Strawberry & Hazelnut Meringue Semifreddo – Happy 1st Birthday Food & the Fabulous

Strawberry & Hazelnut Meringue Semifreddo –  Happy 1st Birthday Food & the Fabulous

You’d think, that even if your life was a maze and you’re the little mouse scuttling along, sprinting to make deadlines, wielding blunt sabres to attack the growing email inbox with Marilyn Monroe curves, it’s so voluptuous, and to generally make the household meals on time, your blog would be the one place of pristine order and a pervading sense of calm.

Food and the Fabulous wears a 50’s style design, an ode to Julia Child and consequently, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’m making calls with one hand and stirring the bouef bourguignon with the other while rolling my eyes at the same time.

Our 1st birthday came and went on the 9th of September. I did not miss the anniversary date, I spent some time reflecting on where I started (with tweets of the food I prepared), why (a record of sorts/a place to develop recipes and my writing/to engage with an interesting community) and how (initially with push-button blogger as the platform).

Did I bake a complicated chocolate cake and plonk a candle on, photograph and capture it weeks in advance in readiness for the blogoversary?


Did I compose the reflective yet witty post on my best, worst, prettiest images and most challenging moments?


Sadly, Julia Child I am not.

I won’t hang my head in shame, though I have considered it. The blog seems to be running at the same pace as my life – too much to do, too little done and just when I reach a point of vaguely manageable, I’m developing more recipes, eating at more restaurants and organising the drafts folder all the way from here till….”is it still relevant?”.

Strawberries, I think are very relevant. A big, fat (have you seen the size of these puppies in the markets and supermarkets lately?) indication of spring having sprung and a change of season. I have seen and lived many changes and fulfilling adventures over the past year with Food and the Fabulous.

The year in links

And speaking of relevant changes and adventures, here’s a list of some of the highlights of my year in food bloggery:

  • In the very beginning, there were lamb chops (note point and shoot picture taken with flash. I think it’s awesome!).
  • The Ultimate Mushroom Burger, my non conformist thoughts on Meat Free Monday and more bad pictures.
  • My first featured post, appeared on Barcelona the Offside blog and I dedicated a range of cracker canapés to our football boys.
  • The latest featured posts were the Food Blogger Dinners we hosted for the World Food Programme and my Double Mushroom & Champagne Risotto for O Magazine blog.
  • A goose-bump moment, meeting Ferran Adria in his Barcelona Tickets Bar this year.
  • Attending the enlightening Plate to Page Workshop in Germany this May and walking away with a bunch of new friends.
  • I started blogging on Food 24 with this Prawn Madras Curry, with the aim of demystifying Indian cooking. Was a popular post.
There were also, the fantastic cooking classes with some of the best Chefs and cooks, extravagant meals and food travels, all of which I still need to update, that have made this year so special.

For the bloggers & Readers

I never had any intention of meeting actual humans, in the flesh because of the blog. I didn’t even fathom it possible.
But, I have met a wide and varied community of busy folk like myself (many of whom are far better than I, at managing time and probably faster typists and less lazy overall). Busy, fun, funny and the not so funny. Helpful, talented, experienced and the beginners, like me. From all professions and walks of life, with differing aims.
The technology at our disposal is truly an incredible thing; the power it has to lift us off our seats wherever we may be and propel us directly into the kitchens and markets and restaurants of our blogging friends often takes my breath away. I am, after all, still a child of the eighties.
While I find myself an ardent supporter of Twitter and Facebook (though the last week has been a touch-and-go relationship, I will admit), it’s the individuals behind the tech that make the difference for me.
You are the reason, I will leave my very cozy fireplace on a blustery Cape Town winter’s evening and go out to an event to meet with you, spend a precious Saturday saved for household chores at a market, Tuesday evenings when my football games are on, at a restaurant with no big screen, and why I’ll come over for a long weekend to visit you in your country.
It’s  because of you – the bloggers and readers, that I haven’t thrown in the towel (even though so few of you subscribe to my RSS feed, she said sobbing and looking accusingly around the room), that I continue learning skills I never imagined I’d find fascinating like photography and installing widgets and other IT black magic.
You inspire me with your can-do and make-do attitude, your spunk and your incredible wealth of knowledge.
Thank you, darlings!

And back now to the delightful strawberries – I partnered them with Italian caramelised hazelnut meringues from Caffe Milano in a semifreddo that is bound to delight. What’s more, there are no eggs in this recipe, unlike the James Martin Berry Nougat Semifreddo I featured before, so it couldn’t be simpler to make.

*Note pics were taken on a very hot day- it’s hard to keep frozen desserts solid in the heat*


Serves 4

1 tub (250 ml) mascarpone cheese

1 tub (250 ml) whipping cream

175 ml condensed milk

1/2 t vanilla extract

5 large strawberries, sliced

8 small hazelnut meringues, crushed (or small coffee/caramel meringues and 1/2 cup roasted hazel nuts broken)



Mix the mascarpone with a beater (by hand or in a processor) till smooth.

Add the condensed milk and vanilla extract to the mascarpone and continue beating till fully mixed.

Whip the fresh cream till firm in a separate bowl.

Fold the fresh cream into the mascarpone, by hand, first with a  few spoonfuls to loosen the mascarpone.

Add remainder of fresh cream and very gently fold in, until incorporated.

Add the sliced strawberries and meringues and fold through.

Line a freezer proof dish or tin with cling film.

Pour the cheese/cream mix in, cover the top with cling film and freeze for four hours or until set.

