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Image / Editorial

Looking to serve a posh dessert? Try this simple semifreddo

by Meg Walker
03rd Jun 2019

Semifreddo could not be easier to make. Here, it provides a great example of how just a few Andalusian ingredients can work very well together. If you’d prefer to go booze-free, you can just leave out the sherry.

Walnut, Sherry & Honey Semifreddo

Serves 6-8

olive oil, for greasing
4 medium free-range eggs, separated
1½ tbsp Pedro Ximénez sherry
100g caster sugar
325ml double (heavy) cream
85g walnut halves, plus a handful to serve
1 tbsp dark honey, plus extra for drizzling

Grease a 450g loaf tin with olive oil and line with enough cling film that it hangs over the sides. Place the egg yolks, sherry and sugar into a small bowl. Tip the egg whites into a separate large, clean and dry bowl and pour the cream into another large bowl.

In a small frying pan over a medium heat, toast the walnuts until lightly browned, then remove from the heat and crush lightly with the end of a rolling pin while still in the pan. Stir through the honey; it will fizz a little, but make sure it coats the walnuts well.

Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks with an electric whisk. With the same whisk, beat the egg yolk mixture until thick and forming a ribbon trail. Then, again with the same whisk, whip the cream to soft peaks.

With a large metal spoon, fold the cream into the egg yolk mixture, then gently fold in the egg whites until combined.

Stir through the honeyed walnuts and spoon into the lined loaf tin, right to the top of the tin. Loosely lay a sheet of cling film over the top and then cover with a sheet of foil.

Place in the freezer for a minimum of 5 hours before serving; it will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To serve, toast a handful of walnut halves in a small frying pan over a medium heat and allow to cool a little. Turn out the semifreddo, peeling back the cling film and lift onto a board or platter. Top with toasted walnut halves and a good drizzle of dark honey.


Extracted from Andalusia by José Pizarro (Hardie Grant, approx €29.50). Photography © Emma Lee.