Raspberry & Lemon Semifreddo – Woolworths and MasterChef SA Week 8
Desserts are more than something to look forward at the the end of the meal. They are, in my opinion, a great part of the meal and in many cases make it. Perhaps that is my sweet-tooth talking, but if you apply moderation and sensibility there is no reason why desserts (or any food group, except those on red lists) should be banned.
I won’t eat rich chocolate pudding with each meal every night of the week, as tempting as that may be, but when I do, I enjoy it. I am happy to split a dessert at a restaurant and share the deliciousness (and the calories). I do think children’s diets should be monitored and fruit and healthy snacks encouraged, so that that they can grow up to be informed adults with balanced eating behaviours. The old saying of “don’t trust a thin chef” just simply isn’t true and, as with all things, moderation and healthful habits must come first. You want to be enjoying those sweet goodies for a very long time, right?
But, I detract from the important subject of desserts. I love spending time in the kitchen and when I throw dinner parties, or even have a few friends pop by informally, I like to serve a few savoury courses or share several tapas style plates. This means I’m sometimes scrambling around by the time I need to make dessert. My go-to options (as vanilla as they may be) are a panna cotta, chocolate fondants or this semifreddo. I change the ingredients according to what I have at hand – berries, nougat, meringues, passion fruit, figs. I love this semifreddo because of the unexpected, refreshing scent of lemon and and the freshness of the zest. It goes surprisingly well with rasberries and is creamy and indulgent.
Also, a good dessert to enjoy before winter kicks in.
Semifreddo translates to Italian for ‘half -cold” or half-frozen and sets in hours. Your guests will still feel like you put as much effort into dessert as you did with the rest of the meal. Easy points for the cook!
3 free-range eggs, separated
1/2 t vanilla essence (not extract) – optional
3 T castor sugar
1 x tub (250 g) mascarpone cheese
1/2 t lemon extract (or 1 t essence)
250 ml fresh cream (whipping)
1 t castor sugar
250 ml raspberries – fresh or frozen, slightly thawed if frozen (or berries of your choice), sprinkled with 1 T castor sugar
1 large lemon, zested