Coffee Semifreddo with Pedro Ximénez

You may have noticed that I’ve been somewhat MIA for the last month or so. I actually started a new job at the end of July and whilst I’m having a great time learning the ropes of a new role, it’s been pretty exhausting too. Summer can be hectic at the best of times, so I’m sure you’ll understand why I’ve been taking a bit of a break from blogging.

So with the new job, I’ve had quite a specific set of food cravings. I’ve been wanting something summery, yet comforting. Something you can eat curled up in front of Mastechef Australia (YES it is BACK!), yet feels like a bit of a celebratory pat-on-the-back too. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I think I may have landed on something that ticks all of the boxes. I present to you my coffee semifreddo ice cream with Pedro Ximénez sherry!

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Ice cream is perfect for warm days and feeling summery, but also as a comforting snack when it’s grey and cold. Semifreddo essentially means semi-frozen and is a bit different to ice cream in that you don’t need an ice-cream churner. The texture is more like a soft, creamy, frozen mousse. That combined with the sophisticated flavour of coffee makes this a real grown-up pudding!

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The icing on the cake though, and the staple to any extra-special ice cream dessert, is the syrup! Pedro Ximénez is a type of sherry made from grapes that are dried to intensify their sweetness and flavour. The result is a dessert sherry that is rich and sweet with a distinctive molasses flavour. It’s like drinking raisins! It is also has a syrupy consistency compared with other types of sherry, making it perfect for pouring over my coffee semifreddo without having to do anything at all to reduce it! I bought this beautiful bottle of Urium Pedro Ximénez at The Epicurean drinks and food festival last year which I’ve written more about in this post. It is so silky smooth and drinking it is like snuggling up in a soft blanket!

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And there you have it, a perfectly grown-up, indulgent dessert because you probably deserve it!

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 500ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • Coffee beans
  • Pedro Ximénez sherry

Methods

  1. Firstly, grind the coffee beans fairly coursely as they’ll be strained out later. Add to the cream and heat up over a fairly low heat to help the coffee flavour infuse into the cream. Scrape out the contents of a vanilla pod and add that to the cream too. Heat gently for about 10-15 minutes to get a fairly strong coffee flavour as the flavour with diminish a bit when it freezes. Once heated, strain out the beans and pop the coffee-flavoured cream into the fridge to fully cool.
  2. Once the coffee cream is cool, whip it with a whisk until it is nicely aerated.
  3. Separate the eggs and stir the caster sugar into the yolks. Whisk the egg whites into firm peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolks and add the whipped coffee cream. Be careful not to overwork the mixture because you want it to stay nice and fluffy.
  4. Put it in the freezer for at least 2 hours so that it freezes fully.
  5. For best results and ease of scooping, get the semifreddo out of the freezer about 30 minutes before serving to allow it to soften a little. Scoop into bowls and pour over some Pedro Ximénez.
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