Semifreddo is one of those delightfully creamy cold desserts everyone has to try. Like most Italian desserts, its name says it all. Semifreddo stands for "half cold" and that's pretty much what people get with this dessert. Despite it undergoing freezing, the dessert maintains a soft and silky consistency. It's also quite aerated much like ice cream. This is because its practically a frozen mousse which, like ice cream, is made from a prepared custard. However, it's aerated with a meringue as opposed to being churned in an ice cream maker in the recipe.

How to make Semifreddo

Making a Semifreddo isn't something anyone can approach happy-go-lucky. The recipe requires great care with every component. These include a prepared zabaglione (egg yolks and sugar whipped over simmering water), a meringue (whipped egg whites and sugar), whipped heavy cream, and flavoring. Most of these components require beating/whipping to provide the Semifreddo with its trademarked aerated consistency. As such, it is advised to use an electric mixer to lighten the workload. Once all the components are prepared, they are folded into each other in the order given, then the mixture is chilled in a mold for several hours before serving.

For this recipe, the flavoring will consist of a fusion of chocolate and espresso.

For the chocolate, a regular chocolate bar of choice will do; no need to go all out on this one. As for the espresso, all confectioners should have already grown accustomed to using instant espresso powder for their baked goods. Finally, this Semifreddo will be garnished with chocolate shavings. These can be sourced from another chocolate bar but plain cocoa powder will also do.

The recipe


  • 1 cups heavy cream
  • 2 chocolate bars
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso
  • Chocolate shavings for garnish


  1. Chill a bowl and the beaters for an electric mixer in the freezer overnight for the heavy cream. The following day, whip the heavy cream in the chilled bowl with the electric mixer until it forms stiff peaks. Seal the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  2. Put one of the chocolate bars in a bowl over a saucepan filled to the 1/4 with simmering water to melt but don't let the water touch the bowl. Whisk the chocolate as it melts it to remove any lumps. Remove the bowl from the heat and cover it with plastic wrap, pushing the plastic down on the chocolate to ensure no skin forms when it cools.
  3. Crack open the eggs and separate the whites from the yolks among clean bowl. Combine the egg yolks, 1/4 of the sugar, and coffee powder in a clean bowl placed over the same simmering water. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until the mixture doubles in size become thick and foamy inconsistency, and leaves a trail in the bowl. This is the zabaglione.
  4. Fold the melted chocolate into the zabaglione in batches using a rubber spatula until fully incorporated.
  5. Beat the egg whites in the bowl with the electric mixer fitted with clean beaters on medium speed until they form soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar by the tablespoon while the whites are beating to form stiff but not dry peaks. This is the meringue.
  6. Gently, fold 1/4 of the meringue into the chocolate/zabaglione mixture with the rubber spatula until incorporated. Do the same with the remaining meringue.
  7. Pour everything into a parchment-lined 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and cover gently with plastic wrap. Chill in a freezer for 3 hours or overnight. Also, chill an appropriate large plate for serving it.
  8. When it's time to serve, turn the Semifreddo out on the chilled plate. Shave the remaining chocolate bar by its long side with a peeler and decorate the top of the Semifreddo with the shavings.

Serves: 8