Almond semifreddo

Almond semifreddo

Semifreddo alle mandorle

Sharing Puglia
Alicia Taylor

Along with Sicily, Puglia is the largest producer of almonds in Italy. This semi-cold dessert, as semifreddo translates literally, is simple to prepare and a perfect conclusion to a summer meal. Serve with some lightly poached fruit or drizzle with some chocolate sauce.


Quantity Ingredient
280g blanched almonds
220g caster sugar
3 large eggs, separated
300ml thickened cream
15g icing sugar, sifted
pinch ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
A splash frangelico or amaretti
fresh fruit, to serve


  1. Soak the almonds in water for 10 minutes and drain well.
  2. Heat 75 g of the caster sugar in a frying pan over medium– low heat, until it has melted. Add the almonds, stirring to coat the nuts with the caramelised sugar. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, shaking the pan, until the almonds are completely coated with the caramelised sugar.
  3. Place the sugar-coated almonds on some baking paper and allow to cool.
  4. When cold, grind the almonds in a food processor – the mixture can be either smooth or quite chunky.
  5. Beat the egg whites in a bowl until stiff.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat the cream until firm peaks form, then add the sifted icing sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Gently fold the egg whites into this mixture, followed by the ground almonds.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining caster sugar until pale and doubled in size.
  8. Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the cream mixture.
  9. Line a loaf tin with plastic wrap, allowing the plastic to overhang the sides of the tin.
  10. Place the almond mixture in the tin and smooth the top with a knife. Cover the mixture with the overhanging plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least 12 hours to set.
  11. When ready to serve, take the semifreddo out of the freezer and let it stand for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges, turn it out onto a platter and serve with fresh fruit.
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