Winter Semifreddo or Christmas Pudding Ice-cream

This is such a great standby pudding 🙂  I always call it Christmas Pudding ice-cream, but it does not contain any of said pudding and not too many similar ingredients, but it has served so well on many Christmas’ as the pudding, and on loads of other days too. It is actually a ‘Semifreddo’ as it contains whipped cream, but even that definition is  corrupted as it does not contain a custard or an ice-cream, but the texture of fabulously light, meltingly soft, super chilled mousse makes it a Semifreddo.

I love Christmas pudding, but lots of people really do not, so this recipe came about because I wanted to make something that would tick all the Christmas pudding boxes that everyone loves but none of those that people really don’t like about the pudding. So it is fruity and spiced and pleasantly fragrant with alcohol, without making your teeth stick together with sweetness or leave you feeling like any sort of post meal walk is an utter impossibility and what you want is a lie down with a nurse that knows how to use a stomach pump.

And again it has been a pudding that my very small children were very happy to eat so they had a chance of developing a palette that can appreciate more than just sugar and chocolate.

The cake that I use in this is the Banana Cake (Like you’ve never had before), it gives the best texture and a stable consistency to the pudding in a way that no other cake does, but I used to use Gingerbread, which also works well and adds an extra spice to the final pudding 😉

It does contain raw eggs. And, yes, I know some of you will be worried about eating raw eggs and I will not go down the old argument of ‘we’ve eaten raw eggs for generations. v’s. we didn’t live so long back then’ but instead would just like to make another relevant point – the most vulnerable point of contamination (try to be discreet here) is the chickens ‘exit’ point when the egg is laid. Once laid producers will remove any extra ‘hen matter’ so the shell is clean. When we break the egg we need to be careful to not get shell into the food and wash our hands afterwards. I do not want to labour the point so if you have any concerns about consuming raw eggs (although the fear and panic that was initiated in the 1980’s has all but been debunked) then can I refer you to this website to coax you back to confidence about the whole issue.

(I still separate my eggs by tipping the yolk from shell to shell but you can capture the yolk in your clean hand and let the white fall into a clean bowl or use a small cup to hold the yolk back as the white is drained away. I shall put all this into the Chef-y Tip’s section).

I suppose this is part of the encouraging us back to not relying on someone else to do the work for us, reclaiming our ability to feed and care for ourselves so we don’t pay through the nose for stale food that is old before we even get it home and is made in a kitchen by someone you don’t know as opposed to taking pride and pleasure in cooking for ourselves, friends and family, from ingredients we have chosen or grown or been given, in your own kitchen so you know how old it was and whether you had a cold or were tired and didn’t pay the best attention to what you were doing …. lalalalalalala …. it’s Okay! I’ve stopped now … come back …. rant over 😀

This is so much nicer than anything you will have eaten from a shop, it will not take you back to Mediterranean holidays as the flavours are from a different season, but it is an incredible delicious pudding that anyone can make (some sort of whisk definitely helps though).

Get those bowls out, this is going to be fun 😉


Winter Semifreddo or Christmas Pudding Ice-cream

120 g/ 4 oz Banana Cake

1 tsp Mixed Spice

1 tsp Ground Nutmeg

100g / 3 oz Raisins

100g / 3 oz Sultanas

60 ml Brandy

60 ml Water

60 g Coco Mango/ Dried Apricots/Dried Prunes

60 g Glace Cherries

2 Eggs

1 dssp Vanilla extract

120g / 4 oz Muscavado Sugar

500ml / 1 pt Double cream

60 ml Marsala



Pop the Raisins and sultanas into a saucepan with the water and the brandy. Bring to the boil, stir and turn the heat off. Stir well. Set to one side and allow to cool.



Break the cake into hunks then put the cake pieces with the spices into a food processor and blitz to a medium crumb. Or you can just chop it with a knife if you don’t have one. It will be perfectly delicious still.



Chop the cherries and which ever other dried fruit you have chosen, I have used the Coco Mango but you may choose the apricots or prunes, not too small, each fruit cut into 4 or 6 is small enough.


Put the cake and dried fruit into a nice roomy mixing bowl.


Put the eggs with the sugar and vanilla into a bowl and beat for about 5-10 minutes until you have a lovely thick mousse-y texture. (this is the ribbon stage, it needs to be thick enough so that when you lift the whisk and make an ‘S’ or an ‘8’ the trail stay clear enough for it to be readable).


As that is beating you can get another bowl and start to whisk the cream to a nice firm-ish texture, as you do this add the Marsala.


Pout the egg onto the fruit and cake in the bowl – you can see the texture of the egg mix here.


Add the soaked dried fruit and any excess liquid in the pan and the cream.


Now mix this mixture, you can fold, stir, turn it mmm you can taste it now. Does it want more Marsala? Or sugar? Or spice? Add it now and stir well.

Turn this into a nice clean plastic box and pop it into the freezer. Leave it for about 6 hours.

When you want to serve it take it from the freezer and leave it in the fridge for about 30 -40 minutes, this will get it to that perfect super chilled mousse state.


Scoop and eat 🙂

How good am I to you?

Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)

Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.

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3 thoughts on “Winter Semifreddo or Christmas Pudding Ice-cream

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