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Recipe: Amaretti Semifreddo

Amaretti Semifreddo

Serves 16

4 eggs, separated

4 egg yolks

½ cup sugar

2 cups whipping cream

¾ cup crushed amaretti cookies

Line two 8 ½-by-4-inch loaf pans with plastic wrap, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Put the 8 egg yolks and the sugar in a bowl; whisk until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Put the 4 egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer; whisk on medium speed until firm peaks form, 2-3 minutes. Pour into the yolk mixture, but wait to fold it in. Whip the cream and amaretti on medium-low until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Gently fold the whipped cream and egg white mixtures into the yolk mixture using a rubber spatula. Pour into loaf pans; level. Cover and freeze until firm, 6 hours or overnight. Unmold on a serving dish; cut into 1-inch slices. Serve with chocolate sauce, more amaretti or fresh berries.

From “Rustic Italian Food,” by Marc Vetri

∎ Variation: Chocolate and Amaretti Semifreddo, a chocolate layer on the bottom with an amaretti cookie layer on top

Make the recipe as before, but with these variations:

Chocolate: Melt 3 ounces dark chocolate in a glass or metal bowl over very gently simmering water, stirring continuously. Allow to cool slightly, but not so much that it begins to harden again.

Yolks: Make the egg yolk and sugar mixture; divide between two mixing bowls. Gently fold a little of the melted chocolate into the yolk mixture in one of the bowls. Fold in more, in stages, until all is combined.

Whites: Whip the egg whites; divide between the two bowls, spooning gently on top of the egg yolk mixture, but don’t combine yet.

Whipped cream: Whip the cream; spoon half into the bowl with the chocolate. Gently fold the whipped cream and egg whites into the yolk and chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Gently stir the ground amaretti into the remaining whipped cream. Then gently fold that whipped cream into the second bowl with the egg whites and yolks.

Divide the amaretti mixture between two loaf pans, prepared as before, leveling with an offset spatula. Freeze until firm, 30-45 minutes. Refrigerate the chocolate mixture. When the first layer is set, gently spoon the chocolate mixture over it, smoothing the top. Freeze until set, 6 hours.

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Frozen playground: Semifreddo, a cool Italian dessert that invites experimentation

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Making semifreddo is like playing with all the toys in the dessert toolbox. Textures, flavors, fruit, chocolate, cookies — the home cook can reach for them all. Semifreddo is an Italian frozen dessert. It’s similar to ice cream, yet the glories lie in how it is not. No ice cream machine needed. No churning. And (usually) no tricky custard to …

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