Thursday 10 April 2014

Semifreddo al Cioccolato e Nutella (Chocolate and Nutella Semifreddo) ... You make me smile with my heart...

There's a little window, deep in my heart, where the grapevines are always laden with bunches of sweet fruits of green and gold opal. It is my secret place, where I sometimes like to hide, as, to me, it's like a treasure chest full of all the things I love. Inside, well hidden, are my home, my family, people who came before me and then left... all seems to be in lost in time...  But I know everything is still locked in there, as time cam be switched on, by the beat of your heart and if you really, really want to...


Beyond that window are the blue sea, and the sky. Even the rocks, above the water, are full of life, as little creature live in them and make sounds you can hear, at night, if you walk on those rock warmed up by the sun.

I want to go there, today, inside my secret place, behind the window and the grapevine, and share a little clip from the movie which has been my life, until today.

I am walking home from school, a little girl of maybe eight, with a group of friends. My satchel feel heavy and I feel lazy. There is a place, a kind of enclosed court yard, surrounded by blocks of flats. I know I shouldn't cut through that place, because I am not allowed, but today... today I am going to be naughty, like Collodi's Pinocchio and I will do what I want to do! I am going that way!

We walk and we sing. We swing our satchels, we chase each other and we laugh. Oh, how I enjoy feeling free! They will never come looking for me here!

Suddenly, my friends go quiet. They stop running, singing and chasing me. I stop... I feel him behind me... he's big, he's tall... he's blond... oh, my God! It's my Dad! I shout "Babbo! Che fai?" ( I knew very well what he was doing...)  "Ti ho detto mille volte di non venire qui!" "I told you thousands of times you mustn't come here!" Then, he... gets hold of my letf ear, just like Mastro Geppetto did with Pinocchio, when he sold the gold buttons off his jacket, and drags me, like a donkey, all the way home!

 The pain! My ear is sore, but not as sore as my EGO! Everyone laughs as my dad drags me home! The shame of it! And the pain!( But I learnt my lesson. Though I did go back a few times...)

Once home, there she is, my mamma Rosa, really upset because by now I am crying. My ear is so red and it hurst and I know my friends must still be laughing at me. ( Well... I knew I would have never forgotten that episode, because it was the only time my dad punished me. He was the kindest, gentlest of men. like my sister says:" Nostro padre non era un uomo... era un angelo!"" Our father was not a man, he was an angel!")

Anyway... he must have felt really bad, because a few minutes later, he came to see me and gave me a little plate with a fresh slice of crusty bread with lots of sweet, delicious Nutella spread all over it! "Fai la merenda. Avrai fame!" "Have your afternoon snack. You must be hungry!"

 He then took me out and bought me an ice cream! My poor, dear Babbo! He must have felt guilty!

Last week, I bought an enormous 750g jar of Nutella! Wow! And I actually used some of it  to make a semifreddo. I only made it to stop myself from eating all that smooth deliciousness, but... my semifreddo was so good, so I will make one for you!

And here it is:   

Semifreddo alla Nutella
e Cioccolato


450g  (about 1lb) Nutella Spread
50g (2 oz)  sugar
4 whole medium eggs
100g (4 oz) dark chocolate
50g  (2 oz)  white chocolate
200ml (8fl oz) whipping cream
a few tsp Mascarpone
( this is very optional!)
3 tbs liquer of your choice
Extra chocolate for decoration
(Or a selection of crushed nuts
if you prefer)
Boudoir Biscuits or


Place your Nutella in a bowl and heat for about 20 seconds in the microwave, or in a saucepan, on the ring, if you prefer. Set aside. Till will soften your Nutella.
Next, place your eggs and sugar in a bowl and whisk over a pan of boiling water, until you get a beautiful creamy texture (this will take about 5 minutes) a bit like a zabaione. If the water is boiling too fast, turn down slightly. Set aside.
Using a cheese grater, grate your dark and white chocolate.
Your cream will have to be whipped, too, in a largish bowl, as this is where all the ingredients will have to mixed, but make you don't over whip, or it will separate.

Now, you have most of your ingredients ready and you can START! Add the whisked egg mixture to the whipped cream and gently fold. 

 Next, in goes your Nutella, which will have to be incorporated, again, gently. At this point you should get a soft, airy chocolate colour mousse type mixture... very nice!

Add a tbs of liqueur, if you wish, or some vanilla essence, plus your grated white and dark chocolate. Mix lightly and taste. You have to have a taste... you will be tempted!
Now you can line a container with cling film. Use two long pieces which will cross in the middle. Make sure the cling film overlaps the tin. Be generous.

