On my Christmas wish-list is an ice cream maker. It was on the birthday wish-list too, although somehow I don’t think the message was quite heard. Maybe I didn’t give it enough emphasis, but I did manage to get most things I wanted including a Mimco bag that I had been coveting for so long. But perhaps if I blog about my desire for an ice maker, this somehow makes it official. So Santa if you are reading this, please note that I don’t want my two front teeth or two turtle doves, just one shiny new ice cream maker to make those sweltering summer days less disagreeable.
With summer well and truly on her way, and with the temperature set to sizzle even the most heat-resistant, happy-to-bake-in-the-sun type of individuals, having an ice maker in my possession will most certainly be a blessing. And not only for me, but for those fortunate souls that will get to share in the benefits of an ice cream maker. Those that will get to bask in the mutual benefits of me having an ice cream maker should carefully consider their Christmas shopping list before hastily buying me the first scented candle they see in the mall. Not that I have anything against the scented candle, although any more would turn my house into a potential matchstick.
Sydney summers have been known to climb past the 45°C mark, and everyone remembers that ghastly New Years day that probably caused spontaneous combustion statistics to triple. What good was a pool then? It either became too crowded with every man, woman, cat and dog eager to take a dip, causing the pool to turn into a giant pee-infested hot tub, or the heat would cause the chlorine to rise to the top and create a sordid looking dark film over the surface of the water. I’m telling you, what good is a pool then? This is where ice cream becomes your best friend.
Because I have yet to acquire myself an ice cream maker to call my own, I opted to make something not too far off- semifreddo. Semifreddo, which is Italian for “half-cold” refers mostly to a dessert that somewhat resembles a frozen mousse. Its texture is less velvety than that of ice cream although it still melts in your mouth in the most glorious fashion. It’s a great little number, but I confess can be quite a pain to make in comparison to ice cream as that all the “churning” is done by you and not by the ice cream maker. There is also quite a bit of washing involved after as that you need to beat the ingredients in separate bowls.
This semifreddo was a three bowl operation, as opposed to ice cream which would have been a one bowl operation. So for some, the washing factor may be turn off but there are fewer margins for error with semifreddo than with ice cream. Ice cream requires you to make a crème aglaise, that if left unattended and un-whisked for even a second could turn into the thickest lot of scrambled eggs you have ever made. With semifreddo, the eggs and sugar are cooked over a double broiler only until the mixture turns pale, so it is less tiresome with the whisking and less precarious with the cooking time compared to ice cream. How fluffy your semifreddo becomes all depends on you, as you determine how much air you can physically beat into that bowl of cream and eggs. Just don’t get too enthusiastic and beat your cream into butter, which is far from impossible if you are using an electric mixer.
This Triple Chocolate Semifreddo contains dark, milk and white chocolate, hence the “triple” in the title. The dark chocolate makes up the semifreddo base and milk and while chocolate chunks are added to the mixture. When frozen, the chunks of milk and white chocolate are like little explosions of flavour and texture in every mouthful. After a taste of the finished semifreddo, you start to think that the three-bowl thing isn’t too bad at all. When all the washing is over and done with and it is just the eating that’s ahead of you, you forget about all the time it took to beat in all that air yourself. It’s goodness that you can taste and it’s goodness that’s well-earned and that you can't beat.
Although I still think an ice cream maker would be nice to have.
Triple Chocolate Semifreddo
taken from this book
2 egg yolks, extra
½ cup caster sugar
1¾ cups single or pouring cream (35-40% milk fat)
½ cup milk chocolate, chopped
½ cup white chocolate, chopped
Place the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted, set aside.
Place the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk for 4-5 minutes or until the mixture is pale and the sugar has dissolved.
Remove from heat and beat with an electric mixer for 5-6 minutes or until the mixture has cooled to room temperature.
Using a wide metal spoon, fold through the melted chocolate until well incorporated with the egg mixture and has taken on the colour of the chocolate.
In another large bowl, place the cream and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Be careful not to seize your cream.
Fold the egg and chocolate mixture through the cream and add the chopped milk and white chocolate. Mix until fully incorporated.
Pour the mixture into a metal cake tin or glass overproof dish, cover and freeze for 4-6 hours until firm.
To serve, place scoops of semifreddo into chilled bowls or glasses.