This past Sunday we had a little gathering with some friends I had not seen in a while. I wanted to do
something special for dessert to celebrate the occasion. Semifreddo, Italian for "semi-frozen", seemed to be the perfect thing. There are several ways to make a semifreddo and a lot of different flavors, but you know me and my chocolate obsession, it wasn't hard choose.The texture feels like a frozen chocolate mousse. I also added coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor even more. Another great thing about this dessert is that you can make it ahead of time, way ahead since it's frozen, it will stay good for a while.
I also made a salted caramel sauce to drizzle the semifreddo, they are a match made in heaven. I always like to have caramel sauce in my fridge. It's just a great complement for many desserts, even for fillings!
For the Chocolate Semifreddo:
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
3 tbsp powder sugar
1 cup pistachios, chopped
1 tbsp of instant coffee dissolved
in 1/2 tbsp of hot water
Line a 9 by 4 1/2 loaf pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap, set aside.
Heat 1 cup of heavy cream in a sauce pan. In a bowl, mix together the sugar, cocoa powder, coffee and egg yolks. Slowly, pour the hot cream into the mixture whisking constantly until well combined. Pour the mixture back into the sauce pan and cook over low heat, stirring continuously until the mixture is thick (custard-like consistency) about 3 minutes. Be careful not to boil the mixture. Remove from the heat and cover (the surface) with plastic wrap. Let it cool for about 30 minutes. Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. In a clean bowl, whip the remaining heavy cream until soft peaks form, add the powder sugar and whip until stiff and glossy. Gently, fold in the whipped cream into the chocolate custard, then fold in the egg whites. Carefully, fold in the chopped pistachio. Transfer the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 24 hours.
For the Caramel sauce:
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 tsp sea salt
Mix the water and sugar in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves then Increase the heat and boil until the sugar turns a golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the butter. Once the butter is melted, carefully pour in the cream and milk (it will bubble up) and continue to cook for another minute or two. Add the salt and mix well.
I like the caramel to be a little on the runny side, that's why I like to add milk. Also, when
the caramel cools down, It will thicken more.
Participating in The Gelati e Semifreddi contest