Book Giveaway: Treasures of Sicilian Cuisine

March 8, 2011

To celebrate International Women’s Day, I’m giving away Treasures of Sicilian Cuisine.

Treasures of Sicilian Cuisine

To be eligible to win the book (published in Palermo and translated into English), just write a comment on this post or on one of my previous three posts between now and March 13. (I’ll randomly draw a name from a hat. You need to have an address in the U.S. or Canada.)




I concocted the very last recipe in the book: almond semifreddo with chocolate sauce.ย Semifreddo is what I always order for dessert in Sicilian restaurants so I was leery of a homemade version, but indeedy it measured up and sweetened my mood.

Almond Semifreddo with Chocolate Sauce, copyright Jann HuizengaBelow is the recipe; the adjustments I made are noted in italics. I actually ended up with 12 good-size ramekins of semifreddo, so unless you are feeding a tableful of Sicilian stallions, I’d recommend cutting the recipe in half.

Almond Semifreddo (Italian Soft Ice Cream), serves 8

12 oz shelled blanched almonds (I used less for a full batch, more like 8 oz)

2 cups whipped cream

1.5 cups fine sugar (I used less, knowing how teeth-achingly sweet Sicilian recipes can be)

4 eggs

7 oz dark chocolate

1 tbsp butter (I omitted this)

3 tbsp milk (I omitted this)


Pour 7 ounces (=1 cup, but I used a lot less) sugar in a saucepan with one (healthy) tablespoon of water and simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the almonds and stir until the sugar coats the almonds. Put on a greased marble board (I used a plastic cutting board without grease and it worked fine) and separate the almonds and let them cool. Separate the eggs. Beat egg whites stiff with a pinch of salt. Beat egg yolks and remaining sugar (=1/2 cup–I used a little less) until smooth. Mince the almonds (I put ’em in a plastic bag and smashed ’em) and add to the eggs, keeping 4-5 tbsp aside for the decorations (I forgot so I added a few chopped walnuts on top instead). Combine the whipped cream and the egg mixtures. Pour into a mold or several little molds (I used ramekins) and keep in the freezer for at least 8 hours (I took them out after 4 hours). Dissolve the chocolate, in a bain marie, in the butter and a few tablespoons of milk and simmer until smooth (I skipped the bain marie part, as well as the butter and milk and just melted some good chocolate with a dab of water in a heavy enamel pan). Remove semifreddo from mold (I dunked the molds in a little hot water to help release it) and top with the hot melted chocolate and minced almonds.


See my Ode to Sicilian Women here.


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46 comments to Book Giveaway: Treasures of Sicilian Cuisine

  • madeline

    ciao jann, i would love to win your book, you sent me an email stateing you would love to make some sicilian desserts. tell me which one, and i will send the recipe to you. i like sicilian cookies and cakes, especially for the holidays. blessings madeline

  • What a scrumptious recipe! Let’s share some after I return to Santa Fe… Can’t wait to catch up!

  • Karen

    Stumbled on your site via my sister-in-laws FB page, love it! Love Italian food! My grandmother and grandfather were from Sicily – Naso and San Piero Pati. Ciao!

  • That cookbook looks great! Please enter me in the drawing. Have been enjoying your blog for some time. Was in Sicily recently and ate very well indeed. Would love to go back and explore more of the smaller towns.

  • Kelly

    I bought that book at the gift shop in Segesta. I have been meaning to try the almond recipe. I love everything almond.

  • Thanks for the inspiring blog & chance to win this book – one can never have too many Italian cookbooks!

  • Wow, I am so glad I found you and your site, how very cool! My father is from Ragusa Ibla and we still have relatives there I go as often as I can. My dream is to have an old place in Ibla and restore it I look forward to reading more on your blog. I will comment again, in a rush now…semi freddo looks awesome! My other half is Calabrian so I pay homage to both through my paintings at where you can see works from Ibla as well! ciao for now and keep blogging! Liana.

  • Dennis Berry

    I like the way you build a semifreddo look at the plans and then start hammering and sawing.

  • Varntzen

    I am gong to try this on Saturday. Am counting the days until we get to Sicly in June.

  • Gagasue

    Thanks so much for making Sicily come alive for all of us. Great words and photography.

  • Hi Jann,
    Thanks for the recipe, and the chance to win!

  • may

    that cookbook looks amazing, as does your recipe! now i just need a midnight snack!