You may also serve in individual dishes like I did, greasing the inside of the dish lightly with spray and cook

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By |2017-05-09T07:25:25+00:00September 28th, 2011|Cakes, Cookies & Sweets, Food, Recipe Index, Recipes, The Fabulous|29 Comments


  1. Candice September 28, 2011 at 7:05 am - Reply

    Congratulations on a fabulous year!

    • Ishay September 28, 2011 at 4:57 pm - Reply

      Thank you Candice.

  2. Baker Street September 28, 2011 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Happy Blog Birthday! Here’s too the many more delicious years that are yet to come 🙂

    I love the use of hazelnut meringues in this dessert.

    • Ishay September 28, 2011 at 5:18 pm - Reply

      Dear An. Thank you for your support, muffin Mondays and being a real inspiration. Those low sugar meringues, can’t be described- almost burnt caramelly and so adult! Love them 🙂

  3. Meeta September 28, 2011 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Happy 1st Blog B-day dearest Ishay! The highlight for me was meeting you in Weimar and becoming more acquainted with your little space here. It’s an awesome place to come to and am glad we had the opportunity to meet!

    • Ishay September 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm - Reply

      Thanks Meeta- meeting you and the P2P gang remains a top highlight of the year. I look at your pics and hope that day by day, I will get to understand my camera a little more.

  4. janice tripepi September 28, 2011 at 9:43 am - Reply

    Happy 1st Birthday Ishay – I salute all your wonderful food and massive effort that it takes to produce and maintain a blog. May your food adventures never end and may your larder always be full of fresh and exciting ingredients. Love your semifreddo recipe – Summer sure is on its way xxxx Have a great day xxxx Jan

    • Ishay September 28, 2011 at 5:21 pm - Reply

      Aww, Jan- I appreciate all your kind words and encouragement and look up to you as a cook of note! The very same wishes for you too.

  5. Móna Wise September 28, 2011 at 10:09 am - Reply

    Ishay – you have such a lovely way of recapturing your first year; the links to look back and the gushings of love. The strawberries and mascarpone……..sigh. Divine.

    • Ishay September 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm - Reply

      Thank you my friend. Come to Cape Town- the strawberries are plentiful this time of year 😉

  6. Marisa September 28, 2011 at 11:52 am - Reply

    Happy bloggiversary! And what a fabulous-looking dessert to celebrate with.

    • Ishay September 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm - Reply

      Thank you M and little M x

  7. Lisa Key September 28, 2011 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    Congratulations on a year of blogging. It is with delight that I read your posts. They are thoughtful, clever and stylish. Oh, and so tasty. Best wishes to your blog.

    • Ishay September 28, 2011 at 6:04 pm - Reply

      Thank you Lisa- appreciate your support on the blog and on Twitter.

  8. Michael Olivier September 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    Happy boifday wonderful woman!

    • Ishay September 28, 2011 at 6:05 pm - Reply

      Thanks M!

  9. James Mentz September 28, 2011 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    Congratulations on an excellent year Ishay! Really enjoyed following your culinary adventures over the last year.

    Here’s to much more food & fabulous!


    • Ishay September 28, 2011 at 6:06 pm - Reply

      Hi James
      Best decision I made with the blog, was to give it to you to design. Always seamless, friendly service. My best to Terri. Thank you.

  10. Simone September 28, 2011 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    Happy blog-o-versary Ishay!! A year already.. doesn’t time fly?? Just the other day I realized that it is running close to half a year that we met in person. Can you believe it’s that long ago already? I totally love your blog (and I have subscribed to the RSS feed ages ago!)
    Big kiss!

    • Ishay September 29, 2011 at 12:53 am - Reply

      Thanks Simone. I really appreciate your lovely words and your presence in my life. I hope some day, to be able to tackle all that you do, with your speed, talent and grace. Big hug, my friend x

  11. Leaine's Kitchen September 29, 2011 at 7:19 am - Reply

    What a wonderful year/ journey you’ve had so far… Congrats on all you’ve achieved! (You have inspired so many and helped to change people’s lives.) I can’t wait for more 🙂 I actually loved the fact that the dessert was melting, looks delish! 🙂

  12. Kim Mari September 29, 2011 at 9:02 am - Reply

    congratulations Ishay, this dessert looks so YUM and the photography is beautiful.
    well done on an awesome blog and you have definitely inspired me to cook more 🙂

  13. pinkpolkadot September 30, 2011 at 9:23 am - Reply

    Congratulations!! You have a wonderful blog, Ishay! Love the recipe – so summery!

  14. Betty Bake October 3, 2011 at 1:11 am - Reply

    congratulations sweet Ishay 🙂 your blog has done so well! and you are such a sweetie pie – thanks for always being so friendly and happy.
    hugs and wishes for the next year to come – may your blog grow from strength to strength 🙂

    Betty Bake

  15. Jeanne @ CookSister! October 8, 2011 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Happy blog birthday, doll! You are an awesome addition to this little community that we call home and I am thrilled to have met you both at the Indaba in Cape Town and Plate to Page in Germany. I know how you feel about too much to do, is this draft post still relevant etc etc – and I’m afraid it does not get better after 7 years 😉 xx

  16. Carlette October 13, 2011 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Happy Belated Birthday to your blog!!! Love your posts and this Semifroddo looks amazeballs!! 😉 😉

  17. […] wanted to make a selection of mini flavoured semifreddos (Strawberry & Hazelnut Meringue, Passion Fruit, Dried fig & Saffron, Raspberry Nougat) which along with panna cotta of all […]

  18. […] wanted to make a selection of mini flavoured semifreddos (Strawberry & Hazelnut Meringue,Passion Fruit, Dried fig & Saffron, Raspberry Nougat) which along with panna cotta of all […]

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