Caramel Semifreddo



Caramel Semifredo served with cherries poached in a Tonka bean syrup.


This caramel flavoured semifreddo with just a hint of salt is guaranteed to impress.

Semifreddo  is more a  frozen mousse than an ice cream. Made from whisked eggs, cream and sugar the high fat content gives the dessert a warm and velvety finish.  It doesn’t have great keeping qualities though so make it and eat it in the same week otherwise it takes on  a slightly chewy texture.  Semifreddo also melts quite fast so don’t get it out of the freezer to early. I make mine in a bread tin so that I can slice it,  but you could also freeze it in a container and serve it scooped like ice-cream. 

Make this dessert in stages  – the caramel cream can be prepared the day before as it needs to chill for a couple of hours. The finished semifreddo also needs to freeze for a few hours before serving so try to prepare the whisking and folding stage in the morning for the evening, or the day before.  The semifreddo will freeze for a couple of weeks but not much longer than this as the texture becomes a little chewy. It goes particularly well with the Cherries poached in a Tonka bean syrup.Cherries poached in a tonka bean syrup.


Makes 1 x 500g loaf tin and serve  8 – 10


55g caster sugar

300ml double cream

1/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt


3 eggs separated

3 x 15g tablespoons caster sugar

300ml caramel cream (as above)

Caramel Cream

1x  500g oblong loaf tin, lined with cling film.


 Caramel – dry cooking method and the Caramel cream:

Put 150ml of the double cream into a bowl and set aside.

Put the sugar into a wide based sauce or frying pan and shake well to spread the sugar over the base thinly and evenly.  Put the pan over a moderately low heat and let the sugar heat through and begin to melt without interference.  You can gently shake the pan occasionally once the sugar melts to make sure that it dissolves and caramelises evenly, however to much agitation and the sugar will ‘fudge’.

Allow the sugar to caramelise to a golden syrup colour. Turn the heat off and add 150ml of the cold cream.  at this stage the pan contents will bubble and splutter for a moment. when the spluttering subsides stir the cream to making sure any hardened caramel is incorporated and melts.   Pour the creamed caramel into the bowl containing the remaining cold cream. Stir and then cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for a few hours to chill well.


Have ready three large mixing bowls. Separate the eggs and put the yolks into the first bowl. Put the chilled caramel cream into the second and largest bowl (this is going to contain the finished semi fredo mix),  and the egg whites into the third.

Put 2 x 15 gram tablespoon of sugar in with the egg yolk. Using an electric whisk beat the yolks until they are pale and thick and just beginning to leave a whisk trail (i.e. the consistency is like a runny mayonnaise).

Using the same beaters whisk the cream until it is forms very soft peaks – better to under than to over whisk at this stage.

Wash and dry the whisk beaters  and then whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the tablespoon of caster sugar and whisk again to incorporate the sugar and stabilize the foam.

Using a metal spoon or a spatula with a good edge fold the cream into the egg yolk and then the egg white into this mixture. Pour the semifreddo into the prepared loaf tin and freeze for several hours before serving.

To serve, remove the semifreddo from the tin and remove the cling film. Warm a large knife under running hot water and  cut the semifreddo loaf into thickish slices. Plate with fresh fruit or compote. This recipe goes particularly well with the Cherries poached in a Tonka bean syrup. Cherries poached in a tonka bean syrup.

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