The Cheater Semifreddo

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I'm busy, it's hot, and I need a dessert for the dinner thing this weekend. If you saw our post on 5 Summertime No-Bake Desserts, we gave you some options for desserts that don't require oven work.

Don't get me wrong I love bringing the dessert to a dinner party. It gives me a chance to test some of my R&D recipes and get feedback. Nothing feels better than when someone loves your creation. But isn't there something fabulous about being on the receiving end of praise when your creation takes you about 20 minutes of work?

See also: 5 Summertime No-Bake Desserts

Semifreddo was one of the desserts we recommended last week. It's frozen custard that I would describe as the lovechild of an ice cream cake and mousse. I read somewhere that you can make a cheater version of the semifreddo with ice cream, whipped cream and whatever extras you want to toss in the mix.

This dessert will take you a few minutes to assemble, plus a few minutes to unmold, leaving you with a grand total of roughly about 20 minutes of work, to the ooh's and aah's of your dinner party guests.

The Cheater Semifreddo:

Ingredients: 1 pint of your favorite (high quality!) gelato or ice cream (I love Talenti. I used the coconut flavor for this semifreddo) 1 ¾ cups of heavy cream 4 TBSP. granulated sugar Add-in's of your choice (I used a bar of Theo's chocolate, chopped, to fold into my semitfreddo. Hot fudge sauce, toasted sliced almonds and toasted coconut for garnish.)

Directions: -Allow your gelato or ice cream to become soft. Not melted, but that perfect softness you get when you bring your ice cream home from the grocery store and due to the warm car ride, it has become soft. -Whip the heavy cream and sugar, as if you were making whipped cream to top a dessert. -Fold the whipped cream into the gelato until it's smooth and consistent. Fold in add-in's. -Pour into a parchment paper-lined loaf pan. Wrap with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight. -Unmold your semifreddo just prior to plating. To unmold, a torch is handy, however a bowl of hot water could also be used. Heat the sides or dip the container into the hot water. Invert and unmold your semifreddo. Garnish. Slice (dip knife in hot water and dry before each slice, to help make the slices very clean looking). Eat!

Rachel Miller is a pastry chef and food writer in Phoenix, where she bakes, eats, and single-handedly keeps her local cheese shop in business. You can get more information about her pastry at www.pistolwhippedpastry.com, or on her blog at www.croissantinthecity.com.

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.