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Chocolate-Hazelnut Semifreddo

Scott Phillips

Servings: 8

Based on the classic pairing of chocolate and hazelnuts, this luscious, creamy frozen dessert gets its hazelnut flavor from Nutella, an Italian hazelnut-cocoa spread available at the supermarket. Be sure to use a dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids to temper the Nutella’s sweetness.


  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbs. whole milk
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate (70% to 85%), finely ground in a food processor (1-1/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 370
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 230
  • Fat (g): 25
  • Saturated Fat (g): 12
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6
  • Cholesterol (mg): 135
  • Sodium (mg): 115
  • Carbohydrates (g): 32
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 5


  • 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

  • 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 maintain a gentle simmer. Put the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the milk 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 sides of 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 pan from the heat, leaving the bowl over the water. Fold the chocolate and Nutella into the zabaglione until melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and 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 1/4 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

  • Use a silicone spatula to gently fold the zabaglione into the meringue and then fold in the whipped cream until no streaks remain.
  • 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.


Rate or Review

Reviews (7 reviews)

  • InigoMontoya | 03/07/2016

    Made the Raspberry Balsamic, which was a huge hit ... then this one, that is out of this world. I was confused by the chocolate measurements, since it doesn't seem like 4 oz = 1 1/4 cups ... I went with three 1.5 oz bars (and a bit more Nutella) and it was fine.

  • Kikiak | 09/04/2013

    I made this today for this evening's dessert and accidentally whipped 4 egg whites instead of 2, and even with that little mix up this is one of the best desserts I have ever had! It's like frozen, nutella flavored silk! :)

  • skydog | 08/06/2013

    This was a light and delicious dessert. Word of warning - not good for an outdoor event in high tempuratures. Turned to a puddle quickly.

  • DerekF | 07/30/2013

    The writers are right. Better than ice cream and gelato. The people I served this to said it was the best dessert they had ever eaten, and they weren't exaggerating.

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