Semifreddo with brandy butter sauce

This recipe for semifreddo with brandy butter sauce combines the warming winter flavours of a traditional British Christmas pudding into a cooling chilled dessert

By Fiona Hugues
  • 1 hr 20 mins preparation
  • 24 hrs marinating
  • Serves 8
  • Print


  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped prunes
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoon dark muscovado sugar, plus 1/3 cup extra
  • 50 millilitre brandy, plus 2 tbsp extra
  • 1/2 cup frozen cranberries
  • 1 litre good-quality vanilla bean ice cream, softened
  • 150 gram butter
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder mixed with 2 tbsp water (optional)
  • vanilla pashmak (Persian fairy floss; available from specialty food stores)
  • fresh raspberries or summer berries, pomegranate seeds and mint sprig, to garnish


  • 1
    Place cranberries, prunes and raisins in a microwave-proof bowl with the 2 Tbsp sugar and 50ml brandy.
  • 2
    Microwave for 30 seconds to warm them up and get things going. Leave aside to cool and soak for at least 1 hour.
  • 3
    Line a loaf tin with plastic wrap with plenty overhanging the sides. Stir together soaked fruit, frozen cranberries and softened ice cream. Pour into the tin, cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
  • 4
    To make the brandy sauce, heat extra muscovado sugar with the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • 5
    Pour in the extra brandy and stir to combine – if you prefer a thicker sauce, add the arrowroot mixture, stirring until thickened. Pour sauce into a jug, cover and set aside.
  • 6
    To serve, remove loaf from the freezer and invert onto a serving platter. Scatter over a handful of white Persian floss, top with fresh berries, pomegranate seeds and decorate with mint sprig.
  • 7
    Serve brandy butter sauce, slightly warmed, in a jug to pour over slices of frozen loaf.

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