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Chocolate Semifreddo

Jul 14, 2012 | From the kitchen of Rose

The Ultimate Chocolate Quick Fix


It takes under 5 minutes to make, and 30 minutes to chill in the freezer. The short visit to the freezer gives it an addictively firm texture.

Chocolate is not my top favorite flavor unless it is wonderful. My first love is vanilla and then caramel, followed closely by lemon. So when I tell you that this is one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted--trust me!

No one would believe that this rich chocolate semi-frozen cream is made with cocoa not chocolate. I chose cocoa because it has much less cocoa butter which becomes very hard when chilled. The egg yolk adds shine, silkiness of texture, and enhancement of flavor.

Makes almost 1 cup (2 servings) It can be multiplied to make many servings








1/4 cup

1.7 ounces

50 grams

unsweetened cocoa powder (alkalized)

1/4 cup

1 ounce ounces

30 grams


a tiny pinch




1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces)

2 ounces

60 grams

heavy cream

1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces)

4 ounces

116 grams

1 large egg yolk, preferably Safest Choice Pasteurized

1 tablespoon

0.6 ounce

18 grams

pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon



Set a strainer over a medium bowl, near the cooktop.

In a small saucepan whisk together the sugar, cocoa, and salt. Whisk in the milk until smooth. Then whisk in the cream.

Over low heat, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute until thickened.

Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the egg yolk and vanilla. Scrape the mixture into the strainer and press it through. Then divide it between two pot de crème containers or 6 ounce custard cups. Cover tightly and freeze 30 minutes. If not ready to serve, refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving time. 30 to 45 minutes in the freezer results in the best texture. (When a dessert is called "semifreddo" it means semi-frozen.)

Take a spoonful and bliss out!


Hi! Your semifreddo recipe was nominated as one of the "Best 300 Semifreddo Recipes on the Net". To vote for it, please visit http://easyitalianrecipes.org/dessert-recipes/best-300-italian-semifreddo-recipes-on-the-net-vote-for-your-favorite/ - your recipe is positioned at #174 (random order).


Thanks for the recipe - it was like a chocolate pot de creme made like a chocolate pudding! For my taste 15g of sugar was enough - I found 50g overwhelmingly sweet.


cynthia, i didn't take the temperature as i didn't find it necessary. when it thickens, which is very quickly, it's ready!


I have Semifreddo twice now..It is delicious and addictive. I would love to know what the temp should be at the remove from heat stage.


Thanks for your quick response - I understand now and will try again! Laura


Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Laura
08/ 7/2012 12:37 PM

Hi Laura,
Semifreddo means "semi-frozen". The texture should be in a semi frozen state like a soft ice cream. We suggest you try it again and keep checking every few minutes after the initial 30 minute freezing until it is firmer.
Rose & Woody


I made this twice this weekend and while delicious, it didn't thicken very much. In reading the recipe again, I may have misinterpreted the final state. Is it supposed to be frozen until it solid (or close to solid)? Or is it supposed to be chilled in the freezer until very cold, but not frozen? I chilled until cold, but it was soupy - thought I did something wrong. I ended up using it as a base for chocolate mousse (brought it to room temperature, added melted chocolate and whipped cream - turned out great!). Would still like to understand how it is supposed to be made. Thanks for your help


Hello Rose and Woody,

Thanks for your reply. Please I just want to refer you to the caramel sauce recipe. I can't find it in RHC, but what I saw was Caramel Ganache.

Can I leave out the chocolate to make the caramel sauce and use it on Ice-creams.




Will be trying this soon...thanks for sharing tidbits of your dad with us :)


Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Sandhya
08/ 3/2012 04:30 PM

Hi Sandhya,
We suggest you check with some vegan websites for potential substitutes.
Rose & Woody


Can the egg yolk replaced with something else to give the same result as I prefer not to use eggs. Thank you.


Hi Wale.
This dessert as described in the recipe has a firm texture from freezing and designed to be served by itself.
Combining the semifredo with cake maybe like a sandwich cookie, we can only suggest through experimentation.
Rose & Woody


Hello Rose,

Please I will like to know if this Chocolate Semifreddo can be used as a filling for a cake. I want to pair it with some cakes and I hope it will stay intact.




The Safest Choice Pasteurized egg is not available to me in So. California. Is there another brand of egg of the same caliber?


Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Jeanne
07/22/2012 02:41 PM

Hi Jeanne,
Our preference for a flourless chocolate cake is The Cake Bible's Chocolate Oblivion, which is less sweet than Lora Brody's and the several beta noire recipes posted on websites. Rose's recipe whips the whole eggs and derives its sweetness and flavor from the chocolate chosen for making it.
Over the years, it has been my most requested cake.
Rose & Woody


Sort of related (well, ok not really) - I would love to have you analzye/explain a bete noire recipe. Lora Brody's recipe was published in the NYT back in '83; and it would be great to have your explanation on technique!


you are the fortunate first sherrie!

there's little more exciting than discovering something amazingly wonderful that is actually quick and easy to do. thanks for the feedback.


Ummmmn! I just made this and it IS delicious! A great summer dessert that is so easy to make. Thanks for sharing this, Rose!


Sounds wonderful! Thank you Rose! My children will love it.


oooh oooh oooh I cannot wait to try this as I was just thinking yesterday how I could turn chocolate into a cold dessert. I will be making this soon.


Looks great, and it will be perfect for this hot weather we're having. Looking forward to trying it!


That looks divine, Rose!


Will be making this soon!



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