Petit Chocolate Semifreddos

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Christmas in the southern hemisphere means sunshine, poolside cocktails and lazy afternoon naps (preferably in a hammock). It makes Christmas lunch a little tricky, because nobody wants to slave over a hot stove in 30 degree heat. We always had a braai for Christmas lunch growing up, which is a great way to do it: butterflied leg of lamb, chicken kebabs, caprese salad and sweet potato, cooked outdoors and eaten in the shade of the patio. But no Christmas meal is complete without dessert. And of course, dessert in summer needs to be cold, and prepared well before the festivities (my hands will be busy holding wine, I don’t want to be responsible for too much else). Semifreddo is like a delicious, rich ice-cream that doesn’t require an ice-cream machine to make. And you can make it in holiday-themed shapes! Make a couple to share, and serve them on a platter with a knife for cutting off sections, and side plates.

Petit Chocolate Semifreddos

100g dark chocolate, 80% cocoa
250ml double cream
250ml cream
250ml milk
120ml castor sugar
2 eggs
* makes about a litre of ice-cream

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in a small saucepan on the stove, at the lowest possible heat, for 15 seconds at a time. Take it off the heat in between, and stir. Once there are only a few lumps, don’t put it back on – rather stir vigorously, and the lumps will melt. Don’t let it burn! Whisk in the milk, and heat gently (whisking every now and again) until nicely combined. Let the chocolate milk cool. Beat the egg and the sugar together in a mixing bowl, and whisk in the chocolate milk. Briefly whisk in the double cream and cream – you don’t need to beat them, just mix enough to combine everything. Pour the mixture into moulds of your choice – as you can see, I’m partial to themed silicone shapes – but a silicone loaf tin would also work well. Freeze until needed. Turn them out onto a serving plate, sprinkle with cocoa powder or crushed nuts and serve. The semifreddos will seem very hard, but they aren’t – you can start eating right away.

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