This dessert, which is like the fluffiest, creamiest ice cream pie imaginable, was created by Spago’s pastry chef, Sherry Yard, for the opening of Spago Beverly Hills in 1997. It’s based on a Malakoff torte, which is a traditional Viennese layered cake. “For the warmer climates of California, we changed it to a semifreddo, which is perfect for summer,” says Wolfgang Puck.
Chef Tom Colicchio, the head judge of Bravo’s Top Chef, has made his restaurant Craft into a huge brand, which has helped his colleagues share in the limelight. Karen DeMasco, who cowrote The Craft of Baking with cookbook author Mindy Fox, is the former pastry chef at Craft and is known for recipes that are classically elegant yet approachable, like this supercreamy almond semifreddo (“half-frozen”) topped with warm caramelized apples.
Torrone is an Italian nougat made with honey, egg whites, sugar and nuts. It can be soft and chewy or hard and crunchy. The recipe here calls for folding crunchy store-bought nougat into whipped cream and honey, then freezing the mixture. What emerges is an utterly delicious, wonderfully simple ice cream–like dessert.