When I was planning the menu for this lunch, I was originally wanting the dessert to be based on some sweet pancakes that I have that could do with being used. They were spread with an apricot puree and rolled up to be baked or fried later. The semi-freddo was to be vanilla to accompany the pancakes, but once I started to make it and sweetened it with a richly flavoured rosemary honey, the recipe went off in a totally different direction.
The pancakes were delicious fried in butter a couple days later.
HONEY & WALNUT SEMI-FREDDO
Enough for 10-12 portions
250 grams mascarpone
300 ml full cream
400 grams honey
2 tablespoons vanilla liqueur or a few drops vanilla essence
120 grams broken walnuts
25 grams butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Always buy honey from as local to you as possible and honey that has not been processed or pasteurised. It is more expensive, but has so superior a flavour to the supermarket honey that it is worth it. My current favourite which I buy in the weekly market in my village of Vera, is made from the pollen of rosemary flowers. It is dark and not overly sweet with a deep flavour to match the colour.
Beat together the mascarpone, cream, honey and vanilla.
Heat the butter on a low heat in a shallow pan. Add the walnut and stir round to warm.
Sprinkle over the sugar and stir to mix.
Continue cooking and stirring until the sugar is starting to caramelise. Remove from the heat and let cool a little.
Add to the cream mix and stir in. The cream mixture will have been quite thick before and the addition of the nuts will make the texture thinner. Don’t panic this is OK .
Put in the fridge until quite cold. Stir to lift the walnuts from the bottom of the mixture and distribute them evenly thoughout the mixture.
Pour into your pre chilled containers and put into the freezer until nicely solid but not rock hard.