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Semifreddo of Almonds and White Chocolate


The recipe for this semi-frozen dessert is from Italian chef Gennaro Contaldo, widely known as Jamie Oliver’s mentor and one of the stars of TV show Two Greedy Italians.

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Contaldo has this month released a new cookbook, Gennaro’s Passione, which is described as the story of his love affair with Italian food.

The book includes more than 100 of his favourite recipes, as well as personal recollections and photos.

“Semifreddo is a classic Italian dessert, which is served straight from the freezer but does not set as firm as ice cream,” he writes of this recipe. “It is ideal for the warmer months and can be made in advance and kept in the freezer until you need it. I have used individual dariole moulds here but you could use one large mould, such as a loaf tin, and serve it sliced.”

Semifreddo of Almonds and White Chocolate

Serves 6


Recipe and image from Gennaro’s Passione, by Gennaro Contaldo, published by Pavilion Books. Main photo: Kim Lightbody

3 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
75g white chocolate, finely chopped
275ml whipping cream

For the croccante (praline):
37g caster sugar
150g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
4½ tbsp water


First make the croccante. Place the sugar in a small, heavy-based pan over a medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon until it begins to caramelise and turn golden brown. At this stage, add the almonds and water and mix well. Remove from the heat, pour the mixture on to a lightly oiled baking tray or marble board and leave to cool.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy and increased in volume. Break up the cooled croccante quite roughly and add 2/3 of it to the egg mixture, together with the white chocolate. Set the remaining 1/3 of the croccante aside, to decorate.

In a separate bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks, then fold it into the mixture.

Line six 9cm dariole moulds with clingfilm, fill them with the mixture and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours, until frozen. To serve, remove from the freezer and leave at room temperature for a few minutes, then turn out on to plates and peel off the clingfilm. Sprinkle with the reserved croccante, if wished.

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