A fantastic time in Florence

Another episode of my Italian Food Trails aired tonight – time is going fast! I had a wonderful time in Florence, a city I had never been to before and I hope you enjoyed watching tonight’s show as much as I enjoyed making it. What a beautiful city. It was great fun getting a whistle stop tour around the city in an APE, a three-wheeled Tuk!
After seeing the Duomo and Santa Croce, the church where Michelangelo is buried, I met Francesco Sanapo, Italy’s top barista who represents Italy in coffee making competitions, and who taught me how to make the best cappuccino.

(43)Neven's Italian Food Trails, programme four. Neven with Florence tour guide Emma Molignoni.jpg

And then I had a wonderful time with Sr Marco Masini, whose company Masini Biscotti  makes Cantuccini, the Italian biscuit made with almonds. They were delicious.  The show finished with a lovely Chocolate & Hazelnut Semifreddo. Here is the recipe for it and I hope you are all enjoying my Italian Food Trails

Chocolate & Hazelnut Semi-Freddo

This is a cross between a frozen chocolate mousse and an ice cream which originates in Naples in southern Italy. It is the perfect Italian dessert for chocolate lovers wanting to cool down in the intense summer heat.

Serves 4

75g plain chocolate, roughly chopped, plus some extra grated to decorate (at least 70% cocoa solids)

175ml cream

2 egg whites

1 tsp lemon juice

2 egg yolks

35g caster sugar

2 tbsp dark rum

75g blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped


Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and set aside to cool slightly. Whip the cream in a separate bowl and set aside.

Whip the egg whites with the lemon juice in another bowl until stiff peaks form and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy.

Add the rum to the egg yolk mixture and then add the melted chocolate and continue mixing until combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream, hazelnuts and egg whites and mix with a spatula to incorporate until smooth. Do this gently so as not to knock out any air.

Divide the mixture into small cups or moulds and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Remove from the freezer 5 minutes before serving.

To decorate with the grated plain chocolate.

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