Banana Semifreddo with Honey & Thyme Hazelnuts

The classic Semi-freddo (half cold in Italian) is remarkably easy to whip up, and serve straight from the freezer. Whip, slice (yes, with a knife—no more scooping measly bits of frozen ice cream!) and serve. This twist on the Italian classic combines our Fairtrade bananas, with crunchy honeyed hazelnuts with a touch of savoury thyme.

Recipe & photography by Kelly Gibney

by Faye MacGregor on March 16, 2022


4 eggs, separated

350ml fresh cream

2 bananas - mashed well

1 cup caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla paste or good quality vanilla extract

Honey hazelnuts

1 ½ cups raw hazelnuts

½ cup honey

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves


Semifreddo method

Oil and then double line a loaf tin with clingfilm or baking paper.

Place the egg whites in one large, clean bowl. Place the cream in another and the egg yolks, mashed banana, sugar and vanilla essence in another.

Use an electric beater to beat the egg whites until soft peaks (Ensure the beaters are very clean – this helps the whites stiffen).

Whip the cream until soft peaks.

Beat the egg yolks, banana, sugar and vanilla together for one minute until frothy.

If you mix in this order you will not need to wash the electric beater in between bowls. Add the cream to the egg yolk mixture. Fold together carefully. Add the egg whites and fold in gently.

Pour into your prepared loaf tin and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours to set.

To serve: Turn semifreddo onto a plate or platter when ready to serve. (Cool your platter in the freezer for 20 minutes before hand to keep semifreddo from melting too quickly).

Garnish with strawberries, banana slices and the honey hazelnuts. Serve in thick slices.

Will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer.

Honey and thyme hazelnuts method

Preheat oven to 120 degrees celsius.

Lay the hazelnuts in a single layer on an oven-proof tray.

Roast for 20 minutes until lightly toasted and the skins come off easily when rubbed.

Place the nuts inside a clean tea towel and rub vigorously together. This will remove most of the skins. Don’t worry if it’s not absolutely perfect. Discard the skins.

Place the nuts, honey and thyme into a small saucepan or skillet. Heat very gently until lightly bubbling. Cook for 1 minute before pouring onto a tray lined with baking paper. Leave to cook in the fridge for 1 hour. Use your hands to pull the nuts apart into small chunks.

About Kelly

We're always on the hunt for inspiration to keep banana loving monkeys happy. So, we asked Kelly Gibney to help us out. Kelly is a wholefoods writer and Dish magazine columnist, and we're so pleased to be able to share her recipes with you.