Monday, January 3, 2011

Frozen dessert adventure 1 - banana zabaglione semifreddo

Thanks to my BIL, I am the proud owner of a Cuisinart ice-cream maker.

Yesterday was the day to try my hands on one of the recipes in January 2011's Marie Claire which sparked my ice-cream making desire.

Mr Curious vetoed most of the recipes because they have berries in them, so by process of elimination I chose banana zabaglione semifreddo.

The recipe is deceptively simple, with just 6 ingredients - egg yolks, caster sugar, Marsala (we used vanilla essence instead because of TLG), thick cream, bananas and lemon.

The first step was to whisk the eggs and caster sugar in a bowl over simmering water.  That was supposed to take around 8 minutes, and the end product was supposed to be thick, foamy and doubled in volume.

Despite me doubling the whisking time, my mixture was thick but not foamy, nor did it increase much in volume. My arm was too tired (and the Bamix was too hot) by then so I just moved to the next step.

The manual for the ice-cream maker mentioned that pre-cooked ingredients can be cooled in an ice-bath. The recipe I used didn't mention an ice-bath but it did ask for the mixture to be cooled. So I put two and two together and plonked the bowl in an ice bath, then left the kitchen for a while.


When I checked the bowl a while later, the mixture has completely solidified, and had the consistency of peanut butter.

For a second I thought I must have ruined it completely, but my laziness prevented me from making another batch.  I thought "what the heck" and just went along with it.  At worst it would be a learning experience.

I had to scrape the mixture off the bowl to fold in the whipped cream.  It was not a pretty sight.

The pureed banana and lemon juice mixture went in next.

It was time to pour it into the ice-cream maker.  It took about 30 minutes to go from this

to this

The recipe required the semifreddo to be stored in the freezer overnight.  I was too impatient and tried it after a few hours.

And this was the finished product.

It was none too shabby, given the "comedy of errors" during the cooking process.  It had the right texture (the 300ml of thickened cream has to count for something), and the banana flavour was rich and fresh.  The only negative was that the bananas were not ripe enough and the semifreddo tasted a bit "green".  Overall it was a success.  Mr Curious gave his two thumbs up.

It was certainly an encouraging start.  In fact I have already made a second batch of frozen dessert, but that's the subject of the next post.


  1. Oh this looks positively fun and yummy! Great post and what a thoughtful gift from the BIL :)

  2. well done! I received the same icecream maker for my birthday in November and it took me until Christmas to get a decent icecream that didnt taste overhwelmingly eggy. Yours looks so cute scooped into little mugs :)

  3. I'd suggest whisking the mixture, rather than using the bamix to blend it. The objective is to aerate the mix and using a whisk is the only way you'll manage to do that. It should thicken, increase in volume and lighten in colour!

    I wouldn't bother with the ice bath either in future. I'd just cool the mixture in the fridge for a little while. Despite that, I'm glad to hear the experiment was a success!

  4. What a great present! i remember the first time I made berry and nougat semifreddo and as I was fresh out of uni and seriously lacked kitchen equipment, I only used a whisk, plastic bag and a hammer (to break up the nougart!!).

  5. appl3pie - it was more stressful than fun, especially when I saw the hardened mixture! The end justify the means though.

    Katie - thanks! Do you have any good recipes to share?

    Kitty - I used the whisking attachment. It whipped the cream fine but I guess it wasn't aerating the eggs + caster sugar enough. And no, won't do the ice bath again - that was me being "too" clever.

    sass, I know what you mean about not having the right equipment, I'll write about that in my next post.

  6. That looks so yum! Even though it didn't seem to be working, it looks like it worked out in the end. Texture is the all important thing, I find, when it comes to frozen desserts. Love the colour of your Cuisinart :)


Thank you for your lovely message <3


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