Monday, June 6, 2011


Want to make your own frozen dessert but don't have an ice cream maker? Semifreddo is not only easy to make, it requires very few ingredients. It's consistency falls in between a mousse and ice cream, with the taste of frozen custard. It can be made in pies, used for ice cream cakes, or just the old fashioned way (in a pan).

I have posted two different recipes. The chocolate recipe is meringue based, so it's a bit fluffier. The lemon recipe is custard based, making it a tad bit richer and denser.

You can take either recipe and add any flavoring of your choice. Nutella, berries, any citrus fruit, coffee, and coconut are just a few a options. Both recipes call for 1/2 cup of the flavor base, so take it to town with your creativity. Another option is to fold in nuts or berries for additional texture.

The recipe calls for a 9 x 13-inch pan, but semifreddo can be made in any mold. Whether you are having a dinner party and want individual plates, or just want to scoop it out, I have added a quick plating tutorial at the bottom of the page.

Milk Chocolate Semifreddo:

8 oz (1/2 cup) milk chocolate*
1 cup heavy cream
2 egg whites
1 cup sugar

* I bought two bars of Lindt (both weighing 4.4 oz each) and took off a few squares for garnish


Whip cream to a soft peak and refrigerate.

Chop or break up chocolate and melt over a double boiler.

Combine egg whites and sugar and whisk over a double boiler til hot to the touch (about 3-4 minutes). If you have a thermometer, the technical temp is 170°.

Beat the egg white-sugar mixture with a handheld electric mixer until stiff peaks form and the egg whites are shiny and glossy ( about 3 to 5 minutes).

Gently fold the cream into the chocolate, then fold the meringue into the chocolate/cream mixture. Fold in nuts/berries if desired.

Pour into prepared pan (chocolate garnish is optional) and freeze at least 4 hours.

Lemon Semifreddo


1/2 cup pistachios (chopped)
1 3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups sugar
7 egg yolks
1/2 lemon juice (Meyer lemons are preferred, but not necessary)
1 TBS grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp salt


Same prep (without the melted chocolate)

Whip cream and refrigerate.

Heat sugar, lemon juice/peel, salt, and yolks over a double boiler to 170°. Beat custard until thick and double in size (about 4-5 minutes).

Fold cream into custard and pour into pan. Freeze.

*See plating below for use with pistachio garnish.

Different plating methods:

Cutting slices

Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with plastic wrap, leaving extended overhang. Sprinkle pistachios on the bottom of the pan and pour in the custard. Freeze.

Once frozen, lift out the semifreddo (using your plastic overhang) and place on a cutting board. Wet your knife in warm water and dry off with a clean towel. Cut.

Ramekins or molds:

Pour custard into molds and freeze for at least 4 hours.

Run the ramekin under warm water (especially the bottom).

Run a paring knife or small offset spatula around the edge of the mold.

Invert onto a cold plate.

Garnish with pistachios.


Do I need to explain this?

Want a layered semifreddo? Cut the recipe in half and make two batches with different flavors. Pour first custard into the pan and refrigerate the other portion. Freeze for 45 minutes and pour second flavor on top. Freeze for at least 4 hours.

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