Strawberry & Mascarpone Semifreddo (with a tickle of Brandy)

Celebrate the holidays with a sweet slice of brand roasted strawberries bathed in creamy goodness. Happy holidays!

Ingredients

3/4 cup (165 g) caster sugar
2 extra-large (60 g) eggs
2 extra-large egg yolks
300 ml thickened cream
250 g mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract

Brandy roasted strawberries
250g punnet strawberries, hulled
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 cinnamon stick 

Chocolate & brandy sauce
1/3 cup (80 ml) thickened cream
75g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon brandy 

Macerated strawberries
250g punnet strawberries, hulled, large
strawberries halved 
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon brandy 

  • Serves 8
  • Vegetarian
  • Dessert

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 °C. 

To prepare the brandy roasted strawberries, place the strawberries, brandy, sugar, water and cinnamon stick in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Set aside for 15 minutes, to macerate. 

Pour the strawberries and their liquid onto a medium baking tray. Roast for 25 minutes or until the strawberries soften. Discarding the cinnamon stick, transfer into a small food processor.

Blend to make a smooth puree. Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool. Once cool, cover and refrigerate until required.

Lightly grease and line a 1 litre capacity (18 x 10 x 7.5 cm) terrine mould or loaf pan with plastic wrap. Lightly grease the plastic and line the base and sides with baking paper.

Place the sugar, eggs and egg yolks in a medium heatproof bowl. Set over a bowl of simmering water, ensuring the base of the bowl is not touching the water. Whisk continuously, using a handheld electric mixer on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, or until mixture becomes very thick and almost doubles in size. It should be thick enough to draw a figure eight with the mixture on the surface and for it to hold its shape until the number is complete. Remove bowl from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Whisk the cream in a separate bowl, until soft peaks form. Add the mascarpone and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add one large spoonful of whipped cream and mascarpone to the egg mixture and stir to combine. Fold through the remaining cream.

Pour one-third of the cream mixture into the prepared mould. Pour over half of the roasted strawberry puree. Repeat layers, spreading the final layer of mascarpone mixture to make a smooth surface. Insert a small knife or skewer and pass through the mixture, side to side, in a wave like motion to create a ripple effect with the strawberry puree. Cover the mould in plastic wrap. Freeze for 8 hours or overnight, until firm.

To make the chocolate and brandy sauce, heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, until almost scalding point. Place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl, pour over the hot cream and set aside for 5 minutes, or until chocolate melts. Stir until smooth. Add the brandy and stir to combine. Set aside to cool and thicken slightly.

To prepare the macerated strawberries, place the ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to coat. Set aside for at least 15 minutes, up to an hour, to develop flavours. 

To serve, stand the semifreddo out at room temperature for 10 minutes, to soften ever so slightly. Invert onto a large serving dish. Remove and discard the plastic and baking paper. Decorate with macerated strawberries and chocolate and brandy sauce. 

Slice to serve. 

**If you prefer to make an alcohol free version, substitute orange juice for the brandy. 

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