chocolate semifreddo




Sometimes you feel like running 10 miles... and sometimes you just can't get out of bed. Sometimes you can read all of "War and Peace" in one sitting... and sometimes you can't stop binge watching House Hunters International. Sometimes you feel like making ice cream... and sometimes you don't. THIS is the recipe for those times.

I found this recipe in my inbox thanks to the NY Times Cooking pages. If you don't receive the NY Times Cooking section emails, you should. It's worth the subscription price. The Food Editor, Sam Sifton, can both give you the encouragement to get into your kitchen and the reassurance that everything will be ok despite the state of world affairs. 

According to Sifton and his team, this recipe is an adaptation of Marcella Hazan's "Semifreddo di Cioccolato." Sounds fancy and delicious already, doesn't it? Allora, "semifreddo" means "semi-frozen" in Italian. (That was a "Master of None" reference. As an aside, I think Season 2 is some of the best tv out there right now.) Anyhoo... the semifreddo isn't quite as frozen as ice cream... it's really more of a frozen pudding or mousse. Sounds good, I know.

There aren't a lot of ingredients or a lot of tricky steps. The most time-consuming process is grating the chocolate. (Use the best ingredients possible... don't skimp on the chocolate. I like Guittard.) The trickiest thing is to be sure that your mixing bowl is completely cleaned and dried after beating the heavy cream and before whipping the egg whites.

That's it. It really is a perfect make-ahead Summer party dessert.

Chocolate Semifreddo, makes 2 loaf pans

  • 2 cups heavy cream, very cold
  • 1.25 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4 oz. semisweet baking chocolate, finely grated
  • 6 large egg whites

Line two loaf pans with parchment paper. Prep your ingredients by grating the chocolate on the smallest holes of your box grater and by sifting powdered sugar into a separate bowl. Add cold heavy cream to a chilled stand mixer bowl. Using the whisk attachment, whisk until cream is the consistency of buttermilk, i.e. not fully whipped. Add powdered sugar to the cream a little bit at a time. Once fully blended and the cream has thickened, mix in the grated chocolate.

Remove mixture to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set in fridge. Thoroughly wash and dry the stand mixer bowl and whisk. Add egg whites to the bowl and whisk until whites thicken and peaks form, but stop before it becomes dry. Remove whipped cream from the fridge and fold in egg whites.

Pour semifreddo into the two loaf pans, evening out the tops with a rubber spatula. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze overnight. Remove from the freezer a few minutes before serving. Flip semifreddo out of loaf pans onto a plate, peel off the parchment paper, and slice. Feeling fancy? Decorate the plate with fresh berries or a drizzle of chocolate syrup.