Today I'm sharing the perfect little treat, rich and flavorful enough to keep you cozy in the chilly weather, and chill and smooth enough to keep you cool through summer: a chocolate macadamia semifreddo.
These little treats have all kinds of good things going for them: a good dose of chocolate, a cross in texture and flavor between a creamy mousse and ice cream, the delicious rich flavor of raw vanilla and cacao butter, the sweetness of maple syrup, and a splash of caffeine for good measure. How can you go wrong with all that... right? ;)
These little chocolate macadamia treats turned out just lovely. Flavorful, chocolatey, and most importantly super easy to make (as always) -- just blend, freeze, enjoy! For me they're a perfect summer treat. And the molded portioning makes it simple to share these with others gracefully.
And speaking of portioning, I made these in a mini-bundt cake silicone pan. I can say that that pan makes super cute little cakelettes, but beware it can be challenging to get the cakes out without marking them a little in places. So I recommend one of the following options to make this work:
- Unmold straight away while the semifreddo is completely frozen.
- Lightly sprinkle with cacao powder, or drizzle with some melted chocolate sauce to hide any minor nicks.
- Or simply use a different mold, such as silicone cupcake liners, or something like these tartufo molds. This option will also save you some $$ if you don't already own a mini-bundt pan, of course ;). That said, I do love the little pinwheels that come out of this mold -- they spruce the semifreddo up for me and make this treat more cheery somehow. So I say give those a go if you've got them :)
A creamy and rich vegan chocolate semifreddo (mousse-like ice cream treat), with hints of coffee and macadamia. This recipe is also paleo & refined sugar-free.
- ⅔ cup raw cashews, pre-soaked and strained*
- ⅓ cup raw macadamia nuts, pre-soaked and strained*
- ½ cup strong brewed coffee**
- 9 tbsp maple syrup
- 5 tbsp cacao butter, melted but not hot***
- 4 tbsp cocoa powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- just under ¼ tsp raw ground vanilla bean (or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract)
- Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before getting started. Blend all semifreddo ingredients into a smooth and creamy consistency in a power blender.
- Place the silicone mold(s) on a small metal tray. Divide the blended mixture between the molds using a spoon. Lightly tap the tray on the counter to even out the mixture in the molds.
- Freeze for 5-6 hours or overnight.
- When ready to serve, remove from mold (I recommend doing this quickly and pretty much straight out of the freezer so that the semifreddo unmolds nicely). Sprinkle with desired toppings (use a small sieve for dusting cocoa powder evenly) and enjoy. Freeze leftovers.****
*To pre-soak the nuts: place in a glass bowl, cover with water, and leave to soak for 4 hours (or overnight in the fridge). Then strain and discard the water. For a quick pre-soak, cover with boiled water and soak for 15 mins, then strain and discard water. (Note: this technique doesn’t preserve the nutrition of the recipe as well as the traditional soaking technique above). Note: the purpose of soaking the nuts is to re-hydrate them and plump them up for blending into a smooth, cheesecake-like consistency. Proper soaking techniques also maximize nutrition and digestibility. If you’re interested in learning more about nut soaking and other dessert prep tips and tricks, I delve into these subjects in detail in my book Unconventional Treats.
**For a stronger coffee flavor, add a pinch of espresso powder.
***If you have the Unconventional Treats book & video series, check out the video on the best way to melt raw cacao as well as the chapter on how to work with it if you need any assistance.
****Storage notes: treat this dessert like ice cream. It's best when thawed out lightly before serving to bring it to a mousse-like ice cream consistency, which can take up about 10 mins at room temp (unless it's very hot where you are). Otherwise keep it frozen until serving time to avoid melting.