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Friday, January 27, 2012

Nutella Semifreddo - Happy Valentine's Day

   My love, mio amore, mon amour, mi amor, habibe, moja ljubav, mijn liefde.... whatever language you speak, we all adore hearing someone call this out to us. With Valentine's day quickly approaching we start to think of ways to show our love to that certain special someone in our life.  I have always said in the past that giving material items is not my way of showing the love.  Instead, I choose to create something with my own hands to really show how much I care.  I  also believe that a way to a person's heart is through their stomach.  
   There is no better way to do this than create something with chocolate and strawberries which is the perfect combination for a rich, sensual dessert.  This recipe is fairly simple to assemble and is best made a day in advance, giving it time to set and develop the deep rich flavor.  Given the rich flavor , this dessert is surprisingly light and airy.  It is a great dessert to end a nice Valentine's Day meal and if you decide to make this for the one you love it will definitely show them how you feel.  
   This year, take the time to make something memorable and delicious, made with your hands and sent from your heart.
 This recipe uses Nutella which is available around the world.  I chose to make my own version and the recipe can be seen at the end of this blog.


1 1/2 cups Nutella , or ( see homemade recipe below)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups Mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream ( 35%)
12 savoiardi cookies (can be substituted with cookie of your choice)
Dark chocolate for drizzling
Strawberries for garnish
 Combine the sugar and water in a sauce pot and bring to a boil.  Once the sugar has melted , remove from heat and set aside.
 Beat the egg whites until stiff and fluffy.
 Slowly drizzle the water and sugar mixture into the egg whites and beat until shiny (approx. 1 minute)

 Warm the Nutella until pourable ( do not over heat) and slowly pour it into the egg white mixture. Mix on low speed for 1 minute.
Add the mascarpone cheese and mix until blended with Nutella mixture and no lumps remain.

 In a separate bowl beat the cream until thick and stiff. 

Now gently fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream .  Mix until nicely marbled but do not over mix.

Crush the cookies making sure to leave some chunks intact.  Place them in a mold or baking tray lined with parchment paper.  Fill the bottom of the mold or tray until just covered with cookie.
 The semifreddo is similar to icecream but has a texture that resembles a chilled mousse.
 Cover the cookie with the semmifreddo mixture, wrap with plastic wrap and freeze overnight. 
Once frozen, remove from mold or cut desired shape out of tray and plate.
Drizzle with melted dark chocolate and strained puree of fresh strawberries.

Garnish with fresh strawberry and serve immediately.

Without a spoken word this dish says... I LOVE YOU!

Homemade Nutella Recipe


2 cups roasted hazelnuts, skins removed (roast in oven at 350F for 10 mins.)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ( good quality )
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp skim milk
1/4 tsp scraped vanilla bean
 Place roasted hazelnuts in a towel and rub until the skins separate. Do not worry if some skins remain.

 Place hazelnuts in a food processor and blend until all the natural oils start to come out and it almost liquifies.

Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla bean and blend. Once it becomes very thick and stiff add the milk and slowly pour in the oil while mixing.

Pour mixture into a sealable container and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

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