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Torrone & chocolate semifreddo and rhubarb
dessert recipes | serves 8
I first made this semifreddo for Antonio Carluccio about 15 years ago, says Jamie, and the recipe hasn’t changed much since then. It’s great to make at home because you don’t need a load of clever kit. Torrone is Italian nougat – you should be able to get it at good supermarkets. If you really can’t find it – dare I say it? – smashed-up Dime bars or Maltesers rock the party.
1. Put a large shallow-ish earthenware dish (approx 2 litres capacity) into the freezer to chill.
2. To make the semifreddo you’ll need 3 large bowls. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks in the largest bowl until pale, creamy and almost doubled in size. This will take a few minutes but don’t be tempted to cheat; this is what will make your semifreddo lovely and light. In a second bowl, whip up the cream until you get soft peaks forming on the end of your whisk. Don’t over-whip though – it’s better loose than thick. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt in your third bowl until you get very firm stiff peaks.
3. Add the cream and egg whites to the sugar and egg yolks. Add the torrone, chocolate and orange zest, then gently fold into the creamy mixture. Mix in most of the nuts, reserving a handful for serving. Working quickly, scoop your semifreddo into your pre-frozen earthenware dish, and return it to the freezer as soon as you can. It will take at least 4 hours to freeze until firm.
4. Meanwhile, to cook the rhubarb, preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Place the rhubarb pieces in an ovenproof dish or tray and sprinkle over the sugar and orange zest. Split the vanilla pod down the middle and scrape out the seeds and add these to the rhubarb along with the scraped pod. Pour over the orange juice then cover with foil and cook in the oven for 20–30 minutes, or until the rhubarb has softened. Have a taste and add more sugar if it is too tart (baby rhubarb is sweet naturally while other rhubarb is dead sour and needs more sugar). Pop the foil back on to keep the rhubarb warm until you’re ready to serve it.
5. Take the semifreddo out of the freezer and pop it into the fridge for about 20 minutes before you serve it, so it goes from being hard to being lovely and scoop-able. Serve the warm rhubarb in little bowls with a generous spoonful of torrone semifreddo on top and the nuts sprinkled over.
Recipe Jamie Oliver
Photo Lisa Linder
from Issue 3
ingredients• 50g caster sugar
• 4 large free-range eggs, preferably organic, separated
• 500ml double cream
• 200g hard Italian torrone,
• 100g good-quality dark chocolate, bashed up
• Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
• 150g mixture of pistachio nuts, flaked almonds and hazelnuts, roughly chopped
• 8–10 long stalks of rhubarb, washed and cut into 8cm pieces
• 4 heaped tbsp caster sugar
• Zest and juice of 2 oranges
• 1 vanilla pod