I have to be completely honest here, prior to Irene enlightening me to her incredible semifreddo dessert recipe (below), I had never made one before. You are probably thinking “big deal?”, but for someone who is as obsessed with frozen desserts as I am, this is absolutely crazy to me! Anyway, let’s talk about this dessert: Chocolate, hazelnuts, espresso…do I really need to convince you any further? The best part about this semi-“cold” dessert is that it has a silky texture almost like a frozen mousse, due to the whipped cream and meringue, and it is very similar to ice cream but it is half the work! There is no making of custard or need for churning! Excuse me, I’m getting a little excited, but do you blame me!?
Coffee flavoured desserts are my favourite because they help “pick-me-up” after a heavy meal. The kick of espresso makes this a perfect dessert, in my opinion. It is really easy to make this dessert look beautiful too: I used a knife to square off the edges and then I added fresh berries, chopped dark chocolate and leftover roasted hazelnuts to the top and around the serving dish.
I have to confess something else to you all, I know I say below that this dessert yields enough for 10-12 servings however when I made Irene’s recipe, my husband and I ate the entire semifreddo in one sitting (we could be gluttons sometimes!) So my disclaimer here is this, it can serve 10-12 adults but one slice is never enough!
- 2 cups (500 mL) 35% table cream
- ¾ cup (175 mL) icing sugar
- ¼ cup (60 mL) brewed cooled espresso coffee
- 6 egg whites
- ¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (60 mL) chopped hazelnuts, toasted
- 6 oz (175 g) semi-sweet chocolate, grated
- Line a 2 to 2.5 L loaf pan with plastic wrap so it hangs over the edges of pan.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat cream on high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in icing sugar until combined. Stir in cooled espresso and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Meanwhile, in a stainless steel bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and beat on high until well blended.
- Fold hazelnuts and chocolate into whipped cream mixture until well combined. Fold cream into egg mixture.
- Pour into prepared pan and smooth top with spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight. Remove plastic wrap, slice and serve.