When I was at the Momofuku Milk Bar in the East Village in New York, I tried a number of the fantastic things on their menu, including compost cookies, cereal milk, and the absolutely incredible red velvet soft serve. I immediately vowed to attempt my own version of the soft serve, despite not owning such relevant and useful things as, say, a soft serve machine. So as you do when you don’t have that sort of machinery, you make semifreddo instead and spend plenty of time watching and whisking. This semifreddo is made using actual red velvet cupcakes, solely because I had some of them sitting in my freezer and looking forlorn and neglected. I’m going to try it in the future using the cake batter rather than the baked cakes, but until then, this is the recipe I came up with and I’m pretty happy with it.
Serves about 4 people.
300ml thickened cream (a.k.a. pouring cream, 35% fat)
300g red velvet cake, at fridge temperature, without any icing (I can’t recommend this red velvet recipe highly enough, but use whatever recipe you like most)
Put the cake in a food processor and process until it forms crumbs. With the processor running, add milk to the cake until it forms a thick but liquid mixture (kind of like the consistency of the original cake batter, really).
In the bowl of an electric mixer, using a whisk attachment, whip the cream until it’s thick and has soft peaks. Fold the cake mixture into the cream until it’s an even consistency.
Put the mixture in the freezer until it begins to freeze around the edges. Take it out and use the electric mixer with a paddle attachment to beat the mixture for about 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides if the edges have frozen such that they are not getting combined back into the mixture during beating. Put back in the freezer. Repeat this whole process about 3 or 4 times, then leave the semifreddo in the freezer to set completely. Because it’s difficult to get air into the mixture, it will still be quite solid once it has set, so take it out of the freezer half an hour before serving to let it soften a bit. It’s hard to wait, but it’s worth it as the semifreddo with be soft and airy (almost like a mousse) and delicious.