What is a Semifreddo? The most popular and delicious Semifreddo recipes

What is a Semifreddo? The most popular and delicious Semifreddo recipes

 Semifreddo is an Italian dessert of Italian ice cream, typically served in a ceramic or glass bowl. Some recipes call for the addition of chocolate syrup, whipped cream, grated chocolate, or toasted almonds as ingredients. A Semifreddo is also known as a freddabonee in some dialects of Australia and New Zealand. It features at bakeshops but also at catering facilities that provide food for weddings and parties. 

Semifreddo originated in Italy

Semifreddo originated in Italy

What is a Semifreddo?

Semifreddo is a very soft, creamy, and light frozen role with a texture similar to that of ice cream. It is usually served in a small bowl or as a sundae, whereas tarts and cakes serve only at restaurants or cafes.

Semifreddo recipes usually call for liquefied/melted heavy cream or crème fraîche (or both) as the base. Sugar and eggs are the usual ingredients, although other ingredients such as chocolate, coffee (espresso), nuts, or citrus fruits may be added.

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The name originates from the Italian language term “Semifreddo”, meaning “half cold”, because it is neither traditional ice cream nor frozen mousse; instead it is somewhere between soft and hard frozen desserts. In Italy, it is usually served with an accompaniment of crushed almonds or cacao powder. A similar dessert in South Africa known as a Freddo is made with evaporated milk and sugar. A Freddo is also a very popular frozen dessert in Australia and New Zealand.

This dessert originated in late 18th century Italy, when it was first mentioned in the cookbook “Cucina pronta per le cucine dei lavoratori” (published 1785), which was a collection of many recipes from around Sicily. Preserved milk and sugar provided the original liquid for Semifreddo. In recent history, it has now been used more frequently with other ingredients such as chocolate sauce or other syrups.

Since milk and whipped cream are used as the base of this dessert, its main ingredients are sugar, eggs, and butter. It is considered an elegant and refreshing frozen dessert.

The preparation of this dish requires careful attention to detail, in order to make it homogeneous. Once the ingredients are placed into the bowl, beat them together and leave them in the refrigerator for about an hour. It takes about half an hour for it to freeze solid, which can be sped up by placing it in a freezer with a temperature that is a few degrees colder than 0 ˚C (32 F).

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Semifreddo is a very soft, creamy

Semifreddo is a very soft, creamy,…

The most popular and delicious Semifreddo recipes

Semifreddo chocolate

Ingredients for Semifreddo chocolate

  • Heavy cream (500 milliliters): 2 cups
  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 5 tbsp (90 grams) sugar
  • Chop coarsely 2 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder for dusting the top of a Semifreddo chocolate dessert.

How to make Semifreddo chocolate dessert

  • Take some ice cream wafers and place them in the bottom of the bowl. Top with plastic wrap and freeze to harden for 35 minutes. While waiting, preheat the oven to 350 ˚F/ 180 ˚C/Gas Mark 4. Remove ice cream from the freezer and carefully remove plastic wrap. Spread chocolate syrup evenly on top. Return it to the freezer, adding more ice cream wafers for another 10-15 minutes to freeze.
  • Beat cream and milk together in a chilled bowl until they form stiff peaks. While beating, add sugar little by little until it is all incorporated and beat for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove Semifreddo from the freezer and gently fold the whipped cream into the mixture until smooth and uniform (or use an electric mixer). Return to the freezer immediately or freeze in the refrigerator until frozen hard.
  • Remove Semifreddo from the freezer 30 minutes before serving. Remove from bowl and sprinkle with cocoa powder for a great-looking dessert. Slice in 1-inch pieces and serve immediately.
  • Serve this dessert at room temperature with some vanilla ice cream on top of it, or put it back in the freezer for 15 minutes before serving cold.
  • Semifreddo chocolate is a favorite among those who love their chocolate desserts. It is very easy to make and can be served as a light dessert at parties or anytime you want something sweet without too much sugar after a meal.’

Semifreddo chocolate

Semifreddo chocolate

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Semifreddo mascarpone

Ingredients for Semifreddo mascarpone

  • 4 eggs, separated.
  • 3 cups (750 milliliters) whole milk/heavy cream.
  • Heavy cream (500 milliliters): 2 cups.
  • 250 milliliters of milk (one cup).
  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) milk.
  • 2 tbsp sugar + 1 tbsp white sugar for the Semifreddo mascarpone dessert. For the Semifreddo dessert, you can use different kinds of flavored syrups and add others ingredients like chopped nuts or frozen berries. You can also add some chocolate sauce or chocolate-flavored whipped cream to it.

