Fourth of July is a very special day to me. And not because it is a national holiday but because it is Max's, my older son's birthday. The whole nation celebrates that day with him and he gets the most wonderful fireworks.
Almost each year we go to or organise ourselves a Fourth of July party, which culminates in admiring the fireworks sparkling over the Washington Capitol. I also typically make his birthday cake decorated with fruits in national colors--blueberries and raspberries. I like to make that cake as it is very light and great for this usually very hot day.
But Max is not a big fun of cakes and he never tastes it except for some of the fruits. So this year I decided to make something just for him--a dessert with Nutella, the ingredient that he loves most. I spotted that recipe in More magazine. I thought that combining Nutella in the dessert that reminds chocolate ice cream, which he likes a lot, would be a perfect. And on top of that it would be, half-frozen, as the name suggests--a perfect dessert for the hot days we experience.
Hazelnut and Nutella Semifreddo
Ingredients for the dessert:
1 jar (13-oz) of Nutella spread,
1/2 cup whole milk,
2 tbsp hazelnut liqueur (I used Frangelico),
1 tsp vanilla extract,
1/4 tsp salt,
2 cups heavy whipping cream.
Ingredients for the chocolate sauce:
1 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped,
1/4 cup cold water,
1/4 cup sugar,
1/4 cup light corn syrup,
1/ 2 tsp vanilla extract.
1. Heat a heavy duty frying pan and roast hazelnuts turning them constantly, until their skins become burned. Cool them down and with hands remove the burned skin.
2. Line the 12-muffin tin cups with aluminium cupcake foil liners.
3. Place Nutella in a food processor, add milk, liqueur, salt and vanilla and run it until the mix becomes smooth. Add 2/3 of hazelnuts and pulse until they become crushed into very small pieces.
4. In a large bowl beat heavy whipping cream until almost stiff. Fold it in the Nutella mixture in three portions.
5. Fill up the muffin cups and decorate with the remaining hazelnuts on top.
6. Freeze for 4-6 hours, until they are very firm. Remove frozen desserts together with the aluminium liners from the muffin tin and place in a large Ziploc bag. You can store them like that for up to two weeks.
7. To make the chocolate sauce combine water, sugar, corn syrup in a small pan and stir over the medium heat until the chocolate melts and the sauce becomes smooth. Cool down slightly and add vanilla. Cool completely and transfer to a small jar until it will be used.
8. Shorty before serving spread the chocolate sauce at the bottom of each serving plate. Remove semifreddos form the freezer and place them on the plates. Let them soften for 5-10 minutes and serve.