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Raspberry-Balsamic Semifreddo

Scott Phillips

Servings: 8

Semifreddo is like fluffy, sliceable ice cream, but better; the richest, most luscious, and probably most decadent member of the frozen dessert family. In this version, syrupy aged balsamic vinegar lends a wonderful complement to the tart raspberries. Crème de cassis or raspberry syrup can be used instead of the Chambord.


  • 1-1/2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 6 oz. (1 cup) fresh raspberries
  • 5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup Chambord (black raspberry liqueur)
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 Tbs. aged balsamic vinegar

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 320
      Fat Calories (kcal): 180
      Fat (g): 20
      Saturated Fat (g): 11
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6
      Cholesterol (mg): 175
      Sodium (mg): 110
      Carbohydrates (g): 31
      Fiber (g): 1
      Protein (g): 4


  • Thoroughly chill a large metal bowl and the beaters of an electric hand mixer. Line the bottom and long sides of a 9×5-inch loaf pan with a 12×20-inch piece of plastic wrap, leaving 4-inch overhangs on the long sides. Smooth the plastic along the sides and into the corners; it’s OK if there are wrinkles. The plastic will not completely cover the short sides.

Whip the cream

  • Beat the cream in the chilled bowl with the chilled beaters on medium-high speed just until firm peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Refrigerate.

Make the zabaglione

  • Using the back of a wooden spoon, press the raspberries through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Scrape any purée from the bottom of the sieve into the bowl and set aside.
  • Clean and dry the beaters. In a 4-quart saucepan, bring 1-1/2 inches of water to a boil over high heat and then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Put the egg yolks, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the Chambord in a medium metal bowl and set the bowl over the pan of simmering water; make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Beat on medium speed, frequently scraping down the bowl with a silicone spatula, until the zabaglione is thick, almost doubled in volume, and the beaters leave a trail when you lift them, about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the pan and fold the raspberry purée into the zabaglione until combined. Set aside.

Make the meringue

  • Clean and dry the beaters. Return the pan to the heat and maintain the water at a gentle simmer. Put the egg whites, the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar, the cream of tartar, and salt in a large metal bowl and set it over the pan of water. Beat on medium speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a clean silicone spatula, until light, fluffy, and shiny, about 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the pan and continue beating until the meringue is very thick and billowy, about 2 minutes more.

Fold and freeze

  • In a small bowl, whisk the raspberry jam and balsamic vinegar until smooth.
  • Use a silicone spatula to gently fold the zabaglione into the meringue and then fold in the whipped cream until no streaks remain. Dollop the jam mixture over the top and fold it in with just a few long, gentle strokes to create swirls.
  • Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula, scraping off excess if necessary to create a level top. Wrap the overhanging plastic over the top to cover and freeze for at least 6 hours and up to 3 days.

Unmold and serve

  • Peel back the plastic wrap from the top of the semifreddo. Invert the pan over a cutting board or serving platter. Lift off the pan, holding the overhanging plastic down on one side and then the other. Remove the plastic wrap. If the semifreddo looks wrinkled, warm a long knife or small offset spatula under hot running water, wipe the blade dry, and run it over the wrinkles to smooth them out.
  • Slice the semifreddo crosswise into 1-inch-thick pieces to serve.


If you have only regular (instead of aged) balsamic vinegar on hand, simmer 2 Tbs. until reduced by half, cool, and use as directed below.


Rate or Review


  • Amy2 | 10/08/2014

    I have just finished making this, and it made way too much to fit into a 9 x 5 loaf pan. I filled a second 9 x 5 pan to 2/3 full! It tastes wonderful, but more delicate than I had hoped. I wanted something that would be a zing of taste at the end of the meal. This won't do it, unfortunately. Next time I will use just 1 cup of heavy cream, which is the amount called for in the other two semifreddo recipes; this recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups. There might be a more intense flavour without all that cream. Still good, though.

  • namest | 12/09/2013

    I'm not an ice cream person but my husband is and when he declared, "I don't know why you'd ever buy ice cream again!" I rolled my eyes (since he wasn't around when I made it). A bit of effort well worth it for a special occasion. I might increase the jam portion next time since I think I would've liked a thicker "swirl". Holds up well even a few days if you just put it back in the loaf pan and recover. I thought it tasted best when out of the freezer about 10 minutes before serving. Garnish plate with fresh raspberries and a mint sprig and it's a lovely Christmas desert.

  • User avater
    MotherMalone | 08/22/2013

    This was amazing. I made the raspberry and balsamic recipe for a family gathering and wowed everyone!The video certainly gives one confidence, though the recipe is actually quite forgiving, so one shouldn't be discouraged by all the steps.I thoroughly recommend adding this to your 'favourites'.

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