How to make a Semifreddo dessert [mascarpone]

  • For this dessert, separate the egg yolks and whites, so we will have 2 bowls; one with the yolks and one with the whites.
  • Add 1 cup milk (250 milliliters) to the yolks until they reach a consistency of a paste (a little more or less is okay).
  • To the egg white bowl add some salt and whip it until it forms soft peaks; about 3-5 minutes (if you are going to use an electric mixer beat until stiff peaks- this only takes about 1 minute). As you beat, slowly add the sugar.
  • Add the mascarpone and beat until it is uniform.
  • Add some chocolate sauce, whipped cream, chocolate or whatever you choose to use for garnish; you can add other ingredients like nuts or frozen berries.
  • Divide the Semifreddo dessert into two portions and serve immediately.
  • For a chocolate dessert, you can simply add some chocolate syrup on top of the milk mixture and serve.
  • Can be stored for 4 hours in the refrigerator or 3 days in the freezer after it has been prepared.

Semifreddo mascarpone

Semifreddo mascarpone

Semifreddo variations

Ingredients for Semifreddo variations

  • Heavy cream (250 ml) – 1 cup.
  • 4 egg yolks.
  • 2 cups (500 milliliters) heavy cream or milk.
  • 4 eggs, separated.

Preparation of Semifreddo variations

  • In a small saucepan, add the coffee to the heavy cream or milk and cook over low heat for about 2 minutes until hot but not boiling. This is going to be used for flavoring the dessert.
  • In another bowl, beat yolks and sugar together until a paste is formed; which has the consistency of honey. Beat egg whites with salt until it forms soft peaks (if you are using an electric mixer then beat until stiff peaks).
  • Add a mixture of egg yolks and sugar to beaten egg whites and mix well until it is uniform; add more sugar if needed.
  • Add ¼ cup of the hot mixture into the beaten eggs, mix well and then pour back in the saucepan with coffee and milk or heavy cream. Mix together well until a homogeneous mixture is formed.
  • Remove from the heat; pour into a small container and place plastic wrap on it so it will not be spoiled by air; cover this container with aluminum foil to seal out air and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
  • Take some ice-cream wafers, lay a sheet of plastic wrap on top of them, and freeze this mix for 30-45 minutes to harden (the more you freeze it the better).
  • Take Semifreddo mix from the refrigerator and pour it into the ice-cream wafers, place them back in the freezer for at least 20 minutes before serving to harden; this is optional.
  • Place Semifreddo on a serving dish or plate, add some chocolate sauce over it for garnish, and serve immediately; serve with ice cream on top.
  • You can also add some chopped nuts or berries to the Semifreddo dessert to change the flavor of it, which would be very good for children’s sweets (if you freeze the dessert further).

Semifreddo variations

Semifreddo variations

Semifreddo strawberry

Ingredients for Semifreddo strawberry

  • Heavy cream (500 milliliters): 2 cups.
  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) milk.
  • 4 eggs, separated.
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp sugar.
  • 1 ¼ cups (300 milliliters) heavy cream.
  • I need 1 14% of a cup of milk (300ml).
  • 3 tbsp sugar + 3 tbsp strawberry syrup for the strawberry Semifreddo dessert. You can also add other ingredients like nuts or frozen berries. You can make this a chocolate dessert by adding some chocolate sauce and mix it with some whipped cream for garnish. You can also make ice cream out of it by adding some frozen berries and nuts to it.

How to make a Semifreddo dessert [strawberry]

  • In a saucepan over low heat, add the milk (1 ¼ cups) and sugar (3 tbsp) and cook until it is hot but not boiling.
  • In another bowl, beat the egg yolks (4 eggs) until they are smooth and uniform, or use an electric mixer; add the hot mixture from the saucepan; mix well until all lumps are gone.
  • Slowly add some of this mixture into beaten egg yolks while mixing well to form a paste that is moist but not runny. Add the remaining hot mixture and mix well.
  • Add ¼ cup of hot mixture into beaten egg whites (3 eggs) and beat until it is uniform; add sugar slowly while beating.
  • Add the milk, cream, and vanilla extract into a pan and cook slowly until it is hot but not boiling; stir frequently to prevent scorching.
  • Add the hot milk mixture to beaten egg yolk and sugar mixture; mix well until it is uniform.
  • Reduce the heat to low/medium and continue beating until the temperature reaches about 75-80 degrees C or 165-175 Fahrenheit.
  • Pour into a small container, place plastic wrap on it so it will not be spoiled by air, and cover this container with aluminum foil, place in refrigerator for 4 hours; make sure you cover this well because we do not want to add any air into it while it is being semi-frozen or frozen (we don’t want a butter/cheese flavor in our Italian dessert).
  • Take some ice cream wafers and lay a sheet of plastic wrap on top; freeze the mixture for 30-45 minutes to harden.
  • Take Semifreddo mixture from the refrigerator, pour it on top of the prepared ice cream wafers, and place back in the freezer for 20 minutes before serving it to harden (this is optional; if you don’t freeze it there will be more water in it than its original state).
  • Serve Semifreddo on a serving dish or plate, garnish with fresh strawberries; serve immediately.
  • Can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 3 days after being semi-frozen or frozen.

