As we continue our theme of no-bake summer dessert recipes, we wanted to highlight a delicious, unique, and easy semifreddo recipe. What is a semifreddo, you ask? Italian for "half-cold," a semifreddo is like a lazy chef’s recipe for ice cream, because you don’t have to make a custard base or churn it in an ice cream maker, but you’ll still get the creamy, cold satisfaction of an ice cream from this little dreamy loaf-shaped dessert.
Our basic recipe for semifreddo is adapted from Giada De Laurentiis and features Nutella- the delicious chocolate and hazelnut spread- in the filling and toasted hazelnuts and our Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookie Bites in the crust. Impress your dinner guests with this yummy and easy Stracciatella Semifreddo recipe!
Stracciatella Semifreddo Recipe (adapted from Giada De Laurentiis, Stracciatella Semifreddo)
Makes 8 servings
1x 5oz bag of Marlo’s Bakeshop Brownie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites
¼ cup hazelnuts, toasted (see note)
½ stick (4T) unsalted butter, melted
8 egg yolks, at room temperature
½ cup sugar, plus ¼ cup
1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-teaspoon fine sea salt
1-cup heavy cream
¾ cup chocolate-hazelnut spread at room temperature (recommended: Nutella)
3 by 15-inch piece of parchment paper, a 7 ½ by 12-inch piece of parchment paper.
For the crust:
Put an over rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 5 x 3-inch nonstick loaf pan with vegetable oil cooking spray. Using 2 pieces of parchment paper, line the pan, allowing the excess to hang over the ends and sides.
To toast the hazelnuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 10-12 minutes at 275 degrees F until lightly toasted or until you smell them. Let the nuts cool and then rub vigorously in a tea towel to remove the skins before combining with cookie bites.
In a food processor, blend the Cookie Bites and hazelnuts together until finely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moistened. Using a flexible spatula or your fingers, press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges of the crust are golden. Cool the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
For the filling:
In a medium stainless steel or glass bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, ½ cup sugar and salt until smooth. Put the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk until the egg mixture is pale, thick, and creamy, and an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F, about 10-15 minutes. Take off the heat and mix in the vanilla extract. Put the bowl into a larger bowl of iced water to cool completely.
In another medium bowl, using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat the cream until thick. Add the remaining ¼ cup sugar and pinch of salt and beat until the cream holds stiff peaks. Mix ¼ of the cream into the cooled custard. Using a spatula, gently fold the remaining cream into the custard. Drop spoonfuls of the chocolate hazelnut spread over the custard mixture and gently fold until just incorporated but still chunky. Spoon the mixture onto the prepared crust. Fold the overhanging parchment paper over the custard and freeze for at least 8 hours or up to 3 days.
Run a thin-bladed spatula around the semifreddo between the parchment paper and the pan. Unfold the parchment paper and invert the semifreddo onto a platter. Peel off the paper and cut into 1-inch thick slices. Serve on chilled plates.
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