This is an amazing pairing. Effie’s Pecan Nutcakes add a super homey quality to this light and airy semi-frozen dessert. We love the balance of the creamy semifreddo with the crunchy Nutcake crust. You can buy butterscotch or try the simple recipe below from pastry chef Shuna Fish Lydon.
For the butterscotch:
- 4 T. unsalted butter
- 1 c. brown sugar, lightly packed
- ¾ c. heavy cream
- 1 T. vanilla extract
- ½ t. – 1 t. coarse sea salt
In a heavy bottom sauce pan melt the butter on medium and add the brown sugar. Stir to incorporate with a wooden spoon making a grainy mixture. Stir occasionally as the mixture goes from grainy to “blurpy” about 3-5 minutes. When the mixture becomes glossy, smooth and more caramelized reduce the heat to low and carefully add the heavy cream. Use a whisk to mix in the cream evenly. Increase the heat to medium and continue cooking the sauce for about 10 minutes, whisking every now and then. Remove the sauce from the heat and let cool for a few minutes before adding the vanilla extract and salt. Taste and adjust the seasonings as you like. Let the butterscotch cool before adding to the semifreddo.
For the Semifreddo:
- 1 pkg. Pecan Nutcakes
- 3 T. melted butter
- 1 lg. egg
- 4 lg. egg yolks
- ¼ c. + 1 T. sugar
- 1 ¼ c. heavy cream
- ½ t. vanilla
- 1/3 c. butterscotch
Line an 8 or 9 inch loaf pan with plastic. Try to remove as many wrinkles in the plastic as possible and set aside.
Break the Nutcakes into the bowl of a food processor and grind to a fine crumb. Combine with the melted butter to form a meal that stays together when pressed. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer whisk the heavy cream with 1 T. sugar. Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks are formed and blend in the vanilla. Chill the whipped cream while you prepare the eggs.
Set up a sauce pan or double boiler with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer.
Size a bowl that fits over your double boiler but does not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water. Off the heat combine the egg, yolks and ¼ c. sugar in the bowl. Use a large balloon whisk or hand held beater to beat the egg mixture over the simmering water bath. (I did this by hand and it helped to stand on a small step stool over the stove as I whisked….it was easier on my shoulders).
Keep whisking until the eggs turn pale then thick. By hand this was approximately 4-5 minutes.
Remove the eggs from the heat and let stand for a few minutes. Transfer the egg mixture to a larger bowl using a large rubber spatula. Fold in the chilled whipped cream in 3 additions being careful not to over-mix.
Pour half of the egg mixture into the bottom of the lined loaf pan and smooth evenly. Sprinkle about 1/3 c. Pecan Nutcake crumb over the eggs making a smooth ¼ inch thick layer. Fold in butterscotch to the remaining egg mixture making swirls with the butterscotch. Add to the loaf pan and smooth the top.
Add the remaining Nutcake crumb to the top of the pan and press evenly to form a ½ inch layer. Place plastic over the top and again press the Nutcake crumbs on top of the Semifreddo. Freeze the Semifreddo for at least 6 hours before serving.