Cool Italian Classic: Tracy’s Semifreddo Recipe

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Semifreddo recipe

Semifreddo is Italian for half-cold, and it is a favorite traditional dessert for warm weather. This is one of the dishes Tracy has taught in her online cooking classes, live from her kitchen in Tuscany.

This recipe uses crunchy Torrone (Italian almond nougat), but you can put almost anything in this ice cream. Try chocolate chips, rum and raisin, pecans, broken cookies, fruit pureé, pretty much anything. (I’ve even put pureed basil in it!)

400g (12-14 oz) crunchy style almond nougat
1 vanilla pod
4 large eggs, separated
50g (1 1⁄2 oz) sugar
500ml (1 pint) cream
2 tablespoons clear honey
pinch salt

To prepare

Start by slitting open a vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the black seeds. Reserve the pod for another dish or store in a jar of sugar.

In a bowl, using an electric whisk, beat the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla seeds for 4-5 minutes, until they are thick and pale.

Put the nougat into a plastic bag and smash it up into tiny pieces with a rolling pin. Don’t do it too far in advance as it gets sticky.

In another bowl, whip the cream into soft peaks

In a third bowl whip the egg whites and the pinch of salt into stiff peaks.

Add the whipped cream, nougat, and honey into the egg yolk mixture, folding gently.

Spoon the mixture into a shallow serving dish and cover with plastic wrap. You’ll need a dish about 3” deep.

Freeze it overnight.

Slice it like a cake to serve it. Enjoy it with fresh berries, whipped cream, or simply on its own as a sweet and satisfying cold dessert. Semifreddo is a summertime favorite!

Join Tracy for a cooking class on Zoom and finish your session with a feast!

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