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Almond Semifreddo – Original Sicilian Recipe

Almond Semifreddo, Semifreddo alle mandorle, parfait di mandorle

 Almond semifreddo, also called almond parfait, is a typical Sicilian sweet ice cream recipe, specifically a Palermo recipe.

Based on eggs, cream, and almonds, the semifreddo is topped with an enchanting pouring of hot chocolate that contrasts well with it.

This is another dessert that takes me back to my childhood. On Sundays, for lunch, the aunts invited everyone to their house, and what was commonly brought to their home was a cake purchased in the best pastry shop in the city.

I was anxiously expecting the cake to be unpacked and the younger kids to fight to see who got the bigger slice.

Once I got my slice, I immediately melted at the taste of the semifreddo, just as it melted on my plate.

The origins of this semifreddo date back to the early 60s and are attributed to two great Sicilian chefs, Francesco Paolo and Salvatore Cascino, who served it during a large reception at the “La Botte” restaurant in Monreale.

Almond Semifreddo, Semifreddo alle mandorle, parfait di mandorle

Unlike the classic semifreddo, this Sicilian recipe uses pate à bombe, a mixture of separated eggs pasteurized thanks to the cooked sugar. This allows you to obtain a super creamy dessert even after many hours in the freezer!

The Pate a` bombe consists of cooking sugar and water in a saucepan until the mixture reaches 121°C (249.8°F).

Almond Semifreddo, Semifreddo alle mandorle, parfait di mandorle

If you don’t have a food thermometer, you will understand that the syrup is at a temperature where many bubbles of dense and sticky consistency will form.

Cuisine
Courses ,
Difficulty Intermediate
Time
Prep Time: 30 mins Rest Time: 12 hrs Total Time: 12 hrs 30 mins
Servings 6
Description

Almond semifreddo is a Sicilian delightful dessert that features the rich flavor of almonds and a creamy texture.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup almonds (peeled)
  • seeds of vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 = 2+2 tablespoons water
  • Hot Chocolate Cream
  • 2/3 cups whipping cream
  • 12.35 ounces chocolate
Instructions
    Almonds
    • Toast the almonds in a non-stick pan
    • After letting them cool, blend them slightly in the mixer, not reducing them into too small pieces.
    • Put them back in the pan with 1/2 cup (100 grams) of sugar, light a lively flame, and let it caramelize, mixing with a wooden spoon.
  1. almonds
    • Put the caramelized almonds on a sheet of parchment paper, trying to separate them from each other and let them cool.
  2. Whipping Cream
    • Whip the cream and keep it in the fridge.
  3. Egg Yolks
    • Pour 100g (8 tbsp) of sugar together with the 30g (2 tbsp) of water into a saucepan and let it simmer until it reaches 121°C (249.8°F).
    • When it reaches around 115°C (239°F), start whipping the yolks with the vanilla with an electric mixer. Once the syrup has reached 121°C (249.8°F), pour it flush inside the yolks.
    • Whisk until wholly cooled: you will get a swollen and frothy mixture.
  4. Egg Whites
    • Pour 100g (8 tbsp) of sugar together with the 30g (2 tbsp) of water into a saucepan and let it simmer until it reaches 121°C (249.8°F)
    • When it reaches around 110°C (230°F), start whipping the egg whites. Once the syrup has reached 121°C (249.8°F), pour it flush on the egg whites, continuing to whip until completely cooled.
  5. meringue
    • You will need to get a shiny white meringue.
  6. Hot Chocolate Cream
    • Finely chop the chocolate and gradually pour the hot cream (92 ° C) over it.
    • Mix gently with the spatula, incorporating as little air as possible. Stir until the chocolate melts, ultimately becoming a compact and shiny cream.
  7. Assembling
    • Add the meringue a little at a time to the whipped yolks, stirring constantly from top to bottom. Then, remove the whipped cream from the fridge and gradually add it to the compost. After everything has blended well, add the caramelized almonds, mix them well, and obtain a homogeneous compost.
    • Pour it into a plumcake mold (9 x 5 x 2.7-inch deep) previously covered with a sheet of plastic wrap, level it, and place it in the freezer for at least 12 hours.
    • Thirty minutes before serving, remove the mold from the freezer.
    • On a serving plate, pour the semifreddo.
    • And pour the hot chocolate over the semifreddo's surface.

     

Keywords: almond semifreddo