Delicious and rather rich chocolate layer ice cream cake from the twilight zone between ice cream and pastry.
Don’t think I have ever had homemade semifreddo in Italy, so I have no idea about the authenticity of this recipe, which is supposed to originate in Emilia-Romagna. I make it for special occasions, and it is always very popular, very delicious – and so rich – that a single piece leaves you sweet and satisfied for hours.
For the almond sponge
300 g peeled and ground almonds
2 egg whites
2 dl icing sugar
For the cream
200 g butter
80 g icing sugar
100 ml brandy
100 ml of cold espresso
3 pasteurized eggs
200 g dark chocolate
Whisk the egg whites until firm and mix with ground almonds and sugar.
Draw and cut out two circles the size of your round cake tin in greaseproof paper.
Place half the dough on each piece of paper, cover with cling film and roll out the dough to fit the paper.
Remove the cling film and bake the two sponges separately in the oven at 150 C (300 F) for 10-15 minute.
Leave the sponges to cool.
Separate egg yolk from egg whites, if you are using ordinary eggs.
Whisk the egg whites until firm.
Soften butter and stir in egg yolks and sugar.
Fold the egg whites in the egg yolk and butter cream.
Place one almond sponge in a cake tin.
Sprinkle with espresso and brandy
Cover with a spread of half the cream and two tbsp of chocolate flakes.
Repeat the process by adding a new layer of almond sponge sprinkled with espresso and brandy and covered in cream.
Garnish with chocolate shards.
Cover the tin and place it in the freezer until 20 minutes before serving. The cake should be cold but not frozen solid.
Decorate with more chocolate if necessary.
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