I made my semifreddo in a bread tin, lined with cling film, as I like the shape, and it makes my semifreddo easy to slice. I gently poured my mixture into the tin ( as you can see from the picture, I also added a few teaspoons of Mascarpone, unsweetened. I let it slip into the mixture and covered with a few Savoiardi, or Boudoir biscuits gently and quickly dipped in a sweet liqueur.

 Having made sure I used enough cling film, I gathered the excess over the top of my semifreddo, as you can see from the pictures, and placed in on a flat surface in the freezer.

Semifreddo takes five to six hours to set. When it's ready, you can turn it out onto a serving dish and decorate any way you like. You can use fruit dipped in chocolate, chopped nuts, meringues, mini eggs... anything! Be very creative! you will have such fun!

 I made a few very pretty dark and white chocolate flowers, which I placed all over my semifreddo, with mint shoots from the garden. It looked so pretty! Too pretty to eat, really! But what can you do? A person's got to do what a person's got to do!



  1. Che bello sentire da te dopo tanti mesi! I tuoi raconti mi sono mancati Anna...Il semifreddo sembra perfetto e sarebbe ottimo per il pranzo di Pasqua.Spero di trovare al mercato un tipo di cioccolatini come i tuoi.
    Sta bene e AUGURI!

    1. Ciao Olimpia.

      Ho problemi nel rispondere, quindi cercherò di inviare questo messaggio, per vedere cosa accade.

      Grazie per il commento. Cerca di preparare questo dolce. E' buono!



  2. Ah I loved your little story! He obviously did feel pretty guilty, now we understand having most probably experienced that guilt ourselves.

    Your recipe sounds fabulous, and fortunately I can adapt it to gluten-free I think, yippee!


    1. I actually also made a gluten free version, by omitting the biscuits. I often have to think of making recipes gluten free, for a family member. Not good when it comes to making pastry with gluten free flour and a special addictive, but you can make fantastic cakes, using gluten free flour, and cheese cake, with gluten free Digestives (Graham biscuits)

      My dad was a very good man. I can't remember ever being hit by him, or him being angry, or shouthing. I know understand that housing estate, where he caught me, wasn't a good place for a little girl to be!

      Thanks for your lovely comment!




  3. What! You're back! I can't believe, there goes my calorie controlled diet, out the window!
    I have to go back and drool over this recipe one more time.
    You really are so talented and creative Anna, a real smart cookie!

    1. Hello, man who has the gift of making a swimming pool look beautiful! I know you are well, as I see all your pictures on Insta!

      Paul, you have to make this... it's so smooth and just yummy and delicious served in individul portions, in Martini glasses!

      I hope you are happy to see me back here... you don't sound enthusiastic! Oh, well...

      Thank you for thinking I am smart and creative... I like that!

      Big Hugs...


  4. Ciao Anna - I have missed your childhood reminiscences - I know that you had a devilish streak in you as a young girl. I remember you saying that you walked out of school because you didn't like it.
    The semifreddo looks delicious, but please tell me it is not loaded with calories Anna! I am trying my best to be good for the summer.
    Are you in the UK or Italy at the moment?

  5. Hello, Rosemary! I'm afraid semifreddo is calorific and I, too, have gone on a diet, though I just had some Kinder chocolate, because I " needed" it! I would like to lose a few pounds. We have an Italian wedding in June and I have bought a black jumpsuit I would like to wear for it, so I have to be really slim!

    I am in UK at the moment, but will go back to Italy within the next couple of weeks. The house is beautiful and the weather is fine. Also, lots of nice celebrations!

    Thank you for reading my post. I have been away such a long time, I think all my friends and followers and friends might have disappeared!

    Have a lovely weekend!


    Anna. Xxx

  6. Dear Anna, Your blogger friends have not disappeared, we love your recipes and heartfelt stories so much.This looks so delicious, I think it will be worth the calories. I love your story. the only time I remember my Father being angry with me was when I stayed out too late on a date. he explained afterwards that it was because my Mother had been so worried. I still remember him striding down the garden path, ordering me inside and telling my young man exactly what he thought of him! Sending you lots of love Jane xxx

    1. Hello, dear Jane! So lovely to read your comment! It's just like old times! I find editing pictures more time consuming than writing posts, so I am trying to simplify things, but I can't quite do that.

      I think dads are very protective towards their daughters, because they probably believe them to be vulnerable (!!!!) I am sure there was a reason why I wasn't supposed to be in that place.

      I think my dad was a bit psychic, like me, as he always seemed to know where I was and he surprised me with his questions.

