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Coffee and Pistachio Semifreddo

Categories: Entertaining, Sweet
Type: Desserts and Baked Goods

You can make this luxuriously smooth Italian ice cream without an ice cream maker

Prep Time: prep 20 mins, plus freezing

Cooking Time: cook 5-8 mins

Serves: makes 8 servings


  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • 1 tbsp boiling water
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 / 4 cup Marsala
  • 1 1 / 4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 / 3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup chopped pistachios, plus more for garnish
  • rose petals, for garnish (optional)
Coffee and Pistachio Semifreddo photo

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  1. Lightly oil an 8in (20cm) square metal cake pan and line it with a sheet of plastic wrap. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into a saucepan. Add the sugar and 1/2 cup water. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Boil without stirring about 3 minutes, until syrupy. Dissolve the coffee granules in the boiling water, and stir into the syrup.
  2. Beat the egg yolks and Marsala in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Beat in the coffee syrup in a steady stream, and beat about 6 minutes, until thick and tripled in volume.
  3. Whip the cream in a chilled bowl until soft peaks form. Fold into the egg mixture with the yogurt and 3/4 cup of the pistachios. Spread the cake pan and sprinkle with the remaining pistachios. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 4-5 hours, until firm.
  4. Invert the pan to unmold the semifreddo onto a chilled platter, remove the plastic wrap, and turn right side up. Cut into squares with a knife dipped in hot water. Serve immediately on chilled dessert plates, sprinkled with more pistachio nuts and rose petals, if using.
  • prep 20 mins, plus freezing; cook 5-8 mins

excerpted from:

Excerpted from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
Buy this book now!

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