Zabaglione Semifreddo

You might like to serve this with a few biscuits on the side (you can even use a firm biscuit rather like a spoon, to scoop up the semifreddo). Don’t be discouraged as you are whipping the eggs: they will become very thick and fluffy eventually. The bowl you whip the egg yolks in must sit comfortably over the pot of simmering water. You can make this in 12 individual pudding pots that are freezer suitable or one large loaf mould.

Ingredients

  • 500 ml (2 cups) whipping cream
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 230 g (1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • about 125 ml (½ cup) marsala
  • 1 long espresso coffee (60 ml/¼ cup)
  • 30 g (1 oz) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely grated or chopped

Method

Whip the cream until it is very thick, ribbony and almost buttery looking. Put it in the fridge for now and wash your beaters. Put the egg whites in a large bowl and leave aside for now.

Put the egg yolks in a wide, heatproof bowl. Add the sugar, Marsala and coffee and whisk together well. Half fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil, then lower the heat to very low and sit the bowl over the simmering water. The water must not touch the bottom of the bowl, so tip out a little bit if necessary. Start whisking and continue until the zabaglione is very thick and ribbony and looks almost like marshmallow. It should cling to your whisk as you work. (The egg on the side of the bowl may start to look like scrambling as it gets close to ready, so just keep whisking this back in well.) Remove from the heat and leave to cool for a bit, mixing now and then.

Whip the egg whites to very fluffy stiff peaks and gently fold the slightly cooled zabaglione into the egg whites. Then fold in the cream with a large metal spoon. Hold the bowl firmly with one hand and fold with the other in long sweeping circles to incorporate all the cream, egg whites and zabaglione smoothly, without deflating the texture.

With the large spoon, dollop the mixture into twelve 180 ml (6 fl oz) pudding pots or ramekins so that they are very full and peaking over the rims. Or spoon it into one large serving dish that is suitable for the freezer. Put straight into the freezer and freeze for a few hours before serving. Serve either directly from the pots, with a scattering of chocolate over the top, or spoon out with a large tablespoon in one swift scoop. Either way, the zabaglione should be taken out of the freezer 5–10 minutes before serving so that it is not rock hard.