-held electric whisk.
  3. Whip the double cream until thick, and then gently fold in the egg and honey mixture. Pour into the prepared loaf tin, and cover carefully with clingfilm before putting it in the freezer for about 2-3 hours.
  4. When it is ready to serve, turn out the semifreddo on to a suitably sized plate and drizzle this manilla-coloured log with honey, and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts, before slicing. It thaws quickly as it stands, but that is part of its heavenly-textured charm. If you've got some dark, syrupy - indeed, honey-coloured - pudding wine to drink while you eat this, so much the better.
  1. Line a 900g / 2lb / 1 litre loaf tin with clingfilm.
  2. Beat the egg and egg yolks with the honey in a bowl, over a saucepan of gently simmering water, until the mixture is pale and thick. I use a wire balloon whisk for this, but if you feel like a bit of culinarily aided whirring, it will certainly be quicker with a hand-held electric whisk.
  3. Whip the heavy cream until thick, and then gently fold in the egg and honey mixture. Pour into the prepared loaf tin, and cover carefully with clingfilm before putting it in the freezer for about 2-3 hours.
  4. When it is ready to serve, turn out the semifreddo on to a suitably sized plate and drizzle this manilla-coloured log with honey, and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts, before slicing. It thaws quickly as it stands, but that is part of its heavenly-textured charm. If you've got some dark, syrupy - indeed, honey-coloured - pudding wine to drink while you eat this, so much the better.

Tell us what you think

What 9 Others have said

  • I made this and added some honey bourbon. It was amazing. It did take a while longer to freeze as expected due to the alcohol but was well worth it.

    Posted by JamesF on 10th July 2015
  • The Honey SemiFreddo is delicious, but I added half a teaspoon of vanilla which just added to the richness of the dessert.

    Posted by cpruitt221 on 13th March 2015
  • Absolutely delicious!! And indeed so easy to make. I followed the recipe to the letter. The pinenuts add a special delicate fragrance to it. Thank you so much! Cristina

    Posted by Suzica on 18th August 2014
  • dear Nigella, you are the best and this your best dessert, it's perfect and always works, my friends love it, so they love you too.

    Posted by edgar avila on 6th April 2014
  • Hello !! Great recipe, I've made it several times, and must say that my family and friends love it. I've also made some variations, adding Port wine, like a Sabaglione Semifreddo or dark chocolate. For me, it works as a fantastic basic recipe, I can make lots of different combinations. Thank you, Nigella. Sandra, Argentina.

    Posted by Sanmask on 30th March 2014
  • Mmmmmmm Absolutely amazing!! I made this today.. loved it!! Thanks Nigella!!

    Posted by CarolWilton on 18th March 2012
  • AMAZING!!! So easy. I made this the night before I needed it. Only 15 mins, prep for an amazingly positive reaction at a dinner party. Perfect after a home made spicy rogan josh!! I served mine with best honey comb choc I could find (Haighs Australia) instead of nuts. In fact, because there are so few recipes, I recommend sourcing the best of everything. Its worth it, and so are you!!!

    Posted by lathomas71 on 4th February 2012
  • I made this with coconut cream as I am lactose intolerant and, I must say, it is still absolutely to die for. I serve it in a thin wedge, drizzled in the honey I used to make it (Australian Blue Gum) with a side of banana chips and a cup of tea... Delicious!

    Posted by Edude7 on 4th October 2011
  • This is delicious!! I made this over the bank holiday weekend for my partner and I. My ONLY suggestion is to make it a day before you plan the devour it. This because I made it Saturday midday and served it for pudding that evening, it tasted gorgeous. However, Sunday evening we decided to polished it off and it was even more marvelous than the last. I don't know why but it was. Make sure you use a honey that you rather like as this Honey Semifreddo is honey by name, honey by nature. Thank you Nigella x

    Posted by nathalie09 on 31st May 2011
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