Whether you harbor a passion for eggs that fuels your mornings or are simply an admirer from afar, you’ll want a copy of The Perfect Egg. It’s got recipes for any time of day and many kinds of egg lover. Whether you prefer sweet and custardy, buttery and fried, or boiled and stuffed, there’s a treat with a golden yolk in there for you. Eggs play an integral part in whipping up these hand-held dessert delights.
Semifreddo is like easy ice cream: all the flavor and texture with half the fuss. We use our semifreddo to make my favorite frozen treat: hand-dipped ice cream bars. You will need 8 Popsicle sticks.
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out and pod discarded
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 pound bittersweet chocolate (60 percent cacao), chopped
- 1 1/2 cups toasted hazelnuts, crushed
- Whisk together the heavy cream, 3/4 cup of the sugar, and vanilla beans in a bowl. Whip this cream mixture with a stand mixer on medium-high speed, or whisk by hand, until firm peaks form. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the yolks.
- Rinse the mixer’s beater attachment or hand whisk. Combine the eggs and the remaining sugar in a bowl and beat with the stand mixer on medium-high speed, or with the whisk by hand, for 4 to 6 minutes, until fluffy and pale yellow. Fold the whipped cream into the yolk mixture until fully incorporated.
- Line a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with plastic wrap, allowing it to hang over the sides by a few inches. Spread the mixture evenly in the pan. Cover with the overhanging plastic wrap and freeze for 9 to 10 hours, until completely frozen.
- Put the chocolate in the top pan of a double boiler and place over gently simmering water in the lower pan, or rest a heatproof bowl in the rim of a saucepan. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate melts completely. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly, then pour the chocolate into a tall, narrow heatproof jar or glass. The chocolate should still be melted, but barely warm to the touch when you begin to dip the bars. Place the container of melted chocolate into a warm-water bath to keep it from solidifying.
- Use the plastic wrap to lift the semifreddo from the baking pan onto a work surface. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the semifreddo lengthwise into 3 equal strips and then crosswise into 4 equal strips, to make 12 bars total.
- Like a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Have 8 Popsicle sticks ready. Dip one third of a Popsicle stick into the melted chocolate, insert the chocolate-coated portion into one end of a semifreddo bar, and place the bar on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining sticks and semifreddo bars. Return the bars to the freezer for at least 30 minutes, until completely firm.
- Place the hazelnuts into a large, shallow dish. Retrieve a bar fro the freezer and dip it into the melted chocolate to cover it completely, or brush the melted chocolate over the surface of the bar. Working quickly before the chocolate sets, dredge the bar in the crushed hazelnuts, then return the bar to the baking sheet in the freezer. Repeat to coat the remaining bars.
- Freeze the bars for at least 30 minutes, then wrap them individually in plastic wrap and return to the freezer. They will keep for up to 2 weeks.
Editor’s note: This recipe makes 8 bars but yields 12 portions of semifreddo. Either make more bars or get creative!
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