An ice cream sandwich, consisting of ice cream between two cookies, is a classic sweet treat but I have found a super tasty, slightly more sophisticated version using semifreddo instead. Semifreddo, for those that don’t know, is an Italian desert that is a bit like ice cream but with a texture more like frozen mousse.
The combination of flavours in this recipe may at first sound unusual but the saltiness of the peanuts mixed with the sweetness of the chocolate and caramel go together beautifully. It shouldn’t but, for some reason, salt with chocolate just works! The recipe may look a little long winded but that is only because you create the semifreddo, then the cookies and then assemble. Don’t be put off by the length and do stick with it; I promise it’s worth it.
The grown up taste combos and elegant presentation make them perfect for dinner parties. I have made them myself for dinner parties and they went down a treat with my guests (and no mention of kids’ ice cream sandwiches!).
Cook time: 55 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 35 minutes
- 200 grams caster sugar
- 50ml pouring cream
- 200 grams milk chocolate, broken into very small pieces
- 250 grams salted peanuts
- 25 grams icing sugar
- 600ml thickened cream
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 120 grams caster sugar
- Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
- Vegetable oil
- 170 grams salted butter, melted
- 170 grams brown sugar
- 100 grams caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 250 grams plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 120 grams milk chocolate, broken into pieces
- Stir 50 grams of peanuts in a pan over a medium heat for around 2 minutes or until golden. Sieve the icing sugar over the peanuts and stir to coat the peanuts with it. Cook for a further 3 minutes or until peanuts are caramelised. Put these peanuts on an oiled tray to cool, chop them up and leave for later.
- Place the rest of the peanuts on a baking tray and cook in an oven preheated to 180C for around 10 minutes. Stir now and then to avoid burning.
- Transfer the peanuts from the oven to a pan on a medium heat and simmer with half the thickened cream for 4-5 minutes. Blast this in a food processor until it becomes a smooth paste and set aside to cool.
- In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, caster sugar and vanilla seeds and heat over a pan of simmering water for 6-8 minutes until the mixture is thick and pale. Then whisk in a mixer for 5 minutes.
- Whisk the rest of the cream into soft peaks and then whisk in the peanut paste you created earlier. Fold the egg mixture into this along with half the candied peanuts you made at the start.
- Transfer entire mixture into a container and freeze overnight. The recipe makes around 1.5 litres and that is the semifreddo part complete.
- Now for the cookies. Beat the butter and both sugars in a bowl for around 2 minutes. Add in the egg and egg yolk and beat for another 3 minutes until the mixture is pale.
- Add the flour and baking powder to the mixture and stir to combine. Then stir in the chocolate.
- Roll the mixture into balls, using around 2 tablespoons per ball. Faltten each ball slightly and place on a lined baking tray. Make sure you leave room in between each one.
- Bake in an oven preheated to 180C for 10 minutes and then leave to cool. The recipe makes 16 cookies so you may need to bake 2 lots of 8 if space is an issue.
- In a small saucepan, stir caster sugar into 60ml of water and put on a medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Then cook, without stirring, for around 10 minutes, until it becomes a pale caramel.
- Remove from the heat and add the cream and 70ml of water. Then return to heat and keeping the mixture smooth stir in the chocolate.
- To create the ‘ice cream sandwich’ simply place a large scoop of semifreddo in between two cookies and top with the remaining candied peanuts.