Strawberry-Toasted Almond Semifreddo
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Strawberry-Toasted Almond Semifreddo

2014 July 1

Even though I’m a June baby—just like Leah!—I’ve never warmed up to ice cream cake. It’s such a summer-birthday default! But something about the chocolate crunchies and the melty-mess doesn’t have me screaming for ice cream.

Strawberry Toasted Almond Semifreddo

This year, though, I decided to give a two-toned semifreddo a try. This Italian “half cold” ice cream cake is a sophisticated twist on the childhood classic. Bonus: It’s completely make-ahead, perfect for parties! To make it, all you need to do is whip up a mousse-like base. Don’t panic! It’s much easier to do than you’d think (and it hardly requires any ingredients).


I decided to spike my base with the flavors of a Strawberry Shortcake Bar—one of my favorite ice cream truck treats! For the strawberry layer, I folded a quick, no-cook strawberry syrup into the egg mixture. For the cream layer, you have a choice: Leave it plain or splurge on an extra ingredient and stir in a little almond extract for added nutty-sweetness. Toasted almonds add a ton of texture and flavor, whether you decide to go with the extract or not.

 Semifreddo Steps


PS. Serve this color-blocked dessert with plenty of bubbly!

 Strawberry Toasted Almond Semifreddo

photos by Erin Phraner

Strawberry-Toasted Almond Semifreddo
serves 6 to 8

1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

OPTIONAL: Almond extract, for flavoring


1. Toss the berries and 2 tablespoons sugar in a large bowl; set aside 5 minutes. Meanwhile, line a loaf pan with plastic wrap leaving an overhang on all sides.
2. Transfer the strawberry mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain into a liquid measuring cup through a fine-mesh sieve, stirring and pressing down firmly on the solids to release all the liquid. Discard solids. You should have about 1 cup strawberry syrup.
3. Whisk the egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar in a large heatproof bowl until combined. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water) and whisk until thick, pale yellow and doubled in volume, about 6 minutes. Set the bottom of the bowl in ice water to stop the cooking process; let cool.
4. Beat the heavy cream and remaining 2 tablespoon sugar with a mixer until soft peaks form. Add a big scoop whipped cream to the egg yolk mixture and whisk together to lighten. Add the rest of the whipped cream and fold together until combined using a rubber spatula.
Transfer half of the custard to another bowl; add the strawberry syrup and fold to combine (it’ll be a little runny). Stir a drop of almond extract to the plain custard, if desired.
5. Sprinkle the toasted almonds in the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with the plain (or almond-flavored) custard; press and spread to the edges of the pan using an offset spatula. Top with the strawberry custard. Cover with the plastic wrap overhang and freeze at least 8 hours or overnight.
To serve, unfold plastic and invert onto a serving platter; remove plastic wrap. Slice with a chefs knife (dipped in hot water, if needed).

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Erin Phraner

Erin Phraner

Food Contributor, blogs at Hey, EEP!
Food editor & recipe creator living in Brooklyn, NY.
Erin writes the '5 Ingredient Recipes' column.
Erin Phraner

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8 Responses Post a comment
  1. July 1, 2014

    Mmm this sounds so yummy!! I love the recipe!

  2. July 1, 2014

    Sounds delicious!! I’d love to do a blueberry one for this weekend and stop it with some strawberries.

    • July 1, 2014

      Yum! Red, white and blue for July 4th—I LOVE that idea Ashley!

      I’d be careful swamping in blueberries, though. Blueberries don’t macerate (release their juices when tossed with sugar) as easily as strawberries. If you really want to try it, let them sit in the sugar for at least 1 hour before blending, and you may need to use more blueberries than the 1 pound strawberries since they don’t release as much liquid. Alternatively, you can make this recipe as written with strawberries and then top with a mixture of blueberries/raspberries for color. Let me know how it turns out if you try!! xox

      • July 1, 2014

        Thanks for the tips Erin! I’ll keep it simple and do the blueberries/raspberries onto instead! Can’t wait to try. I’m sure it will be a hit with my guests.

  3. July 1, 2014

    Oh man this sounds good!!

    • July 1, 2014

      Doesn’t it? I can’t wait to make this recipe especially if it requires a glass of bubbly on the side. 😉

  4. July 1, 2014

    Beautiful! I love making a semifreddo for company, mostly because you can make them the day before! Love your photos!!!

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