Semifreddo al Cioccolato

Italian Chocolate Ice Cream Parfait

This very easy dessert has a name which means almost cold or frozen, indicating a different texture to the smooth creaminess of the classic gelato. Semifreddo comes in many versions and almost always contains some form of alcohol to ensure that the mixture retains a certain softness. When removed from the freezer, it may be rather hard, so allow it to stand for a little while until it slices easily.


  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 oz best quality baking chocolate
  • ¾ cup superfine sugar
  • cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 handfuls of crushed meringues


  1. Measure out cup of the milk and finely chop the chocolate. Place the milk in a saucepan, stir the chocolate into the milk and melt it very slowly over a very low heat. Stir constantly until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat.
  2. Place the remaining milk in a second saucepan with the superfine sugar. Heat until the sugar has dissolved but without boiling.
  3. Pour the hot sweet milk into the chocolate mixture and beat together thoroughly until smooth. Continue to beat until cooled completely.
  4. Place the cream in a large bowl and whip until stiff, then beat the confectioners’ sugar through it. Stir the vanilla extract into the cream, then fold the cream into the cooled chocolate mixture. Add the brandy and crushed meringues.
  5. Turn the mixture into a loaf or ring mold and freeze for about 4 hours, bearing in mind that the brandy will prevent the dessert from freezing completely.
  6. Remove from the freezer, slice into wedges, and serve in a pool of bittersweet chocolate.

To Serve

melted bittersweet chocolate