15 January 2014

Semifreddo with amaretti and tonka beans' syrup

Hi, I haven’t been writing for so long: 2013 has been a very special year for us. We relocated in a new house and worked so hard to make it suitable for the Cookery School,  after that I had a very busy summer season as a private chef (I feel so lucky to cook for such lovely people as all of my clients are). So at Fall I felt like emptied but now  here I am and I wish you all a very belated Happy New Year.

What I'm going to propose you a very easy yet delicious dessert: technically this isn’t a Semifreddo as the real one contains eggs but on my Birthday I invited some friends for lunch and I woke up late in the morning so I had just a little time to make a dessert. Happily I had some Tonka Beans’ Syrup already made and Candied Orange Peels which are things you can prepare in advance and stock in your pantry: they are always useful.
This Semifreddo is composed of cream at 30% of fat and mascarpone but you can make it also with a double cream ( 40 % of fat) . Then I added some Torrone, the hard  kind not the smooth one and Amaretti . But you can change completely the recipe by putting in chocolate chips and candied ginger for example or dates etc…..and you can use a ginger syrup instead of Tonka: just change the Tonka with a spoon of  chopped ginger and proceed the same way.
A frozen whipped cream like this is even better than an ice-cream, it keeps smooth and creamy and you just need to take it off the freezer 15 minutes before serving.

Ingredients for 8/10 servings, fills a mould of 18cm of diameter and 10 cm high  ( aprox a 2 liters mould that can be also a rectangular one, I just measured with some water)

600 ml of cream 30% fat
500 gr of mascarpone ( or 1,1 liter  of double cream)
150 ml of Tonka syrup
A pinch of salt ( very little one, I used fleur de sel only a few grains)
100 gr of Torrone
1 tbs od candied orange peels
1 tbs of candied ginger
200 gr of Amaretti ( you can find them in an Italian grocery)
1 cup of coffe
 ¼ a cup of rhum

To make the Syrup
6 Tonka Beans
500 gr of crystal sugar
400 gr of water 

First of all it’s better to start with the syrup: I rather tend to make a quantity because it’s easier and it keeps long stored in the fridge: you can use it on yoghurt or even add it in a cup of coffee. Tonka Beans have a fabulous, scrumptious flavour between vanilla and bitter almonds. I’m sure you’ll fall in love with it if you don't already know!
Put the water and sugar in a pan with the beans, stir to dissolve the sugar and let simmering as long as it makes equal bubbles on the surface and has the texture of liquid honey ( it will take between 30/45 minutes but if you leave on a very low heat you won’t have to bother about it) then let it cool.
Once the syrup cooled you can start with the Semifreddo: to whip such a quantity of cream you’ll need a Kenwood or a Kitchen-Aid otherwise you can make the half  of it and you'll have 4 /5 servings. Prepare a cup of coffee for the Amaretti, then fold the mould with a film so that you can unmould easily ( I didn’t and I regretted)
Make sure your cream, mascarpone and the bowl are really cold and then pour in the bowl the cream, the pinch of salt, the syrup and whisk till it makes soft peaks and it’s rather thick but not too much. Then add the Torrone ( I put a link but it's not a sponsor ), the orange peels and ginger chopped and the amaretti crushed (they crush very easily I used a mortar) mix very gently with a spatula and pour half of the cream in the mould, even it with a spatula then soak the amaretti into coffee-rhum and make a layer, then fill the mould with the rest and put in the freezer till it’s frozen (approx. 3 / 4 hours for this size) The good thing is that you can prepare it the day before or even two. Take it off 15 mn before serving, unmould on a plate, soak the Amaretti into coffee-rhum and use for decoration. I made the recipe with a small amount of sugar so that you can pour some additional syrup on the top for a very decadent look.


  1. Com'è alto!!!! Quanto è bello questo semifreddo! Voglio provarlo. Bene per te che quest'estate hai fatto ciò che ti piace di più. Brava!

    1. Meris: é alto più o meno 10 cm ma questo nella foto é una mezza dose fatto in uno stampo piccolo, per questo sembra altissimo. Comunque é bastato per 5 belle porzioni. Grazie per essere passata :)


I'll be very happy to receive your comments !