This almond raspberry semifreddo is very similar to an Italian style ice cream cake, made with a whipped cream-lightened almond flavoured ice cream base, with layers of raspberries, almonds, and amaretti cookies.
It seems fitting that this year, I’d celebrate another year gone by with something new: a semifreddo. I had never made a semifreddo before this week, and though this was my first, I don’t think it’ll be my last. As I’ve mentioned before, I loathe scooping ice cream, so this is perfect: ice cream in a sliceable form, basically ice cream cake. No ice cream machine necessary and no scooping required. Since I’m on an almond + berries kick this summer (think back to the blueberry almond mini pies), I made this semifreddo with crushed amaretti biscuits, sliced almonds, amaretto, and fresh, local raspberries.
Almond raspberry semifreddo
- 6 large egg yolks
- 100 g (½ cup) granulated sugar
- 84 mL (⅓ cup) amaretto liqueur
- 440 mL (1¾ cups) whipping cream (35 % fat)
- 300 g (⅔ lb) fresh raspberries half for the semifreddo, half as garnish
- 16 amaretti cookies ~96 g, crushed roughly
- 25 grams (3 tbsp) sliced almonds mine were not blanched and therefore still had the skin on the edges
- Prepare a 9x5" loaf pan (find it on Amazon) by greasing it very lightly and lining it with plastic wrap so that the base and sides are covered and so that there is an overhang. This makes unmolding the semifreddo much easier. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat the yolks, the granulated sugar and the amaretto. Place over a pan of simmering water (make sure it the water is low enough that it isn't touching the bowl). Continue to beat the mixture til it reaches 170ºF. It will be light, foamy and almost at the ribbon stage.
- Carefully take the bowl off the pot of water and continue beating the egg mixture with a whisk until it cools down to room temperature (I did this by hand, but a mixer would definitely make this easier). The mixture will be light and aerated.
- While you are doing this last step, set the whipping cream in the bowl of your electric mixer and whip it to soft peaks.
- Quickly fold the cooled egg mixture into the whipped cream, then carefully drop in the berries, half the crushed amaretti cookies and sliced almonds, and fold them in gently.
- Chill the semifreddo for about 6 hours, then unmold onto a serving plate, pressing the sides with the rest of the crushed amaretti cookies. Return the semifreddo to the freezer and chill another several hours or overnight.
- When you are ready to serve, you can set the semifreddo in the fridge for 20 minutes to make slicing easier.
- Garnish with berries just before serving.
Janice Lawandi is chemist-turned-baker, working as a recipe developer in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She studied pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa and cooking at l’Académie Culinaire. She has a BSc in Biochemistry from Concordia University and a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University. Visit janicelawandi.com to see my portfolio.