Coconut Rough Semifreddo Recipe

A semifreddo is a no-churn ice cream that is usually made by creating a whipped custard first. In this instance, you’re letting someone else do all the work of whipping air into the mix by using a store-bought vegan ice cream. Peruse the ingredients list and you’ll note that this one is also very plant-friendly. You might even call it a Veganetta, because it so resembles that very nostalgic dessert log that used to get rolled out for every fancy family do. And you won’t hear a peep out of even the most discerning vego — except maybe the odd hum of delight.

Serves 12
800ml coconut ice cream or gelato (I like Pana)
½ cup (30g) flaked coconut, toasted (see Skills spotlight)
MYO choc-coconut rough
1 cup (250ml) coconut oil
1 cup (100g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (250ml) maple syrup
½ cup (35g) shredded coconut,
toasted (see Skills spotlight)

Grease a 5-cup (1.25L) loaf (bar) tin and line with two layers of plastic wrap. Our loaf tin was 17.5cm long, 7.5cm wide and 8cm deep.

To make the choc-coconut rough, melt the coconut oil in a saucepan. Stir in the cocoa powder and maple syrup until combined, then divide between two bowls. To one of the bowls, add the toasted shredded coconut, stirring to unite into a gritty goop I like to call “mocklate”. The bowl without the coconut will be destined to become the drippy sauce when you’re ready to serve, so cover it and set aside in the fridge until needed.

Take the ice cream out of the freezer and let it soften enough to be pliable. Spoon one-fifth of the ice cream into your lined loaf tin, smoothing the surface. Add 2 tablespoons of mocklate and use a small palette knife or spoon to spread it evenly. Repeat the layering four more times, finishing with ice cream.

Place in the freezer overnight.

When ready to serve, gently warm the remaining chocolate sauce in a small saucepan over low heat
to loosen it a little, then allow to cool slightly.

Turn out the loaf onto a serving platter (I find chilling the platter helps to stop the bottom edges getting soupy too quickly) and remove the plastic wrap. Drizzle the sauce over and crown with the toasted flaked coconut.

Slice and serve immediately.

Skills spotlight: Toasting dried coconut Place the dried coconut in a cold frying pan over low to medium heat and toss or stir continuously for a minute or so, until it becomes a light- golden colour. Once it starts to colour, it will do so very quickly — it might even be worth switching off the pan and letting the residual heat finish things off.

Images and text from The Joy of Better Cooking by Alice Zaslavsky, photography by Ben Dearnley. Murdoch Books, $49.99. Learn more here.

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