Monday, July 30, 2012

Honey and Caramel Semifreddo


We Indians are obsessed with skin colour, everyone knows that. We have tried everything to look fair, from Fair & Lovely creams to grandma's dried orange peel remedy, to saffron infused milk for the unborn baby. In our country, a light skin tone translates to drop dead gorgeous while a dark one invokes the sympathy of family and friends. "Is she ever going to find a suitable husband?", "She is such a kind hearted darling, but who is going to marry her? Look at the poor thing's colour!” they whisper to one another. What the hell, even the boys want to look fair today. Maybe they always did, but now they are more vocal about this strange desire of theirs. And to cater to their needs, there is a flood of "Fairness Creams for Men" in the market, creams that are capable of penetrating through their thick skin. (I never thought anything would). Gone are the days when they had to steal their sister's fairness remedies or try turmeric paste (which did nothing more than drastically affect their facial hair growth and give them a light yellow sheen) in their efforts to look Fair and Handsome.

Yes, we are obessed with our skin colour. Even then, the impact of the same in the Indian marriage market is shocking. Does this sound familiar: "Christian Doctor boy (MBBS, MD, FRCS, WHITE), son of Mathaichen and Mariakutty, from Central Travancore, seeks alliance from white and beautiful girls with similar background"? Much as I wish it were, the WHITE mentioned in the matrimonial ad is not another degree in medicine, but is an indication of skin colour. How in the whole wide world did Mathaichen and Mariakutty end up with a WHITE boy, I ask you, unless the dad was not our good old Mathaichen from Kottayam, but some random Matthaus from Germany?

Anyway, given the state of things, you would not be surprised that all my domestic help till date have been very impressed by Nigella Lawson's colour. "It is the result of all the food she eats", one of them claimed as she watched Nigella pour in plenty of double cream to a Honey Semifreddo she was making. Well, I don't know if milk cream can alter anyone's genetic makeup, but I am sure it has contributed significantly to Nigella's voluptuous figure. But just in case you are desperate to be fair, and would like to make sure that my maid's words have no merit before you scoff at them, here is the recipe for you.

Semifreddo, unlike ice cream, is a semi frozen dessert of Italian origin and has the texture of frozen mousse. I have added some caramel sauce to Nigella Lawson's Honey Semifreddo recipe, and topped it with some praline and I absolutely loved it.

Caramel Sauce Recipe:

 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup butter (salted)
1 cup cream (I used low fat Amul cream)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence


Mix together sugar and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Heat over medium-high until sugar is melted and turns dark golden brown in color. Take care to not burn it.

Remove from heat, add butter and half the cream and whisk until smooth. Add remaining cream and essence and stir until smooth. The sauce will thicken slightly once it cools down.


You will need:

½ cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons of butter
5 tablespoons of crushed cashew nuts
½ teaspoon of vanilla essence
A few drops of vegetable oil


Spread the vegetable oil over your clean kitchen counter top.

Stir together sugar and butter over low heat in a heavy bottomed pan till the sugar has melted. Let the mixture boil until it turns dark golden brown in colour.

Take the pan off the heat, and mix in crushed cashewnuts and essence. Pour over oiled surface and let it cool and harden completely.

Once it has hardened, break off pieces and place it in a ziploc bag. Crumble it using a mallet or a rolling pin.


1 egg + 4 egg yolks
100g honey
300ml cream (I used low fat Amul cream, though the original recipe said double cream)

10 tablespoons caramel sauce + extra, to serve
1/4 cup praline, to serveMethod:
 Line a 1 litre loaf tin with clingfilm.

Beat the chilled cream until thick. Since I used low fat cream, this took me above 10 minutes with an electric whisk. Pop the cream into your fridge.

Whisk together the egg and egg yolks with the honey in a bowl, over a saucepan of gently simmering water, until the mixture is pale and thick.

Fold the egg and honey mixture into the cream. Stir in the caramel sauce genetly. Pour into the prepared loaf tin, and cover with clingfilm. Freeze for about 2- 3 hours.

Turn out the semifreddo on to a suitably sized plate and drizzle with more caramel sauce if you like, and sprinkle with the praline. 



  1. So creamy and mouthwatering..

  2. stories about the skin color tone... have seen & heard so many times... sometimes i wonder why don't people see the inner beauty of the person.

    this dessert seems to be creamy and heavy but delicious. i can imagine the taste as well with eggs, cream and honey....

  3. i just love the velvety smooth texture of semifredo. looks yumm

  4. it looks so creamy n delicious... love that colour u obtained on the caramel .

  5. Bookmarked....first time here....nice blog u have....happy to follow and plz do visit my space and follow too....

  6. I have always loved the Indian culture and cuisine. I am a little sad to hear that some people equate skin color to beauty. Through the passage of time however, I am glad that skin color poses as one of the many factors and not just the only factor to be equated with beauty. I am sure, more and more people will discover that the Indian beauty can never be enclosed in the levels of SPF being used. There is much more to that.
    Just like this honey and caramel treat, I know there will be a lot more to this than just being pretty on the pictures. I am sure this tastes awesome. I'd love to try...
    Anyhoo, we have been keeping an eye out for unique and interesting bloggers with phenomenal photography skills, and yours caught our attention! We have just recently launched a food photo submission gallery that allows you to showcase all your great work and share it with all of our visitors. We’d be proud to have your work as part of our growing collection to continue to have a larger reach and further inspire all fellow food lovers out there!

  7. i am pretty sure this is heaven in dessert form!!

  8. Hi! Your semifreddo recipe was nominated as one of the "Best 300 Semifreddo Recipes on the Net". To vote for it, please visit - your recipe is positioned at #139 (random order).


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