Strawberry Swirl Semifreddo

June 24, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Posted in ice creams & frozen, sweet things | 14 Comments

strawberry swirl semifreddo

It’s hot, so hot, in New York…hot like The Lovin’ Spoonful’s song.  I’m not much for cranking the A/C (although I’m glad it’s an option in our building)…I’d rather chill out with a big glass of ice water or something cool and creamy.

I bought a quart of strawberries from the Greenmarket the other day, only to find the ones in the bottom half of the container were kind of smooshed.  I probably would’ve been annoyed, but I’ve had this Strawberry Swirl Semifreddo recipe mentally tagged ever since I saw it in Donna Hay a couple of months ago.  It calls for heaps of fresh strawberry purée…a good use for smooshy berries if you ask me.

I’ve never made a semifreddo at home before.  Turns out it’s the perfect way to get something like ice cream, but without an ice cream maker.  It’s less dense than regular ice cream…sort of like frozen mousse…and it has a really silky mouthfeel.  I made this yesterday morning, and it’s still perfectly scoopable this afternoon.  That scores big points in my book, as some homemade frozen desserts turn hard as a rock overnight.

There are different ways to  make semifreddo, but this one starts out with what’s almost a zabaglione that’s then folded into whipped cream and swirled with strawberry purée.  The amount of purée called for in the recipe was quite a bit more than I thought could incorporate and still get nice curlicues of pink and white.  I just served the rest as sauce on the side.

  strawberry swirl semifreddo

Strawberry Swirl Semifreddo- makes 6-8 servings
from a recipe in Donna Hay Magazine (Issue 49)

Steph’s Note:  If you find that you have more puree than you can incorporate into the base and still get a nice swirl, serve the extra along side scoops of the semifreddo.  Half a recipe freezes nicely in a metal loaf pan.

For the base
3 eggs
2 yolks, extra
1 t vanilla extract or seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean
1 c caster sugar
2 c whipping cream

For the strawberry purée
750g strawberries, hulled
2 T powdered sugar

-Pre-chill a 2-quart (or 2-litre) capacity metal tin in the freezer.

-To make the puree, process the strawberries and sugar in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.

-Place eggs, extra yolks, vanilla (extract or seeds) and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and, either by hand or using a hand-held electric mixer, beat for 6-8 mins or until thick and pale.  Remove from heat and beat for a further 6-8 mins or until cool (you can transfer to a standing mixer instead and whip for about 4 minutes).

-Whisk the cream until medium-stiff peaks form.  Gently fold cream through the egg mixture until well combined. Pour into a 2-litre capacity metal tin.

-Spoon over the strawberry purée and use a spatula to gently fold it through the cream mixture for a swirled effect.  Freeze for 6 hours or overnight before serving.


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  1. I have been wanting to try making a semifreddo for a long time now and I think this recipe would be a great one to start with! It looks just wonderful!

  2. Oh wow that semifreddo is exceptionally beautiful! Love your photos!

  3. I’ve never heard of semifreddo before! This looks lovely.

  4. I have wanted to make semifreddo ever since I saw it on Giada’s show! Your version looks so refreshing and colourful!

  5. That does look beautiful and delicious, but I think I’d still crank up the air conditioner. It is unbearably hot here.

  6. This is so beautiful!! And I love the way it looks in the metal pan!

  7. Hmmm – nothing is better than a frozen treat to keep cool with in the summer. This one looks perfect Steph 🙂

  8. The swirls are so pretty. If only it wasn’t cold and wet

  9. This looks wonderful. (I also love your loaf pan!)

  10. I have been devouring anything Donna Hay since she wrote Off the Shelf…is her magazine available in the USA?

    • Yes, I find her magazine at both Borders and Barnes & Noble. In the US, the stores usually get it a month or two behind Australia. I think you can subscrie internationally as well, but the price tag is hefty.

  11. So, so beautiful. Love the color and the streaks of strawberries must be so delcious!!

  12. This looks delicious! I’m loving strawberries at the moment – So I think I may just have to give this a try myself

  13. This is awesome! I’m loving all the ice cream featured on your site!

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