Recipe: Alice’s Stunning Coconut Rough Semifreddo




Listen up, ice-cream lovers! It’s summer in the Great Southern Land and no better time to be cooling down in the most delicious way possible. This irresistible little number from Alice Zaslavsky’s wonderful new book The Joy of Better Cooking (Murdoch Books), ticks all the yum boxes and we think will be gone as fast as it hits the plate. Alice’s colourful book is full of great ideas about how to prepare savoury and sweet delights and is a must for your kitchen library collection.

A semifreddo is a no-churn ice cream that is usually made by creating a whipped custard first. In this instance, you’re letting someone else do all the work of whipping air into the mix by using a store-bought vegan ice cream. Peruse the ingredients list and you’ll note that this one is also very plant friendly. You might even call it a Veganetta, as it so resembles that very nostalgic dessert log that used to get rolled out for every fancy family do. And you won’t hear a peep out of even the most discerning vego — except maybe the odd hum of delight.

Serves 12


800 ml (28 fl oz) coconut ice cream or gelato (I like Pana)

½ cup (30 g) flaked coconut, toasted (see Skills spotlight)

 MYO choc coconut rough

1 cup (250 ml) coconut oil

1 cup (100 g) unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup (250 ml) maple syrup

½ cup (35 g) shredded coconut, toasted(see Skills spotlight)



Grease a 5 cup (1.25 litre) loaf (bar) tin and line with two layers of plastic wrap. Our loaf tin was 17.5 cm (7 inches) long, 7.5 cm (3 inches) wide and 8 cm (3¼ inches) deep.

To make the choc coconut rough, melt the coconut oil in a saucepan. Stir in the cocoa powder and maple syrup until combined, then divide between two bowls. To one of the bowls, add the toasted shredded coconut, stirring to unite into a gritty goop I like to call ‘mocklate’. The bowl without the coconut will be destined to become the drippy sauce when you’re ready to serve, so cover it and set aside in the fridge until needed.

Take the ice cream out of the freezer and let it soften enough to be pliable. Spoon one-fifth of the ice cream into your lined loaf tin, smoothing the surface. Add 2 tablespoons of mocklate and use a small palette knife or spoon to spread it evenly. Repeat the layering four more times, finishing with ice cream. Place in the freezer overnight.

When ready to serve, gently warm the remaining chocolate sauce in a small saucepan over low heat to loosen it a little, then allow to cool slightly.

Turn out the loaf onto a serving platter (I find chilling the platter helps to stop the bottom edges getting soupy too quickly) and remove the plastic wrap. Drizzle the sauce over and crown with the toasted flaked coconut. Slice and serve immediately.

Skills spotlight: Toasting dried coconut

Place the dried coconut in a cold frying pan over low to medium heat and toss or stir continuously for a minute or so, until it becomes a light golden colour. Once it starts to colour it will do so very quickly — it might even be worth switching off the pan and letting the residual heat finish things off.



Images and text from The Joy of Better Cooking by Alice Zaslavsky, photography by Ben Dearnley. Murdoch Books RRP $49.99. Learn more at