Monday, November 15, 2010

Raspberry Semifreddo: A" No-Churn" Ice-cream

When I saw the photo of this in Belinda Jeffery's cookbook, I knew I had to try it out! It was a timely decision as the past few days have been really hot, and it's not even summer yet. Our air-conditioning had also broken down, so all the more reason to make ice-cream! I only wished we had a blast chiller so that we didn't have to wait for it to freeze overnight before eating it.

I used frozen raspberries for this, and I find that a 500g pack was just enough to yield the required amount, including extra for the ripple. I must have pureed the heck out of it and pushed every last bit of raspberry flesh through the sieve (because nobody likes gritty raspberry seeds stuck in the teeth). You might need to use some elbow grease for this, otherwise, it might be a good idea to have some extra raspberries on stand-by (the recipe called for 900g, with extra to serve as topping) in case you can't get enough puree out of the sieve.

For those who don't know what a semifreddo is, it's a partially frozen dessert that never becomes really hard and icy due to the incorporation of air through the addition of whipped cream or meringue to it. If you don't have an ice-cream maker, this is an easy way to make ice-cream as it rarely needs churning. It's creamy, yet not too rich and simply bursts with such intense flavour from the raspberries! The most delicious raspberry semifreddo!

Here is the recipe below:

Raspberry Semifreddo
(serves 4-6)

900g fresh or frozen raspberries (I used 500g frozen raspberries which was just enough to yield about 400ml of puree)
4 egg whites, at room temperature
250g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
300ml double thick cream, very softly whipped
Extra caster sugar (add this to any extra puree to serve as a topping)

To serve (optional):
Nectarines or figs
Extra fresh raspberries

  1. Puree raspberries in a blender and then pass it through a large fine sieve to remove the seeds.
  2. Using a hand-held electric beater, beat egg whites in a large heatproof bowl until just fluffy, then slowly add 1/4 cup of the sugar, a little at a time, and beat well between each addition.
  3. Put the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and continue beating, adding the rest of the sugar a little at a time until the sugar has dissolved and mixture is thick and fluffy. This takes about 6 minutes.
  4. Remove the bowl from the heat and stand it in a larger bowl filled with plenty of ice. Continue beating until the mixture is cool. Add vanilla extract (if used) and whisk in 300ml of the raspberry puree until well blended, and then fold in the whipped cream.
  5. Spoon the mixture into a freezer container, splotching a little of the reserved puree here and there as you go. When all the mixture is in, swirl a knife blade through it a couple of times to make a ripple. Cover the container and freeze overnight.
  6. To serve, scoop it into chilled bowls or glasses. Serve with summer fruits and berry topping if desired.