Fresh Strawberry Semifreddo with Coconut and Mascarpone

Ms. Adventures in Italy received a runner-up mention for Best Use of Color from April’s Does My Blog Look Good in This? competition for my hot pepper picture from the How to Make Hot Pepper Chili Oil post. Thanks, judges! *honored*

I’m glad that this month I was able to participate in the Monthly Mingle #10: Spring is in the Air. There are so many fresh ingredients to use I have to hold myself back from buying too much at the open-air market near my house.

This recipe is for a semifreddo, something that many gelaterias will serve alongside normal gelato (check out the Tour del Gelato for good gelaterias in Italy), and the texture is always more like a mousse than anything close to gelato. I remember the first time I got semifreddo – I was just pointing at flavors and not really reading labels – my first bite was a shock because I didn’t encounter the icy taste of the gelato, but a creamy, semi-cold consistency. After my initial shock, I thought…this is GOOD!

(Sara’s) Semifreddo con fragole, cocco e mascarpone

Translated and adapted from Sale & Pepe, May 2007

Note: Instead of using 1/2 confectioner’s sugar and 1/2 powdered sugar as the recipe calls for, I used powdered sugar and a fair trade cane sugar that I really love the texture of. It’s slightly crunchy but not hard and I could eat it by the spoon! I blended both sugars in the food processor to make it more uniform. This also gave my meringue a darker look but it was absolutely delicious, and it was a bit more chewy, like a macaron. I’d make the meringue part again in an instant.

Meringue-Macaron with Bio Cane Sugar

8 egg whites
120g flaked (dry) coconut
30g fresh coconut
200g fair trade cane sugar
200g powdered sugar
400g mascarpone
500g strawberries

1. Whip 6 egg whites with a pinch of salt and a few spoons of the (mixed) sugars. Then add the mixed sugars one spoonful at a time, and continue whipping for 5 minutes, until you obtain a glossy and firm meringue. Fold the dried coconut in carefully.
2. Pour the meringue onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper that is lightly oiled. Cook in the oven at 150C (300F) for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool (don’t eat!!) Depending on the final pan for this, cut two identical shapes to form the top and the bottom of the dessert. I cut two large squares to fit my pan. Crumble the leftovers. Try again not to eat. Really! (Mine is missing a piece for “scientific” tasting reasons)

Meringue out of the oven

3. Wash and dry the strawberries, removing the tops. Cut 300g into pieces and mix with the mascarpone, the leftover meringue, and the 2 remaining (whipped) egg whites. Place the bottom piece of meringue in the serving/storage container, then spread a thick layer of the mascarpone mix and top with the top layer of meringue, and freeze for 4 hours.
4. Take the plate from the freezer 1 hour before serving, decorate with fresh-grated coconut and the and remaining strawberries.

Strawberry Semifreddo with Coconut and Mascarpone

Note: If there was one thing I would have done differently, I wouldn’t have frozen this as the recipe said – I would have refrigerated the filing for a few hours and then assembled before serving, to keep the “meringue” part nice and fresh.

Strawberry Semifreddo Close-up

Questa ricetta e’ stata addatta da quello nella revista (Sale e Pepe maggio 2007)! Non ho usato lo zucchero semolato, invece ho usato lo zucchero al velo con uno zucchero alla canna (integrale), ed era buonissima! In realta’ farei di nuovo la meringua subito.

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  1. says

    sigh…this looks so good.

    Is it easy to to do a RSS feed…and what are the advantages? Wondering if I should do it for my blog.

    Slowly but surely trying to get up to speed on this whole blogging thing.

  2. Ms. Adventures in Italy says

    @Shelley – After I try something once, I can make it for an audience *wink*
    @adina – grazie! spero che la provi!!
    @nyc, i will email you – yours is activated already (I get the feed).
    @jackie – any recipes to share??

  3. says

    Well congratulations on the runner-up mention! Yet another site that I don’t keep up with. (It’s the lure of those racing animals I tell ya’).

    Absolutely luscious looking dessert. The strawberries….food porn!

  4. says

    That looks wonderful!

    Thanks again for the Amazon card, I’ve already purchased and received Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Sweets and I can’t wait to try out the recipes!

  5. Ms. Adventures in Italy says

    @Sharon – I love scientific research. :)
    @millufe – Try the recipe and let me know!
    @rowena – you have plenty of porn, too..heh.
    @lieudalis – now it’s your turn.
    @sukanya, somepinkflowers – thanks and welcome!
    @brilynn – I’m glad it worked out.
    @judith – I think it would work great, otherwise just use your fingers like I did. :)

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