The crowd-pleasing flavor of Butter Brickle originated in Omaha and was debuted to the public in the 1920s at the Blackstone Hotel. Keen to put my heritage’s twist on this classic Nebraskan flavor, I use it in my holiday semifreddo. Semifreddo, meaning half-frozen, is an Italian dessert that is simultaneously airy and creamy.
It is perfect as the main dessert or an accompaniment to Thanksgiving classics like pumpkin and apple pie. The best part about this frozen dessert is it doesn't require a fancy ice cream machine to make and can be prepared up to a week in advance of the festivities and stored in the freezer.
Technique tip: Chill bowl and beater attachments for whipping cream in refrigerator prior to use and use very cold cream for whipping.
Swap option: The semifreddo flavor combinations are endless. This can easily be changed to chocolate-mint by swapping out the vanilla extract for mint and the Butter Brickle for grated dark chocolate.
- 2 cups very cold heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 6 egg whites, room temperature
- 1/2 cup homemade or high-quality, store-bought toffee (brickle) bits, plus more for serving
- Homemade or high quality, store-bought caramel topping, whipped cream, for serving
1. Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cling wrap and set aside.
2. In chilled bowl, combine heavy cream, vanilla and salt, and whip until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar in increments and whip until it holds soft peaks. Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
3. In another bowl beat egg whites until soft and fluffy being careful not to over beat them.
4. Remove cream mixture from refrigerator and gently fold in toffee (brickle) bits. Next, gently fold in egg whites until incorporated. Do not overmix.
5. Pour into prepared loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap and freeze 8 hours to overnight.
6. When ready to serve, remove from freezer and invert onto chilled serving dish. Remove plastic wrap. Top with caramel, whipped cream and a sprinkling of toffee (brickle) bits. Slice and serve immediately.
Chef's note: Semifreddo can be made in advance and stored for up to one week in freezer.