what’s a girl to do . . .


What’s a girl to do when:

-College applications are looming in her mind. 

-Her room is a mess.

-Her room needs to be cleaned.

-She wants to watch the remaining 13 episode of Criminal Minds that are saved on TiVo. 

-But she can’t do that, because she need to finish those applications.

– . . . And clean her room. 

-Can there be more than 24 hours in a day?

So again, I ask: What’s a girl to do?

Make a Vanilla Bean Semifreddo with Fresh Raspberry Sauce.  How’s that for an answer?

Semifreddo, which translates to “half cold” in Italian”, is a really simple frozen dessert that is like a cross-breed of ice cream and frozen custard.  It is a deceptively light dish – whipped and super airy, but also incredibly delicious.

Semifreddo can come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and textures.  For today, I decided to go with familiar flavors- vanilla bean and raspberry, which compliment each other quite well.  The creamy semifreddo  enhances the richness of the vanilla, while also serving as the perfect canvas for a fresh raspberry sauce that lends a slightly acidic punch.

Before today, I had never made a semifreddo so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I thought this would likely turn out to be an average dessert.  Tasty, yes?  To die for, probably not. 

But when I took my first bite . . .

It was bliss.

I’m not exaggerating.  Honestly, it was just that good.  Definitely in my Top 5 favorite desserts.  Without a doubt.

The perfect bite of summer. 

Just perfect.

Vanilla Bean Semifreddo with Fresh Raspberry Sauce

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Yields 8-12 Servings


-4 Egg Yolks

-3/4 C. Granulated Sugar

-2 C. Heavy Cream

-1 Vanilla Bean

For the SAUCE:

-12 oz. Fresh Raspberries, divided into (2) 6 oz. portions

-6 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar

-6 Tbsp. Water

Start by lining the inside of a springform pan with plastic wrap.  Make sure you cover it thoroughly.  (Note: you can use an 8, 9, or 10 inch springform – it will only alter the thickness of the semifreddo.  This is a personal preference decision.  I went with a 10 inch.) Set aside.

To make the semifreddo, begin by beating the egg yolks and ½ C. of the sugar together (make sure to use a heat-proof bowl).  Do this until just combined.  Place this bowl on top of a pot of barely simmering water – this acts as a double-boiler set-up.  Continue to whisk the egg yolks, either by hand or electric hand-mixer, until thick, pale, and glossy.  When lifted with a spoon or whisk, the mixture should form a “ribbon”.  This will take about 4-8 minutes, depending on which method you choose, etc.  Remove from heat and continue whisking for another 1-2 minutes. 

Split open the vanilla bean and remove the caviar by scraping the pod with the dull side of the knife.  Add the vanilla (from both halves of the pod) to the egg mixture, and whisk until evenly distributed.  There should be little flecks [of vanilla] throughout.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, add the heavy cream.  Either using a hand-held electric mixer or a stand mixer, beat the cream until it forms soft peaks.  At this point, add in remaining ¼ C. sugar.  Continue to beat until the cream reaches stiff peaks.  Do not overbeat!

Add about ½ C. of the whipped cream to the egg mixture, and gently fold in.  This will help lighten the egg mixture.  Then, add the lightened egg mixture to the whipped cream and fold.  Be sure to FOLD and not stir or beat, as you do not want to deflate the cream.  Continue to fold until everything is combined – this should only take about 2 minutes. 

Transfer the egg and cream mixture to the springform and gently spread until an even layer covers the bottom of the springform.  Try and get the top to be smooth by using a rubber spatula; do not rap the pan against the counter (as this will deflate the mixture).  Cover the top with plastic wrap and freeze overnight. 

To make the raspberry sauce, put 6 oz. of the raspberries in a small sauce pan with water and sugar.  Simmer over medium-low heat until the raspberries start to break down and the sugar dissolves, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and puree – you can use a blender, food processor, or immersion blender (which is my recommendation, if you have one). 

At this point, you can strain the mixture if you like – I don’t think it’s really necessary as this is more of a home-style sauce. 

Return the pureed sauce to the stovetop, and lightly simmer for another 2-4 minutes over medium-low heat.  Now remove the saucepan from the burner and gently mix in remaining 6 oz. of raspberries.  Let sit for about 5 minutes, until the whole raspberries are softened slightly. 

To serve, remove the semifreddo from the freezer.  Release the springform and start to unwrap the semifreddo.  Invert onto a serving platter or cake pedestal – the smooth surface from the bottom of the springform should be facing up. 

Slice as desired and serve with a generous spoonful of the raspberry sauce.  If you like, the raspberry sauce can be served warm. 

Store remaining semifreddo in the freezer.  Store remaining sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


9 Responses to “what’s a girl to do . . .”

  1. I made this and it was heavenly indeed. I didn’t have any raspberries though, but I will try to add some berry sauce next time. A keeper. <3

  2. Oh gosh… This looks heavenly. :)


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