This delicious half-frozen dessert is among the best Italian sweets you can make at home. It is creamy and tasty , with velvety texture. A perfect combination between lemon and chocolate that is worth trying!
What kind of dessert is that
Semifreddo was one of the multiple Italian desserts I fell in love with from the first bite. When it was offered to me in a cozy countryside Trattoria, I was totally clueless what kind of dessert it could be.
Afterwards I learned that it was a typical frozen dessert, different than gelato or ice cream. The literal translation of semifreddo is “half cold”: most probably because it is consumed after staying at room temperature for several minutes.
This otherwise fantastic dessert has one little problem: the original recipe calls for raw eggs. And one thing I am not willing to do is to offer to my audience recipes that might not be 100% safe to eat. For that reason I tried to fix the problem in the only possible way: to cook the eggs while beating them.
I found these instructions very helpful and followed them mostly. Eventually I made a semifreddo that was not too sweet but very smooth and tasty. Mmmm, I think I have to make a new one pretty soon.
What ingredients you need
For this recipe you need just simple ingredients that you can easily find in the stores around you:
- egg whites and yolks
- whipping cream
- lemon zest & juice
- limoncello: this is an Italian liqueur with a nice lemony taste. You can alternatively skip it by adding some more lemon juice and zest.
Find the complete list of ingredients and their quantities below the post, in the recipe card!
To make the semifreddo, you need to make three separate mixtures and combine them. These are:
Lemon Zabaglione: made of the egg yolks, sugar and the lemon juice, extract and limoncello. You need to whisk them on a double boiler until the mixture thickens.
Egg whites: again beaten on a double boiler
After preparing the three mixtures, make sure their temperatures are more or less equalised, before combining them.
I really hope you would like my semifreddo! If you made it, please share in the comments your experience!
If you like Italian-style desserts, check out also the following ones:
- Easy Strawberry Charlotte
- Tiramisu without eggs and alcohol
- Raffaello Cake (Almond Coconut Cake)
- No Bake Amaretto Cheesecake
Lemon and Chocolate Semifreddo
- 1 cup/ 200 g sugar
- 4 egg whites
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp/ 30 ml limoncello
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- 3 tbsp/ 50 g Nutella, or other chocolate spread
- ⅞ cup/ 200 g heavy cream, cold
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp citric acid, or cream of tartar
- In a medium heatproof bowl combine egg yolks, lemon juice, limonchello, lemon zest and half of the sugar. Whisk the ingredients over a pan with shimmering water (double boiler) The bowl should not touch the water so make sure the pan is filled only at the bottom and the bowl is large enough to stay on the top.
- Whisk for about 10 minutes, scrapping often the sides of the bowl. When the mixture starts thickening, remove the bowl from the heat and set aside to cool (15-20 minutes).
- Meanwhile in another heatproof bowl combine the remaining sugar with the egg whites, salt and citric acid. Beat with an electric mixer (or just whisk) over the same pan with simmering water for about 5 minutes, until thick and stiff. Remove from heat and let cool (15-20 minutes).
- In a separate chilled bowl whip the cold heavy cream for 3 to 5 minutes until stiff.
- Combine the yolk mixture with the whipped cream, carefully folding with a rubber spatula. Gently fold in also the egg whites.
- Pour half of the semifreddo mixture into a loaf or a rectangular pan leaned with cling film. Warm up the chocolate spread and spoon it on top, creating thin lines.
- Pour the rest of the semifreddo on top of the chocolate and cover the pan tightly with cling film. Freeze for 6 to 8 hours.
- Before serving let the semifreddo stay out of the freezer for about 10 minutes. Cut it in slices or make scoops.