Semifreddo is an Italian term for desserts that are served semi-frozen. This very pretty semifreddo vegan cake is nutritious, light and refreshing. It’s made with soaked cashews and topped up with blueberries, blackberries and cassis. It tastes like a cross between an ice-cream cake and a cheesecake. Simply delicious on a hot summer day!
Semifreddo vegan cake
Serves: 10 people or more
Oven:180°C / 350°F
- 2/3 cup natural rolled oats
- 1 cup raw pecans
- 1 cup date paste, with 12 medjool dates (very easy to make, see here)
- Pinch of salt
- 3 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight in warm water -or- 2 hours in boiled water (see here)
- 4 tablespoons (tbsps) pure lemon juice
- 1 cup coconut cream*
- 6 tbsps pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsps ground chia seeds, (use a small coffee grinder or food processor to grind seeds)
- 1 teaspoon (tsp) grated lemon peel
- 1 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
- 2 cups fresh or frozen fruit of your choice
- A little lemon juice
- Granulated sugar, to taste
- 1 tbsp vegetarian agar-agar powder
*Don’t use coconut water or coconut milk for this recipe. If using coconut cream in a can, with some brands, you may need to scoop out the thick cream at the top.
Prepare one 24 cm round springform pan with parchment paper. Grease/flour sides.
For the crust, put the rolled oats and pecans in a food processor and process until you obtain fine crumbs. Pour the date paste into a separate medium-size bowl and add the crumb mixture and salt. Mix until you obtain moist crumbs that hold well together.
Press the crumb mixture evently in bottom of pan with clean hands and bake in pre-heated oven for 8 minutes. Let the crust cool completely. When cool, you can store the pan with crust in fridge until ready to assemble cake.
For the cake, when cashews have soaked, strain the water and rinse them through a sieve. Put all cake ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until competely smooth and creamy. Pour in a small bowl, cover and chill in fridge.
For the topping, put the fruit, whole or chopped, in a big bowl. Squeeze a little lemon juice and mix this to the fruit. Allow the fruit to make its own fruit juice. If you can’t obtain any juice, mash 1-2 tablespoon of fruit in a small bowl and add to the fruit. To the fruit add the agar-agar powder and mix. If your fruit is sour, sprinkle some granulated sugar. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes. The fruit will slightly gel.
To assemble, spread the cashew cream mixture on top of the crust. With a slotted spoon, spread the chilled fruit evenly on top of the cream mixture. Cover with foil and store in freezer for minimum 8 hours or preferably overnight. Take out one hour, or more, before serving. It should be eaten semi-frozen. Store left overs in covered container in freezer.