by Head Chef, Nick Raitt

Toasted fennel and white chocolate ice cream sandwich with nectarine salad (or citrus), sorrel, lemon

19 Mar 2019

Fennel and white chocolate semifreddo

Serves 10-12

600ml whipping cream, 35% fat
50g fennel seeds
100g white couverture chocolate
4 egg whites
4 egg yolks
80g castor sugar
Pinch of salt

Chocolate snap
80 g butter
100g glucose
100g sugar
120g flour
10g cocoa

Lemon rind syrup
100g sugar
150 g water
4 lemons juice and peel

Other ingredients for the dish
4 Nectarines
2 leaves sorrel, if you can get it
1 bulb baby fennel, keep the fronds

For the semifreddo,
although there are several steps it’s not a very time consuming dessert as there isn’t much cooking time involved.

Start the fennel cream the day before. Toast the fennel seeds until golden. Then blitz them to a fine powder in a spice grinder.  

Bring the cream to scalding point and add the toasted fennel, cover the pot and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to cool, then pass the cream through a fine strainer and discard the fennel, keeping the cream.

Melt white chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler and set aside to cool down slightly.

In your cake mixer using the whisk whip the egg yolks with half of the sugar until fluffy and pale, then fold in melted chocolate. Then;

Whip the fennel cream to a medium peak and set aside, Then;

Whip the egg whites with half the sugar until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold in the whipped cream to the egg yolk mix until mostly but not fully combined then and egg whites and fold until all combined.

Divide into silicone muffin trays and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Remove from the freezer 5 minutes before serving.

For the snap,
melt butter glucose and sugar in a pot until bubbles but not colours. Then whisk in flour and glucose. Very quickly spread onto baking paper and spread it out, place another piece of paper over the mixture and using a rolling pin roll out flat and set in the freezer, this doesn’t need to be perfect and you’ll see next. Once it’s set hard, break into small pieces and blend in your food processor until a crumb, then sprinkle the powder in circles onto baking paper and bake in oven at 160 for 5-7 minutes and cool. A trick is to use a cookie cutter to get the right shape.

Peel and lemons into large strips, trying to get as little white on as possible. Then cut into thin long strips. Juice the lemons and strain through a fine strainer. Put the sugar and water and lemon juice into a pot and bring to the boil. Add the lemon rind and reduce the heat to a simmer until the rind is tender ( if the rind isn’t quite tender but liquid has reduces, add a touch more water).  Remove from the heat and add a pinch of sea salt, allow to cool.

To make the salad,
cut the green top off the fennel and pick the Fennel leaves into a container for use in the salad. Very carefully, finely slice the fennel bulb. Take your nectarines and remove the seed, slice these also and mix with the shaved fennel bulb, torn sorrel leaves and dress with some of the sugar syrup and lemon rind.

When ready to serve,
place one disk of chocolate snap onto the bottom of your serving plate. Up end your semifreddo from silicone muffin mould and place on top of the chocolate snap, place a tablespoon of the salad on the semifreddo and top with one more disk of chocolate snap, serve immediately so the snaps are still crispy.


Nick has prepared more recipes for you to try simply by clicking the following link.
Home recipes from the Josef Chromy Kitchen


Image provided by Country Style Magazine. 


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