      But he was lovely and I always remember him as a beautiful, sweet man! I miss him!

      Sending you lots of love, too, Jane!



    2. Dear Anna, I have decided to start writing my blog again and I thought of you. I hope you are well and happy. Sending lots of love xxx

  7. Welcome back dear Anne!!I thought you stop blogging as many others bloggers did this year!I really like your story!!What a delicious recipe!!I like semifreddo,and i'll try your recipe!!Wish you a happy Easter!!Take care!!

    1. Good morning, Dimi! Yes, I noticed that several people have given up blogging. It is a shame, but sometimes life takes over and there is no time, or wish to post!

      Will go back to Italy, soon and I will make a point of posting.... Such a wealth of fresh ingredients, it's unbelievable! Being in England, at the moment, I notice how hard it is eating well, when the variety of green ingredients is so limited!

      Thanks for your comment, Dimi, and... HAPPY WEEKEND!



  8. I cannot have Nutella in front of me.. once i take a taste , i cant stop.. its terrible.
    Dearest Anna.. Malto buono vere te un altro vez.. e muito muito bom..
    Esta receita e delicioso..
    I must make an effort for Easter time. Although all my family are going away.
    How I love to read your stories of when you were a child.
    As we grow older, we seem to want to go back to those wonderful carefree days.
    Your poor papa.. he must have felt so bad.. but you got well rewarded.
    Its wonderful to see you again Anna.
    I have been very busy these last few months..
    Wishing you uma bello fim de semana.. amiga..
    val xx xxx

    1. Good morning Val!

      I love Nutella, too! So much so that I don't buy it, as I know I would eat all of it!

      I will be here in England for Easter and then go back to hot, sunny Italy!

      I am getting the impression some people are no longer posting... the atmosphere fells a bit different. What a shame! And I know I have not been posting, but editing my pictures, writing stories and step by step recipes is very time consuming, and I have been so busy!

      I often think of my childhood and my teenage years in Italy. I was in a pub, last night, and the music I heard brought back so many memories and feelings!

      Very busy doing jobs round the house, before going back to Italy!

      I was happy to read your comment, dear Val!

      Enjoy the weekend!

      HUGS and Buon fine settimana!


  9. Replies
    1. Hi Franka! So good to hear from you, again!I hope you are well. I am making my way through all the blogs I follow: hard work!



  10. Wow! Your pictures and your story are beautiful. That last picture though is the best of all - Delicious, and far too pretty to eat! But, hey, someone's got to! xCathy

  11. Hi Cathy! I will let you into a secret: my semifreddo hasn't been eaten yet!It's in the freezer, to be eaten on Sunday, with my Pizza di ricotta (pastiera) our traditional Easter cake!

    I think my semifreddo is very sweet, considering I wasn't sure how to decorate it till the last minute!

    Thank you so much for a lovely comment!


  12. Hello Anna

    It is lovely to see your smiling face and listen to your great story. Your dad sounds a lot like my father, firm but extremely kind and generous.
    This recipe sounds delicious. I do not have much time lately, painting is taking up all my time.
    Have a very Happy Easter

    Helen xx

    1. Dear helen,

      I hope you read this. I had a good Easter and then I flew back to Italy, which is where I am now! I have been so busy that I have only just had time to come here and have a look!

      I think it's good that you are so busy painting! I wish I were doing something really creative!

      My dad was a lovely,sweet man and this is the reason why I will never forget the one time he was so firm with me!




    2. Hello Anna, I hope this find you well and happy enjoying life.
      I thought of you last week as we walked the streets of Milano.
      We had a marvellous trip to Italy our only complaint it was too short. Fondest wishes xx

  13. well, this looks so delish.
    I don't care about the calories. Life is short.
    Beautiful post. I love Italy, have been 3 times..
    The best cooking in the world. yvonne

    1. Hello Yvonne!

      I have just seen your comment! I agree, every now and then it's good to let go and enjoy having afew extra calories.

      I agree: Italian food is the best... such a variety of good flavours!

      I am glad to hear that you love Italy. It's a Country blessed with so much art, natural beauty, good food, nice people and... bad politicians! But I love it all the same!

      Thank you for coming to say hi!



  14. OH does that look scrumptious, Italy is my favorite place in the world.
    I keep wondering why I don't see a comment on my post, just realized you are commenting on your own post.. Have a great day yvonne

  15. That looks so pretty! love the chocolate flowers and fresh mint.

  16. Pretty good stuff. Even in a blizzard.

  17. wishing for one last trip to Italy.

  18. Wish I was in Italy today. It's cold here in Maine. The food looks yummy.