Sweet, sticky liqueurs are ideal in puddings and in this semifreddo — meaning literally ‘semi-frozen’ in Italian — dessert it intensifies the orange flavour. When obtainable, use blood oranges to give a nice colour. You can also churn the semifreddo to an ice-cream but, if you do, double the quantity of cream.
Wash the orange thoroughly, grate the zest from it, squeeze the juice and reserve both separately.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the caster sugar until pale. Put the bowl over a pan of simmering water, with the base just touching the surface, and whisk in
Whip the remaining cream to soft peaks and fold this in. Pour into a plastic container, put on a lid and freeze until firm. How long this takes will depend on the efficiency of your freezer, but probably about 1 ½ hours.
Remove from the freezer about 10 minutes before serving in scoops. While it is softening, make a syrup by putting the juice and grated zest of the scrubbed oranges in a pan with the caster sugar and Cointreau. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 2–3 minutes until thick. Spoon this over the semifreddo while still hot.
© 1998 Alastair Little and Richard Whittington estate. All rights reserved.