I hope you haven't had a sugar overdose yet during the holiday, and you're still looking for some great sweet stuff. In this case you are in the good place.
Here, in Athens the Christmas and the New Year's Eve were pretty quiet. As Greece has an Orthodox population, there is for example no gift giving on 24th of December. This tradition is happening on the New Year's Eve instead. I couldn't even find any Christmas mood in the city. You know, I used to snow during Christmas and and to seeing Christmas trees everywhere, but here there was sunshine and palm trees and a handful of shops selling Christmas decorations. That was not enough to create the Christmas spirit for me, but regardless, I'm not complaining, I pretty much enjoyed the sun, and honestly I don't really miss the snow either. And in the end I had a really fantastic Christmas Eve with friends, cooking and drinking together.
But I think this is enough for Christmas, and lets go back to the sweets.
In my family at New Years Eve we had always the same dessert: ice cream and fruit salad. Cakes and different kind of desserts appeared in our New Years Eve menu, just after I started to be interested in cakes. Funny but this ice cream, fruits salad tradition is remained continuously and it's still alive! But it's so logical, in this time we already bored the Christmas cookies and we just desire something light. Taadaa...Ice cream. Yepp, it's nice to have a nice bowl of ice cream also in winter time, believe me, especially if we pour some hot chocolate sauce over the top. Sounds good, eh?
But what is semifreddo? Basically a frozen foam, which you can flavor as you want and it takes around 15 minutes to make.
Now I turned this semifreddo into a festive holiday desserts. I flavoured it with orange zest and I added some chocolate covered almond pieces. Like, festive, luxurious stracatella... and with the hot chocolate sauce... it's a real pleasure. You know why semifreddo is a really good option? Because it allows you to make ice cream without ice cream machine, fast and without ice crystals. As we're freezing a foam, the many many air bubbles help to make our ice cream, creamy and fluffy. As you can see in the pictures, you don't even have to freeze them, if it's really weird for you the ice cream thing in winter, but in this case we can not say that is a semifreddo. But whatever... enjoy!
for the orange flavoured semifreddo with chocolate covered almond:
2 fresh eggs
2 dl cream
100 g sugar
50 g dark chocolate
50 g almond
zest of 1 orange
pinch of salt
for the hot chocolate sauce:
60 g cacao powder
100 g brown sugar
Melt the chocolate , while chop the almond. When the chocolate is melted add the almond, mix, and spread into a baking paper. Wait until it set, then chop it.
Separate the eggs. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt and with 30 g of sugar until it forms soft peaks. Beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and with the orange zest until it becomes white and foamy. Whip the cream as well. Carefully mix all the foam together, finally add the chopped chocolate almonds.Pour the foam in 5 small ramekins or in one bigger ice cream box. Put it in the freezer at least for 5 hours. If you prepare your dish with foil, you can get off them more easily later.
The hot chocolate sauce as you see the most basic recipe, but I found out that this kind of chocolate sauce is the best for ice creams. It doesn't set, thick enough, it has a nice colour and shine and it has an intensive chocolate taste.
Mix the sugar and the cocoa powder, then add hot water. Mix well, until it's creamy and has no lumps. Add more water to bee a little runny. Put it on fire and boil for about 2 minutes. If it becomes to thick, you can add some more water.
Voilá, here is my favorite chocolate sauce for ice cream with just 3 basic ingredients.