Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
How-To

How to Make Semifreddo

A step-by-step guide to making this lush, creamy frozen Italian dessert.

Sarah Breckenridge, videography by Gary Junken and Mike Dobsevage, edited by Cari Delahanty
Save to Recipe Box
Print
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Print
Add Recipe Note

Text and recipes by Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein

Having written two cookbooks about frozen desserts, we’re ready to proclaim which one is the very best. Sorry, gelato and ice cream lovers—semifreddo is the winner. A staple in most restaurants in Italy, semifreddo is like fluffy, sliceable ice cream, but better. We think it’s the richest, most luscious, and probably most decadent member of the frozen dessert family.

Meaning “half cold” in Italian, semifreddo maintains a soft, velvety texture, even right out of the freezer. Because it contains so much sugar and air, it will never freeze into a hard, dense block the way ice cream does. And since you don’t need an ice cream maker or any other special equipment to make it, it’s easy to whip one up whenever the craving strikes.

Get the recipes:

Raspberry-Balsamic Semifreddo

Apricot-Thyme Semifreddo

Chocolate-Hazelnut Semifreddo

Bonus recipe:
White Chocolate and Sour Cherry Semifreddo

There are three components to a semifreddo—whipped cream, zabaglione, and Swiss meringue. The whipped cream adds richness and air to the dessert. The zabaglione, a light and foamy Italian sauce of egg yolks, sugar, and flavorings, does the same but also lets you change the flavor of the semifreddo by adding liqueurs, chocolate, fresh herbs, or fruit. Finally, thick, glossy Swiss meringue (a mixture of egg whites and sugar), adds yet another level of sweetness and loft. Fold those elements together, freeze in a loaf pan, slice, and serve. You’ll swoon, we swear.

Semifreddo, in Six Easy Steps

1. Whip the Cream: Whipping heavy cream in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters keeps it very cold so it can reach its loftiest potential. Stop the mixer the moment the cream has reached stiff peaks.

2. Make a zabaglione: Beating the zabaglione ingredients over simmering water cooks them gently; don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water, or the eggs may scramble. The zabaglione is done when it’s thick and foamy and the beaters leave a ribbony trail when you lift them.

3. Make a Swiss Meringue: Gently cooking the meringue ingredients over the same simmering water streamlines the recipe and yields fluffy, glossy results. To prevent the eggs from overcooking once the meringue is glossy, continue beating it off the heat until very thick and billowy, like marshmallow fluff.

4. Fold together: When folding the components together, use a large silicone spatula and long, gentle strokes to preserve as much air in the mixture as possible. Stop as soon as no streaks remain.

5. Add swirls:
If adding swirls of jam at the end, don’t overmix lest you lose the effect; just one or two long strokes of the spatula should do it.

6. Freeze, then serve:
Smoothing any wrinkles on the surface of the frozen semifreddo is easy to do with a warm knife or small offset spatula.

Text and recipes by Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein

Having written two cookbooks about frozen desserts, we’re ready to proclaim which one is the very best. Sorry, gelato and ice cream lovers—semifreddo is the winner. A staple in most restaurants in Italy, semifreddo is like fluffy, sliceable ice cream, but better. We think it’s the richest, most luscious, and probably most decadent member of the frozen dessert family.

Meaning “half cold” in Italian, semifreddo maintains a soft, velvety texture, even right out of the freezer. Because it contains so much sugar and air, it will never freeze into a hard, dense block the way ice cream does. And since you don’t need an ice cream maker or any other special equipment to make it, it’s easy to whip one up whenever the craving strikes.

Get the recipes:

Raspberry-Balsamic Semifreddo

Apricot-Thyme Semifreddo

Chocolate-Hazelnut Semifreddo

Bonus recipe:
White Chocolate and Sour Cherry Semifreddo

There are three components to a semifreddo—whipped cream, zabaglione, and Swiss meringue. The whipped cream adds richness and air to the dessert. The zabaglione, a light and foamy Italian sauce of egg yolks, sugar, and flavorings, does the same but also lets you change the flavor of the semifreddo by adding liqueurs, chocolate, fresh herbs, or fruit. Finally, thick, glossy Swiss meringue (a mixture of egg whites and sugar), adds yet another level of sweetness and loft. Fold those elements together, freeze in a loaf pan, slice, and serve. You’ll swoon, we swear.

Semifreddo, in Six Easy Steps

1. Whip the Cream: Whipping heavy cream in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters keeps it very cold so it can reach its loftiest potential. Stop the mixer the moment the cream has reached stiff peaks.

2. Make a zabaglione: Beating the zabaglione ingredients over simmering water cooks them gently; don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water, or the eggs may scramble. The zabaglione is done when it’s thick and foamy and the beaters leave a ribbony trail when you lift them.

3. Make a Swiss Meringue: Gently cooking the meringue ingredients over the same simmering water streamlines the recipe and yields fluffy, glossy results. To prevent the eggs from overcooking once the meringue is glossy, continue beating it off the heat until very thick and billowy, like marshmallow fluff.

4. Fold together: When folding the components together, use a large silicone spatula and long, gentle strokes to preserve as much air in the mixture as possible. Stop as soon as no streaks remain.

5. Add swirls:
If adding swirls of jam at the end, don’t overmix lest you lose the effect; just one or two long strokes of the spatula should do it.

6. Freeze, then serve:
Smoothing any wrinkles on the surface of the frozen semifreddo is easy to do with a warm knife or small offset spatula.

Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Videos

View All

Moveable Feast Logo

Season 4 Extras

Topping, VA (409)

Pete welcomes us to Virginia on this episode of Moveable Feast, where we meet skilled oystermen Ryan & Travis Croxton, as well as chef Dylan Fultineer. Dylan brings Pete to…

View all Moveable Feast recipes and video extras

Connect

Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks