Coffee semifreddo is always a big hit with everyone and it makes an ideal dessert for the summer thanks to its refreshing qualities.
It’s always been considered sophisticated, but it’s also very practical and versatile: you only need a few simple ingredients to make semifreddo, there’s no cooking involved and it’s easy to have fun adding a personal touch with your own decorations and combinations of flavours. You can also make it in any shape you like, from the traditional big blocks to individual portions in small bowls.
I’d like to recommend a recipe that brings together coffee with coconut and the fragrant delights of vanilla.
There’s a slightly exotic feel to the aromatic taste sensations, which complement each other wonderfully and never fail to please in the warmer weather.
The sweet, rounded flavour of the coconut sets off the bitter notes of the coffee beautifully.
In this recipe I used the limited-edition Velluto coffee blend, which is a real speciality from select plantations in Central America. It contains 70% Robusta, which gives it a distinctive unsweetened cocoa flavour and makes it sublimely smooth. I think the rich, mellow aroma is the perfect match for this semifreddo.
Another good thing about this dessert is that it keeps for a number of days, so you can make it in advance, serve it when you need it or even keep some in the freezer for unexpected visits or dinners that you organize at the last minute.
It always goes down well with guests, no matter how refined their tastes may be.
This recipe might seem a little elaborate because there are a number of steps, but they’re actually all very simple.
The inclusion of the Italian meringue will make it exceptionally creamy and give it the ideal texture while also ensuring that the egg whites are pasteurized.
When your semifreddo is ready, you can decorate it however you like: I served mine dusted with coffee and covered with crunchy desiccated coconut flakes, a few delicate mint leaves and chocolate-coated coffee beans.
Other options include drizzling on some melted dark or white chocolate, chocolate chips, a dusting of cocoa powder, and nuts such as pecans, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts and almonds.
Summer’s just around the corner and this mouth-watering semifreddo won’t let you down. As well as a delicious dessert, it also makes a great alternative to a hot coffee after a meal.
For a loaf tin
For the coffee cream
30 ml of Velluto blend coffee
60 g of caster sugar
65 ml of whole milk
1 egg yolk
1 level tablespoon of cane sugar
1 level tablespoon of white wheat flour
A pinch of salt
For the Italian meringue
60 g of egg whites
160 g of sugar
35 ml of water
A pinch of salt
For the assembly
250 g of fresh whipping cream
2 teaspoons of ground Velluto coffee
2 tablespoons of coconut flour
Ground Velluto coffee to taste
Desiccated coconut flakes to taste
Chocolate-coated coffee beans to taste
For the coffee cream
Take the boiling coffee, pour it into a bowl with the sugar and stir until it has dissolved to form coffee syrup. Leave it to cool. Put the egg yolk in a small saucepan with the sugar and the flour, then mix them together thoroughly with a small whisk. Heat up the milk separately, drizzle it into the saucepan and then stir until you have a smooth mixture with no lumps. Put the saucepan onto the hob at a low heat and keep stirring until it thickens. Finally, add the coffee syrup and mix it all together thoroughly.
For the meringue
Dissolve the sugar in the water in a small saucepan and heat the mixture to 121°C.
In the meantime, put the egg whites in a bowl with a pinch of salt and beat them gently with an electric hand mixer. As soon as the syrup reaches 121°C, drizzle it onto the egg whites and continue to beat them until they cool and the mixture is stiff and glossy.
Whip the fresh cream until it’s nice and soft. Now gently add the coffee cream and the meringue mixture, moving up and down as you do so. Stir thoroughly until you have a smooth mixture.
Add one or two teaspoons of ground coffee and the coconut flour to taste.
Take a loaf tin (either made of silicone or lined with cling film) and pour the coffee and coconut mixture into it. Put the tin in the freezer for at least 12 hours (after an hour or so you can cover the top with cling film).
When you’re ready to serve the semifreddo, remove it from the freezer, turn it out onto a rectangular tray and decorate it however you like, with coconut flakes, ground coffee and coffee beans.
(By Elisa Di Rienzo | ilfiordicappero.com) – June 2022