Semifreddo alla Cioccolata

Frozen Chocolate Dessert

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Preparation info

  • Makes



    Appears in

    Great Italian Desserts

    By Nick Malgieri

    Published 1990

    • About

    This is the most suave and velvety of all chocolate desserts, in my opinion. Use a fine-quality chocolate for best results.


    • cups heavy whipping cream
    • 2 tablespoons white rum
    • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1⅓ cups sugar
    • cup water
    • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
    • 5 large egg whites
    • Pinch salt


    Combine the cream and rum and whip until it begins to hold its shape but is still soft and smooth. Set aside in the refrigerator.

    Bring a small pan of water to a boil and turn off the heat. Combine the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl and place over the pan of water. Stir occasionally to melt the chocolate and butter. After the mixture is melted and smooth, remove the bowl from the pan and cool the mixture.

    Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a saucepan, preferably one with a pouring lip. Stir well and place over low heat, stirring often and washing the inside of the saucepan with a clean brush dipped in cold water to prevent stray sugar crystals from accumulating there. When the syrup boils, insert a candy thermometer, increase the heat to medium, and continue cooking the syrup until it reaches the soft-ball stage, 240 degrees.

    As soon as the syrup begins to boil, combine the egg whites and salt in a clean, dry mixing bowl and whip the whites, either with a hand mixer set at medium speed or in a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the whip. If the egg whites seem to be becoming stiff or grainy before the syrup has reached 240 degrees, add 2 tablespoons sugar and decrease the speed of whipping to the lowest setting. When the syrup reaches the desired temperature, pour it over the egg whites while they are whipping on medium speed and continue whipping until the meringue has cooled. (If using a hand mixer, move the mixer all around inside the bowl while adding the syrup to distribute it quickly.)

    After the meringue has cooled, fold in the chocolate mixture, then the whipped cream. Pour the semifreddo into a -quart mold or soufflé dish or two -quart loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze. Unmold as for Semifreddo all’Amaretto. Decorate with the chocolate shavings.

    Chocolate shavings for finishing


    Semifreddo alla Gianduja — Chocolate-Hazelnut

    Frozen Dessert

    Toast 1 cup hazelnuts, rub off the skins, and reduce to a paste with 2 tablespoons butter in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add to the chocolate mixture before combining with the meringue.