Last time, we covered a recipe for an espresso semifreddo. This time around, we'll be tackling another variation to the frozen dessert that takes inspiration from a marble cake. The core base will be flavored with vanilla, then mottled together with a ganache (chocolate melted in hot cream) in the recipe.

For those who still don't know, a semifreddo is pretty much a frozen dessert that sits somewhere between an ice cream and a mousse. Both recipes start with a custard sauce for a base, then chilled in a freezer. However, where they differ is how they are aerated.

While an ice cream is churned and chilled simultaneously in an ice cream maker, a mousse is aerated with a meringue (whipped egg whites + sugar) before it's chilled.

The process of making a semifreddo can be daunting to those who aren't familiar with custard based desserts. However, as long as you can maintain focus for following a recipe to the letter, the rest is history.

The recipe

Custard Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Ganache Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 pinch salt


  1. Grease the inside of a 7-inch loaf pan and cover it with plastic wrap. At least enough to overlap on some of the exterior.
  2. To make the whipped cream, pour the heavy cream into the chilled bowl and beat with the chilled whisk until it forms stiff peaks. This completes the whipped cream. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.
  3. To make the zabaglione, separate the yolks from the whites and place each in a thoroughly cleaned bowl. Add 1/4 of the sugar to the bowl containing the yolks and place the bowl over a saucepan filled up to 1/3 with simmering water. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until the mixture volumizes, turns thick and leaves a film on the side of the bowl.
  4. For the meringue, combine the remaining sugar and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan. You can use the same simmering water to make up the amount needed. Boil until it forms a syrup and set aside. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. While the whites continue to beat, slowly drizzle in the sugar syrup and continue beating until stiff peaks forms. Do not overbeat or the peaks will become dry.
  5. To complete the custard base, fold 1/4 of the meringue into the zabaglione using a rubber spatula until fully mixed. Fold the zabaglione into the remaining meringue until fully mixed.
  6. To make the ganache, bring the heavy cream to boil in a saucepan. Chop the chocolate and place into a bowl with the salt. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate and whisk together until the chocolate completely melts and is fully combined. Let the ganache cool to room temperature.
  7. To mottle the semifreddo base with the ganache for the marble design, keep the bowl containing the two desserts separate and assign a spoon to each. Use the spoons to them into the plastic lined loaf pan. Cover the loaf pan and chill in a freezer for 6 hours or overnight. Also, chill a large plate for serving it.
  8. When it's time to serve, turn the semifreddo out onto a large plate, slice and serve.

Serves: 8

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