Semifreddo strawberry

Semifreddo strawberry

Semifreddo lemon

Ingredients for Semifreddo lemon

  • Heavy cream (500 milliliters): 2 cups.
  • 6 egg yolks.
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar.
  • 4 egg whites (100 grams).
  • Lemon juice.

Preparation of Semifreddo lemon

  • In a medium saucepan, add the lemon juice to the 1 cup of heavy cream and cook over low heat for about 2 minutes; do not let it boil or else it will curdle. Use it once it has reached room temperature.
  • In a bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar to a smooth paste; add the hot mixture from the saucepan and mix well.
  • Beat egg whites with salt until they form peaks; add some of this egg white mixture to the egg yolk mixture; mix well and then pour back into the bowl with egg white and sugar mixture.
  • Add whole milk into the beaten eggs, mix well until uniform; remove from heat and continue beating it until it has reached 75-80 degrees C or 165-175 Fahrenheit.
  • Pour into a small container, place plastic wrap on top so it will not be spoiled by air (cover this container with aluminum foil to seal out air), and place in refrigerator for 4 hours. Make sure you cover this well because we do not want to add any air into it while it is being semi-frozen or frozen (we don’t want a butter/cheese flavor in our Italian dessert).
  • Take some ice-cream wafers, lay a sheet of plastic wrap on top of them, and freeze the mixture for 30-45 minutes to harden.
  • Take Semifreddo from the refrigerator and pour it on the ice-cream wafers, place it back in the freezer for 20 minutes before serving to harden (this is optional; if you don’t freeze it there will be more water in it than its original state).
  • Serve Semifreddo on a serving dish or plate, garnish with some fruit; serve immediately.
  • Can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 3 days after being semi-frozen or frozen.

Semifreddo lemon

Semifreddo lemon

Semifreddo whipped cream

Ingredients for Semifreddo whipped cream

  • Heavy cream (250 ml) – 1 cup.
  • 2 tbsp sugar.
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract.
  • 3 tbsp strawberries syrup, or chocolate syrup.

Preparation of Semifreddo whipped cream

  • In a bowl, beat ½ cup of heavy cream until it forms soft peaks; add sugar slowly while beating.
  • Beat the rest of the heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks; pour over beaten egg white mixture and beat it well. You can also add some fruit or berries to make a different kind of dessert or you can serve this with cake or ice cream, which would be very delicious as well.
  • Add a few drops of food coloring to make them more beautiful (if you do not have the food dye, it’s ok; just add some flavored extract).

Cooking notes for Semifreddo

  • You can use fresh cream or heavy cream with 10 – 20% of fat. If you are using fresh cream, you must use a double boiler to cook the eggs and milk mixture otherwise it will curdle.
  • The purpose of cooking the eggs and milk mixture or hot cream is to get rid of the lumps in the egg yolks. The best way to do this is to cook them together and by doing this you can get rid of the small lumps.
  • You can put a layer of plastic wrap at the bottom of a container so that it will not stick on it (as long as you cover it well with aluminum foil, air will not be able to spoil your Semifreddo).
  • If your mixture has not reached 75-80 degrees C, do not worry just pour it into a container and cover it with plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil; just make sure that there is no air inside.
  • If you want to increase the consistency of your Semifreddo, put it in the freezer for a few hours before serving and then gently whip it with a whisk.
  • If you make your Semifreddo into ice cream, it will have a soft consistency and be perfect as dessert; if you want to serve it on waffles or bread, make sure they are frozen first.
  • Semifreddo can be stored in a refrigerator or freezer for up to 3 days after being semi-frozen or frozen.

Semifreddo whipped cream

Semifreddo whipped cream

 

Semifreddo is easy to make, this is an Italian product that is light and has a frozen consistency. It can be served in many ways; you can serve it with ice cream or other frozen desserts, serve it as a dessert on its own or serve it as part of a big meal. There are different flavors of semi-frozen desserts you can try. The recipes I have given are just guidelines and you can add different flavors to make new flavors of Semifreddo.

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