Semifreddo is an Italian dessert that's basically a semi frozen mousse. If you've been wanting to make ice cream but don't have a churner, this is the next best thing. Also, like ice cream, there's a million flavors, mix ins, and toppings to choose from. This recipe was loosely adapted from here and while it came out delicious, the semifreddo part is a little tricky. There's a simpler version here that doesn't require as many steps. To make this version, you will need a candy thermometer (not any old meat thermometer) and a stand mixer. As complicated as it may sound at first, it's worth trying because the techniques used are classic pastry techniques that will come in handy the more you cook (read this guide to the different stages of sugar if needed).
Vanilla Bean Semifreddo:
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup + 4 T sugar, divided
1 tsp honey
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap and spray with oil.
Using the whisk attachment, whip up the heavy cream, a pinch of salt and vanilla bean until stiff peaks form. Scrape into a bowl and chill until needed. Clean the mixer bowl and whisk. Place the 4 egg yolks inside the mixer bowl and whisk at a low speed. In a small saucepan, heat 2 T sugar, about 1 T water, and the honey until it reaches 230 degrees Fahrenheit (this is called "softball stage" for sugar, and it's a few stages before carmelization). Since it is such a small amount, it will get to temperature pretty fast so don't walk away. Once it hits, quickly and carefully remove the thermometer and pour into the egg yolk mixture, turning the speed on high as you do. Be careful to pour the sugar in between the bowl and the whisk so it doesn't splatter everywhere. Whip on high until the yolks have doubled in volume and are pale and glossy, about 4 minutes. Pour into a large bowl and set aside, then wash out the mixer bowl, small saucepan and whisk. Pour 2 T of egg whites into the mixer bowl and mix on low. In the small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of sugar with 1 T water and once again heat to 230 degrees. Pour into the whites and turn the mixer on high, whisking until totally cool and stiff peaks have formed, about 4 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whites into the yolks and then fold in the vanilla whipped cream, trying not to deflate the whipped eggs. If you choose to add in any ingredients softly mix them in now, or if you are doing the raspberry and peanut combination, you can choose to pour half of the semifreddo into the pan, then layer with the compote and brittle, then top with the rest of the semifreddo. Freeze overnight or for at least 6 hours.
1 pint of fresh or frozen raspberries, plus more for garnish
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Pinch of salt
1 T sugar
1 T water
Drizzle of honey
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and boil for 5-7 minutes until the fruit starts to break down. Cool completely.
3/4 cup raw peanuts (I could only find roasted and salted peanuts, so if that's the case just cut the salt in half and skip the toasting step)
1/2 cup sugar
2 T water
Drizzle of honey
1/2 tsp salt
1 T butter
Line a baking sheet with Silpat or if you don't have one, parchment paper that's been sprayed with oil. If using raw peanuts, heat the oven to 350 degrees and toast them on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes, or until they start to brown and become fragrant. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and honey and cook on medium-high heat until it carmelizes and turns a golden amber color. Remove from the heat and with a wooden spoon stir in the butter and salt, then the warm peanuts until they're fully coated. Pour onto the prepared Silpat or parchment lined pan and let it cool to room temperature. From there, you can break up the brittle to whatever your desired consistency is. I ground mine up in a food processor but kept some larger pieces intact for garnish. Set aside until you are ready to use.