  • Rosa

    Ciao, I would love this cookbook! I was born in Sicily..came to America at two years old.It was my 64th Bday March 7th.,and I really, really want/need it! I’m getting older and forgetful..due to Illness. That is why I would love and cherish this book! Grazie, Rosa


    ciao Bella-

    Do I dare try for another book? You bet! And I want some semifreddo right now!
    YUM! Thanks for the recipe. And oh—where do I find a tablefull of Sicilian stallions:):):)


  • liz

    Looking forward to trying all the recipes in this book as soon as I get it in my hands… After a 7 month long kitchen redo, I am ready to cook again, and this book would be the answer…

    • Jann

      Liz, that sounds like a patience-exhausting experience, but I hope your new kitchen is everything you hoped for!

  • amy

    I’d love to win this book! I miss my old life in bella Sicilia dearly, so every one of your posts is a way for me to see what I’m missing. It makes me happy and sad at the same time. Thanks Jann!

    • Jann

      Hi Amy–You’re having that re-entry, reverse culture shock! I’m sure Sicilia misses you, too. Thanks for reading & commenting.

  • Corinne

    I just found your blog by searching “Americans living in Sicily blogs.” It looks wonderful. I spent a week in Sicily for the first time 2 summers ago and had the opportunity to visit the hometown of my grandparent’s, Termini-Imerse. Not only did I fall in love with this beautiful place,but I gained a deeper understanding of my father and his family. Looking forward to following your blog.

  • one of my best friends is from sicily!

  • Jann, that looks so delicious! If I may ask, why did you omit the butter and milk? I can so see myself eating not one, but two of these! Pardon the gluttony but there are certain things in life where one helping isn’t enough! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jann

      Bella, I’m always trying to steer clear of butter, and in my opinion, it isn’t at all necessary in a good melted chocolate… i prefer to just add a tad of water to a pan, drop in the chocolate bar, melt it and voila.

  • Cathy

    Oh Jann that looks soooo goood!!! I see no problem with the 12 servings ๐Ÿ™‚ What a great give-away!!! I grew up next door to a family (and am still close friends with them to this day, across the miles)whose Dad was from Sicily… hence my love for Italy and Italian food.. I look forward to the day I can return for a visit. Good luck to everyone!


  • Mmmmm, yummy yummy! Or in Italian “gnam gnam!”. If it involves chocolate I have to try it… Though isn’t it a bit sadistic to put up a recipe like this just as we enter lent? ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Margo

    We’re going to Pisa next week and I will look for some semifreddo to compare with your recipe!

  • Ciao Jann! You did a wonderful job with your homemade semifreddo (semifreddo fatto a casa)! adoro anche le mandorle. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Grazie per aver pubblicato la ricetta! Metto il link al blog sul mio Twitter! (a proposito, se su Twitter? io scrivo anche a Twitter in Italiano…e come fare un mini-blog ogni giorno. C’รจ un sacco di informazione e i link agli articoli che trattano di Italia su Twitter…vieni a trovarmi: italiamelissa Ciao! Un abbraccio! Melissa

  • Cheyenne

    I am new to your blog and found you through Bleeding Espresso. Have added you to my favorites! My nonno was Sicilian and talked about the island constantly. I am hoping that my husband and I will be able to visit someday!

    What a lovely blog and a generous giveaway ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ashleigh

    I would love to win this book!

  • Daniel

    Hallo Jann,

    This looks great. I found your blog via a tip from Michelle (Bleeding Espresso) and am enjoying going through the old posts. I have limited knowledge of Italian cuisine south of Naples, but I’ve been interested lately in learning more–this book looks like a great starting place.


  • teresa

    Ciao, Jann!

    The book, recipe – entire website is absolutely gorgeous! Mia Nonna came to the states from Sicily. I have yet to find a better cook than her. I never thought of looking for a Sicilian cooking book but this one sure has inspired me! Thanks so much for offering a giveaway and good luck to all on the contest!

  • Amy

    That looks so yummy! We’re leaving Sicily next week and I’m very sad. This cookbook will be great to remember all the wonderful food we’ve eaten the past three years while living here.

  • sounds yummy, will try!!

  • Anything that tastes this good should be eaten with gusto!

  • I can’t resist a good semifreddo and this one swimming in chocolate sauce looks divine.

  • Susan

    This will make a fun and elegant dessert for my next family dinner,I know everyone will just love it.I will need toake a full recipe …our crowd is usually at least 12.I love the cookbook giveaway too…please enter me!

  • Ciao! I just literally stumbled upon your blog (using StumbleUpon) — loving what I’ve seen! I’m just over the Strait in Calabria, and I’ll be telling others about your blog (and giveaway) for sure ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jann

      Thank you so much Michelle! And to all your readers for taking a look at my site & commenting….

  • Happy Women’s Day to you too! What a sweet giveaway- thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ciao Jann, Yumm…. can’t wait to try it and I even think that we have all the ingredients available here! Grazie, Diana

  • Ciao Jann,
    Was it as good as Locondina?
    Send me one of your extras!

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