Chocolate Orange Semifreddo

Published July 1, 1997.

Why this recipe works:

Our ideal semifreddo recipe, which is something of a cross between a custard and ice cream, features a light vanilla mousse speckled with crushed amaretti cookies and nuts and frozen in a loaf-shaped mold, served in thick slices with a pot of bittersweet chocolate sauce for drizzling. Touched… read more

Our ideal semifreddo recipe, which is something of a cross between a custard and ice cream, features a light vanilla mousse speckled with crushed amaretti cookies and nuts and frozen in a loaf-shaped mold, served in thick slices with a pot of bittersweet chocolate sauce for drizzling. Touched by the warm sauce, the semifreddo immediately begins to melt, blurring the line between cool, airy cream and smooth, rich chocolate. To develop this recipe, we started with a cooked, or Italian, meringue, in which a hot sugar syrup is poured into the egg whites as they are beaten. Because the syrup cooks the whites, the meringue becomes more stable and, we hoped, better equipped to stand up to the addition of other ingredients. This did in fact prove to be the case, and so we went on to make several different versions of the dessert as well as a bittersweet chocolate sauce to pour over it.

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Serves 8

When whipping cream during warm weather, you’ll get the best results if you chill the bowl and beaters in the freezer for at least twenty minutes first. In this recipe, try to coordinate the sugar syrup reaching 238 degrees and the egg whites reaching soft peaks stage. But don’t despair if they are out of sync. Beating the whites can be interrupted just before they reach soft peaks, and resumed at any point. If the syrup heats beyond 238 degrees, you can cool it by adding a small amount of cold water; one tablespoon should cool the syrup about 7 degrees, and you can add as many as four tablespoons if need be.

Ingredients

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