The recipe is a keeper for three reasons. It tastes incredible, you do not need fresh figs (which is a complete revelation for me as I lose almost all my ripe figs to the birds) and you do not need an ice cream churn. By using the fig leaves to make a syrup, the semifreddo has a very delicate figgy flavour that I may even prefer to that of the full-blown fig. If anyone would like to try this and does not have access to a fig tree let me know and I can post some leaves to you or you can drop by and pick some up.
Fig Leaf Semifreddo
You'll need 8 egg yolks, one cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of water, a few fig leaves torn into pieces and two cups of cream and 100 grams of finely chopped dark chocolate, 70 per cent.
First lightly whip the cream and put aside in the fridge. Then with an electric mixer whip the egg yolks until light and creamy. Leave in the bowl while you turn your attention to making the syrup. Put the sugar, water and torn fig leaves into a saucepan. Bring to the boil and let simmer for about three minutes. Strain into a little jug, reserving the leaves. Go back to the egg yolks and with the beaters whipping away, slowly pour in the strained, hot syrup and keep beating until the mixture is cool, at least three minutes. It will actually look less like egg yolks and more like a very gooey, pale meringue mixture. (I guess it is much like a cooked Italian meringue but with yolks instead of whites). Fold in the whipped cream and chopped chocolate and pour into a mould lined with glad wrap (I used a small loaf tin). Cover with glad wrap and place in the freezer overnight.
You can now place the sugary fig leaves into the oven at about 180C for ten minutes so that they become a crunchy garnish for the semifreddo. Watch they don't burn.
To serve, remove the top layer of glad wrap, place a platter over the top and holding the tin and the platter together tightly, flip. Ease out of the tin, remove the rest of the glad wrap and scatter the candied leaves over the top.