This dessert , also called a semifreddo in Italian , is a great make ahead dessert . It is beautiful in presentation and has a delicious creamy nutty texture . It is flavoured with both coffee and brandy , so really an adult dessert.
Christine McFadden , Christine France
Serves 6 to 8
3/4 cup hazelnuts , shelled , roasted and skinned. Then finely chopped.
About 32 ladyfingers ( for an eggless version use eggless sponge fingers )
2/3 cup strong black coffee
2 tbs brandy
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners sugar , sifted
5 oz unsweetened chocolate , chopped fine
confectioners sugar and cocoa powder for dusting
Line a 5 cup loaf pan with plastic wrap and cut the lady fingers ( or eggless sponge cake ) to fit the base and sides. Reserve the remaining cookies . Mix the coffee with the brandy in a shallow dish . Dip the ladyfingers briefly into the coffee mixture and return to the pan , sugary side down , to fit neatly.
Whip the cream with the confectioners sugar until it holds soft peaks . Fold half the chopped chocolate into the cream with the hazelnuts. Use a gentle figure eight movement to distribute the chocolate and nuts evenly.
Melt the remaining chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water . Cool , then fold into the cream mixture . Spoon into the pan .
Moisten the remaining cookies in the coffee mixture , being careful not to soak the cookies , as they will get soggy . Lay the coffee moistened cookies over the filling . Wrap and freeze until firm .
Remove from freezer 30 minutes before serving to let the icecream soften slightly . Turn onto a serving plate and dust with confectioners sugar and cocoa .