Honey, Ginger and Salted Almond Semifreddo
Venice, Italy

Honey, Ginger and Salted Almond Semifreddo

One of my most powerful childhood memories is of my mother making honeycomb ice cream. She used to make it on really hot days using this little, ancient ice cream maker that whirred slowly, steadily churning in our kitchen. The kitchen with the fly-screen door and the big wooden table. I remember eating it—two scoops at a time—in those cones with the flat bottoms, the kind that can stand on the table. Funny the things that stay with you from childhood; the quirky details that capture your imagination. This semifreddo is a grown-up recreation, somehow or another, of that childhood memory.

The cream is thick and honeyed, kind of like cold ice cream, but softer in texture. Like half-melted icecream. And it’s studded with salted almonds and peppery crystallised ginger, which give it that whole salty-sweet edge which, nowadays, I go mad for. I love how simple this recipe is to make and that it can be made well ahead of time—so it’s my go to dessert for the holiday season. And there is something about the golden honey and the glittering sugar that just looks so irresistibly festive.

semifreddo-dt-1 semifreddo-1

Honey, Ginger & Salted Almond Semifreddo with a Hint of Thyme

Serves: 8-10
Prep Time: 15 mins

2 eggs
8 egg yolks
200g runny honey
600ml thick double cream
75g Chinese stem ginger in syrup
75g slated almonds 

To Decorate:
3 tbsp honey
a handful of crystalized ginger
a handful of salted almonds
a few sprigs of fresh thyme

  1. Line a 9 inch round cake tin with cling film.
  2. Pour the cream into a mixing bowl and whip until thick and stiff.
  3. Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to the boil.
  4. Add the eggs, egg yolks and honey to a clean heatproof bowl, hold it over the hot, simmering water and beat until the mixture becomes thick and pale.
  5. Take the bowl off the heat and gently fold the egg custard into the whipped cream.
  6. Roughly chop the stem ginger and almonds and mix them in.
  7. Pour the mixture into the cake tin, cover with cling film and set in the freezer for 2-3 hours until solid.
  8. Just before serving, turn the semifreddo out of the tin onto a plate and drizzle with golden honey.
  9. Then decorate with almonds, crystalized ginger and sprigs of thyme as you please.
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