Master the art of the raw dessert with this simple semifreddo

This berry smoothie and salted caramel semifreddo recipe is easier than you'd think.

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Were you an ice-cream cake kid? If so, prepare for to relive your childhood with this berry smoothie and salted caramel semifreddo recipe from the duo behind Green Kitchen Stories. According to them, it’s the “grown-ups’ gourmet version of Neapolitan ice cream” and we promise it’s easier to make than it looks.

“We wanted to end the book with a bit of a bang, so this scrumptious, three-layer vegan semifreddo happened,” says the pair. “Frozen cakes have become one of our most popular treats for birthdays and celebrations and this is our latest favourite. We love the rich and decadent salted caramel layer that balances between the fresh berry smoothie layer on top and the crunchy chocolate base. You get so many different flavours and textures in one thin (or thick!) slice. And the berries in the centre take it to the next level.”

Berry Smoothie and Salted Caramel Semifreddo

Ingredients

For the Base Layer

10–12 soft dried dates, pitted
1 tablespoon cold-pressed coconut oil
150 g (5 oz/1 cup) raw sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons cacao powder
pinch sea salt flakes

For the Salted Caramel Layer

10–15 soft dried dates, pitted
125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) filtered water
80 ml (3 fl oz/1/3 cup) cold-pressed coconut oil
60 g (2 oz/¼ cup) hulled tahini
2–3 pinches sea salt flakes

For the Berry Smoothie Layer

2 ripe bananas, peeled and roughly chopped
150 g (5 oz/1 cup) raw cashew nuts (pre-soaked)*
150 g (5 oz/1 cup) ripe blackberries (or frozen, thawed)
150 g (5 oz/1¼ cups) ripe raspberries (or frozen, thawed)
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2–4 tablespoons filtered water
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

For the Berry Centre

5 fresh ripe blackberries (or frozen, thawed)
12 fresh ripe raspberries (or frozen, thawed)

To Serve

fresh blackberries
fresh raspberries
edible pansy petals, optional
icing (confectioners) sugar, to dust

* Place the cashews in a bowl, cover with filtered water and soak for 3–12 hours in the morning or overnight. Drain and rinse the cashews, discarding the soaking water, and set aside.

Method

Make the base

  1. Line a 10 × 20 cm (4 × 8 in) loaf tin with parchment paper.
  2. To make the base layer, put the dates and oil in a food processor and blend on a high speed until a sticky paste forms.
  3. Add the seeds, cacao and salt and blend again until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs and holds together when pinched. You may need to add a few more dates to achieve the right consistency.
  4. Transfer to the loaf tin and, using the palm of your hand or the back of a spoon, press the mixture down firmly to create an even and compact base. Set aside in the freezer while you prepare the salted caramel layer.

Make the salted caramel

  1. Put all of the salted caramel layer ingredients into a blender and blend on a high speed until completely smooth. Taste and adjust the sweetness and saltiness to your liking by adding more dates or salt.
  2. Remove the loaf tin from the freezer and pour the salted caramel layer over the base layer. Tap the tin lightly to smooth out the surface. Return to the freezer while you prepare the berry smoothie layer.

Make the berry smoothie

  1. Rinse the blender. Add the bananas to the blender along with the rest of the berry smoothie ingredients. Blend on a high speed until smooth. Add extra water, if needed.
  2. Remove the loaf tin from the freezer and create the berry centre by placing the berries in a centred line on top of the caramel layer. Top with the berry smoothie layer and, using a spatula, smooth out the surface. Tap the tin lightly on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.
  3. Set in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight until completely firm. When ready to serve, thaw for about 30 minutes and top with fresh berries and edible petals and sprinkle with icing sugar. Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to cut 1.5 cm (½ in) slices.

GKSmoothies

This is an edited extract from Green Kitchen Smoothies by David Frenkiel & Luise Vindahl published by Hardie Grant RRP $29.99 available in stores nationally.

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green kitchen smoothies, green kitchen stories, the green kitchen, green kitchen travels, david frenkiel, luise vindahlAbout the authors

David Frenkiel and Luise Vandal are the faces behind the hugely successful blog, Green Kitchen Stories. Luise is a qualified nutritionist with a passion for developing wheat-free and sugar-free recipes. David is the photographer and design-eye behind their work. They are the authors of The Green KitchenGreen Kitchen Travels and their most recent cookbook, Green Kitchen Smoothies.