Saturday, December 22, 2012

Chocolate Almond Semi-freddo: a Christmas tradition




MARY JANE MAFFINI: I’m so happy to be back at Mystery Lovers Kitchen. I’ve missed everyone and also hankered for the fun and excitement of camera flashes going off in my kitchen all the time.  My husband loved my involvement with MLK, because of all the experiments and the new drama surrounding many of our meals. He’s glad that we’re back too.

But I’ll start off with a confession: I’m all about the easy way out.  

Some of you already know that from previous blogs or just knowing me. The point is that if I make it (and even take pictures) it will be easy and pretty much foolproof. Also you can usually mess around and change the ingredients.  So keeping easy and foolproof in mind, here's a family favorite Christmas treat from the Maffini kitchen. 

We've been serving these since the dim mists of time. The original, Chocolate Almond Velvet, a dessert from a wonderful old seventies cookbook, has been served at Christmas and special events ever since then, with a few changes. 

In  fact I always have to double the recipe because they disappear. It’s very mysterious. It’s also the only thing I’ve ever made where even eight-year-old children have asked for the recipe. I feel like a kitchen heroine.  I am about to make the third double batch for dessert at our Christmas dinner (27 at last count and I am very glad not to be hosting).

This year we have something extra to celebrate as my husband has recovered from a medical crisis and my daughter and I will be launching a new series writing as Victoria Abbott.  Don’t be surprised when you see Victoria Abbott showing up with recipes here too. They will also be easy.
What about you? Are there recipes that you and your family or friends must have during the holidays?



Chocolate Almond Semifreddo   - Makes 24

You will need:

1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 can chocolate syrup (the kind you put on ice cream)
2 cups whipping cream
½  teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ cup (or more) slivered almonds, toasted
2 muffin tins (for large muffins)
Cupcake/muffin tin liners (I found Christmas ones!)


First: Mix the condensed milk, chocolate syrup, whipping cream, vanilla extract and almond extra until mixed. Chill in fridge for 1 hour.




While it’s chilling:  Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Spread almonds on pie plate. Toast for about 5 minutes until brown. Remove and let them cool.








Place liners in muffin tin. When mixture is chilled, whip (stand mixer is best) until it is thick as whipped cream.  Transfer about 1/3 to ½ cup of mixture in each one (you can tell if the amount looks right)  Should give you about 24.  Top with toasted almonds and freeze in muffin tins (about 24 hours). You can transfer to a pretty plate if you want when they are frozen firm.

Keep an eye on them. They have a tendency to disappear.



I hope you will join me and my daughter, Victoria, in celebrating our new book collector series. We're writing together as Victoria Abbott and our first book, The Christie Curse is due out March 5th.  We promise that there’s food in it and even a few recipes. Murder too, it goes without saying.


Pop in to see us at www.Victoria-Abbott.com!  Let us know if you like our cover. Hint: we love it.


We wish you the best Christmas ever: Merry, happy and full of good eating and great reading!

18 comments: