Chocolate Semi-Freddo with Almond Biscotti

These two can hang out together all day... I can't take credit for this but I used to make this as an apprentice and the recipe is burned on my brain because the ingredient measurements are so similar.

It really is a labour of love and needs to be done a day in advance, but they're really great to show off your mad cooking skills and are easy to present beautifully.

Almond Biscotti 

You will need...
200gr eggwhites
180gr caster sugar
180gr plain flour
180gr almonds (you can use other nuts if you wish- hazelnuts and pistachios go really well too)

Method...
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius and line a square loaf tin with baking paper
2. Beat egg whites to soft peaks and gradually add sugar while continuously beating to stiff peaks (French Meringue Style*). Sugar is properly combined when you pinch a bit of the mixture and it is smooth and granule-free.
3. Fold in flour and nuts, take care not to knock any air out, pour into your tin and knock the tin on the bench a few times to release any air pockets.
4. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin, then wrap and place in the freezer for 24 hours.
5. Once solid, remove from wrapping and slice thinly and evenly using a sharp knife. Place on a tray lined with baking paper and bake at 180 degrees for 2 minutes either side. Leave to cool and they will firm up.

Chocolate Semifreddo 

You will need...
200gr sugar
100ml water
180gr eggwhites
180gr chocolate (refer to Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe for what kind of chocolate to use)
180gr whipped cream

Method...
1. Make sugar syrup by mixing sugar and water together in a heavy-based saucepan on a low heat, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Leave to cool to about 40 degrees.
2. Beat whites to soft peaks and gradually add syrup while beating to stiff peaks (Italian Meringue Style*)
3. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate, then allow to cool to room temperature
4. Fold your chocolate into your cream**
5. Fold your choccie cream into your meringue mix.
6. Pour into a loaf tin lined with cling wrap, knock on the bench to make sure there's no air pockets and pop in the freezer overnight.
7. Once frozen, use a hot knife to slice into rectangles and serve with your biscotti and a bit of double cream mixed with a liquor like Brandy or Cognac if your feeling indulgent.

*For info on the different types of Meringues - http://www.finecooking.com/item/41100/french-vs-italian-vs-swiss-meringue
**The temperature of your ingredients are crucial here, your cream can't be too cold and your chocolate can't be too hot or the cream will cause the chocolate to set and it will become grainy. It's best if both ingredients are around room-temperature.

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