Sunday, August 13, 2006

Lemony Heaven


What is a Semifreddo you ask – well - absolute heaven is my answer!

While on the hunt for a dessert that was suitable for guests, yet different from my usual offerings of chocolate and cheesecake, I came across this recipe at the Star Chefs website. I was looking for something light, and off the wall. The meal I planned was going to be a definite stick to the ribs, so I wanted something light like mousse – and to tell you the truth lemon came up because I had bought this HUGE bag of lemons just ‘cause they were so-o-o pretty and yellow. Then what the heck was I going to do them? Well, many have starred in my latest craze – sorbet - but the thought of something that might taste as bright as they looked, well… I went in search of…I found surprisingly few lemon mousse recipes on the world wide, and they all contained gelatin. Not that I mind a bit of gelatin, but I wanted light, not spongy and spongy is a pitfall (for me at least) with gelatin.

***Pathetic confession: I can not make Jello***

Even though I was really searching for was a refreshing mousse, this recipe intrigued me. I didn’t really want “ice-cream” (how boring) but I had never heard of Semifreddo before. I looked over the recipe and, stupidly, thought I could make this recipe and skip the freeze to make it mousse-like. Well, I was wrong – the thing never set, so I dumped it in the freezer and went about looking for something else. I must say I spent a good amount of time pouting about this! (Will I never learn, this guy wasn’t a Star Chef for nuthin’!)

Well, after a day of searching, I had gotten over my tantrum that this dessert insisted on being frozen. I decided that my instinct about this dessert just could not be THAT far off. Besides, time was getting away and I needed something to serve the next night!! So, I decided to give it a taste. Well imagine my surprise when I tasted the smooth creaminess that is Semifreddo. My, oh, my, I had accidentally fallen on the perfect summer confection. Light, creamy and somehow not ice-cream, yet cold and luscious just the same. I really thought I was going to get a spongy, puckery, lemony mouthful, but no it was like a sweet lemon drop cloud. So smooth; cold, but not brain-freeze cold. Lemony; but not squint your eye like Popeye lemony, just delightfully sweet.

The original recipe called for other things – tuiles, candied kumquats; all complicated additives that I gave a pass to. I topped this desert with a little raspberry sauce and served it up.

This dessert can be as simple as you like – add the extras, or not, you decide. But trust me it is worth a try!

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