Happy New Year, everyone! Welcome to 2015! Are you excited? Have any great plans or resolutions? Or are you still hung over?
Anyway, our Holiday Feast series is soon coming to a close. This is the penultimate post, yay! And this is the 102nd post on the blog. Can you believe it? I certainly can’t. Even though I’ve written all those posts. WIth about 98 recipes. Talk about work. Thanks to all the readers, to everyone who pushes the “like”-button here on WordPress and also over on Facebook! Your acknowledgement of this little culinary adventure means a lot to me. I can’t emphasize just how much – hope you feel a warm embrace and a wave of happiness! All the best to you and yours for the next year!
And tomorrow, we’ll add the 99th recipe. For Churros. Yup, you guessed it! Nothing you want to look at in case you’re about to embark on a healthier and fat-free 2015. Sorry! Also, this eggless chocolate and chestnut semifreddo is also not light on the hips, but it will totally brighten your winter evening, if you dare try it. It’s frothy, rich and very chocolatey and the chestnut cream, oh my, it’s so frothy and tastes like a winter evening spent by the open fire.
Whenever I plan a Holiday Feast, I try to think of a dessert that will let the meal go out with a bang. And I can never have a dessert without chocolate during these occasions. It wouldn’t seem festive. Something would be missing. Great thing that chocolate and chestnuts go together really well. I had semifreddo with walnuts during summer and thought: why not have chocolate and chestnut together in one semifreddo? So off I went to work. I had never made semifreddo before, and when realized semifreddo usually contains egg, I though “eeeew”. But, I went ahead and bought lots of eggs nonetheless, and then – on the day of preparing the Holiday Feast – I decided to go eggless at the last minute. I said to my mother-in-law: there would be no point in me having a dessert that I’d cringe at. It felt right to try making the semifreddo without and I am happy to report that it worked out quite well. You can prepare this semifreddo either in the morning, if you are serving the semifreddo at night, or the evening before. It keeps well for a couple of weeks in your freezer (provided it freezes to -18°C). For those of you looking to get some extra credit, I’m sure this dish would be glorious with caramelized pecans.Ingredients:
400g peeled and cooked chestnuts (you can make these on your own, but really – it will ruin your nails and take forever)
500ml whipping cream
100 ml milk
100g heavy cream (I used crème double)
100g dark chocolate (85 percent cocoa) plus 25g finely chopped
Chop the chestnuts and place them into a medium pot, cover with the milk and 250ml whipping cream and bring to a boil. Add 100g of the sugar (you can use brown, if you like, for a deeper flavor) and continue stirring. After about fifteen to twenty minutes and you feel that your chestnut-mix tastes kind of like dulce de leche, turn off the stove. Take out about two to three tablespoons worth of batter out of the bowl and set aside. Run a handheld blender through the batter remaining in the post until it is more or less finely pureed. Return the batter you set aside to the bowl. In a separate bowl, whip up the remaining 250ml whipping cream and set aside.
Heat a bowl in a water bath, add the dark chocolate (roughly chopped, if you want) and melt chocolate at medium heat, whilst stirring. Remove chocolate from water bath and add the remainder of the sugar and the heavy cream, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in one third of the whipping cream. Allow to cool to room temperature. Add the finely chopped chocolate pieces.
Line a rectangular plastic container or baking tin with plenty of plastic foil (I placed one layer going from north to south and one from west to east), and distribute the chocolate-sugar-heavy-cream mix on the bottom of the plastic container or baking tin. Add the remainder of the whipped cream to the chestnut cream and then carefully distribute it over the layer of chocolate cream on the bottom of the plastic container. Freeze for at least six to eight hours. Remove from fridge about half an hour prior to serving. Remove semifreddo from plastic container, but keep plastic wrap around it. Then carefully peel plastic wrap off, cut off as many slices of semifreddo as you require for your meal with a large, sharp knife. You should run your knife under hot water between cutting slices. This will be most effective and render the cleanest results.