I almost always have ice cream on my mind. If it’s cold out, ice cream. If it’s stormy out, ice cream. Hot out, definitely ice cream. There’s something about the rich, smooth texture of ice cream that is refreshing no matter what the temperature is. Luckily, though, it’s summer and there’s no need to justify craving a cool treat. As the heat has been ramping up, I’ve even been considering investing in an ice cream maker. A dangerous purchase? Probably. But how could I resist being able to make frozen treats any time I want…. and in any flavor I want!?
*Spoiler alert* My will power sometimes surprises me and is stronger than I let on…
I didn’t buy the ice cream machine.
BUT, I do have an amazing semifreddo recipe to share with you.
Semifreddo is an Italian world that translates to half cold and, unlike ice cream, is made with whipped cream; ice cream, on the other hand, comes together by churning air into the base mixture. I like to think of semifreddo as the dessert love child of ice cream, frozen yogurt, and mousse. It’s light, fluffy, smooth, and glides down your tongue. This particular recipe is layered with juicy strawberries that provide texture and sweetness. I wasn’t able to track down sesame seeds for the topping, so I opted to leave them off. If you don’t any have luck either, you could also substitute toasted almonds or pistachios or sprinkles!
Summer is in the air, like 90 degrees in the air. I’d like to tell you this post is about me trying out creative recipes that don’t require baking in an oven. But, alas, I’m a sucker for freshly baked goodies. . . even in the hottest of summer months. . . in an apartment with no A/C. So with windows open, the whispers of a breeze flowing in, and the steady whir of fans in the background, I set out to bake this Blackberry Almond Cake.
I love this recipe for a couple of reasons:
Incredibly approachable ingredients. This moist cake only calls for eleven items; the majority of which are are probably already in your kitchen.
Prep time is a breeze. There’s no waiting, sifting, or rising involved with this cake; simply mix the ingredients, pour into a pan, and then pop it into the oven. What’s not to love about that?
Berries. Berries. Berries. This cake will be amazing with any berry of your choosing; I opted for blackberries like the original recipe called for, but you can easily adjust depending on what’s in season or your personal preference. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, a berry medley …. need I go on?
The sweetness of this cake is subtle, which makes it perfect for breakfast (or really any time of day). The flavor ride starts with the spongy, moist cake slowly melting in your mouth and continues on to bursts of fresh, juicy berries, and gems of crystallized sugar. Finally, there’s the crunch of perfectly toasted almonds that adorn the top. My mouth is already watering…
When you hear the word danish, your mind probably goes to a long white box filled with an overly sweet pastry and ingredients you can’t pronounce. I know that’s what I think of. Well friends, it’s time to throw this idea out the window. But seriously, if that’s what’s sitting on your counter, go ahead and just throw it out. This danish recipe is going to blow your mind…. and your taste buds.
What’s that you say, you’re not a fan of soft, flaky pastry filled with the sweet, sweet goodness of fresh fruit drizzled with the perfectly balanced vanilla glaze? Stop. Just stop. Are you even human? I too would like to say I can resist this baked treat…. wait, who am I kidding. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to say that. I love me some danish. I may or may not have eaten an entire one of these danish braids by myself. I mean, it has fruit in the middle, that’s totally acceptable, right?
Now that you’re mouth is watering, and you’re picturing yourself eating this danish with perfect self control while sipping your morning coffee (good luck with that!), you’re ready for the recipe. My thanks go out to Sally from Sally’s Baking Addiction. She offers great step by step pictures and helpful tips along the way. Do yourself a favor and go check out this recipe.
Since I had a surplus of fresh blueberries on hand, (I know. Life is hard) and because blueberries are delicious, I opted to change the filling from raspberry to blueberry; you can use whatever berry you like but the temperature and boiling time may vary. I also added slivered almonds to the top before popping the completed braid into the oven, because why not? See below for the blueberry filling variation.
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon warm water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Whisk together the warm water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside. Combine the blueberries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir and allow the blueberries to break down, about 5-6 minutes. Mix in the cornstarch/water. Reduce heat and gently simmer for 3 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Set aside to come to room temperature before using. You can also keep it chilled in the refrigerator or if you’re impatient like me you can pop it into the freezer for a hot second (aka several minutes, you don’t actually want it to freeze).
My face is pressed as close to my fan as it can possibly go, too fatigued to even shout words into the blowing air stream and transform my voice as I once did when I was a child. Okay, thinking cap on. I need to bring snacks to book club later in the evening. What can I make that does NOT require me turning on my oven.
Open, shut, open, shut. I flip through the cupboards and pull out a hodgepodge of ingredients. Slivered almonds, chocolate chips, powdered sugar. Think. Think. Think. Knowing that these three items would complement one another (I mean, chocolate goes with everything), I began searching the web to see if I could get some no-bake recipe inspiration. I came across this lifesaving recipe. Seriously, these treats are so delicious, so easy to whip up, and most importantly do not require turning on your oven. Seasons and Suppers…. thank you! thank you! thank you!
If you’re in a heat wave like I was or are just looking for an easy way to satisfy your sweet tooth, head on over to Seasons & Suppers for the recipe on how to make these Double Chocolate Almond Florentines.