ounces of good-quality dark chocolate, melted
teaspoon vanilla extract
ounces of store-bought chocolate brownies, chopped
Place chocolate in a medium-sized heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan of simmering water and using a spatula stir until the chocolate has melted. Set aside.
Place the eggs, extra yolks, vanilla, and sugar in a large-sized, heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan of simmering water and, using a hand-held electric mixer, beat for 6 to 8 minutes or until the egg mixture becomes thick and pale. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the cream until stiff peaks form. Using a large spatula, gently fold through the egg mixture until well combined. Fold in the melted chocolate and brownies. Pour into 2 loaf pans and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Grease a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan. Line the pan with plastic wrap, letting the wrap hang over the short ends by about 1 inch. Freeze until ready to use. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form cover and refrigerate.
In a double boiler, using a handheld mixer, beat the eggs and sugar at high speed off the heat until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Place over simmering water and beat at high speed until almost doubled in volume, about 8 minutes transfer to a large bowl.
In a small bowl, microwave the chocolate-hazelnut spread until melted, about 30 seconds. Stir into the egg mixture until almost blended. Let cool for about 20 minutes. Fold in the nuts then, working in 3 batches, fold in the whipped cream. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 6 hours or overnight. Using the plastic overhang as handles, lift the semifreddo from the pan. Cut into 1-inch slices and serve immediately.
Passover Raspberry Semifreddo and Chocolate Brownie Sandwich Loaf
With Passover coming up soon, I was inspired to create a recipe dairy-free, kosher for Passover, raspberry flavored version of a Semifreddo with lots of chocolate. Semifreddo is an Italian dessert concept usually involving some frozen cream, ice cream and or cake. I have to say the first one I ever had was a tangerine version and the delight I took in eating it stuck with me for a long time. I will also serve a lot of nut cookies and a Pavlova and fruit and just maybe berry crisp with my kosher for Passover special crisp topping I dreamed up a couple of years ago.
I filled two loaf pans, 10 x 3 x 4 inches or you could use two medium size pans. Line the loaf pans with plastic wrap going both directions and overhanging the pan by about 5 inches on each side. The overhang will be used to wrap the semifreddo and when you unwrap the overhang it makes it easy to pull the semifreddo out of the pan to slice and serve.
This needs to be frozen for 8 hours or overnight before proceeding with the assembly.
1 and 1/ 2 cups chopped toasted almonds
6 extra large egg whites, room temperature
1 and 3/ 4 cup dairy-free, kosher for Passover whip (if not worried about dairy-free use whipping cream if you prefer)
2 cups fresh raspberry puree (smash fresh raspberries through a sieve to remove seeds and just leave thick pulp.
1 and 1/ 2 cups whole fresh or frozen raspberries
This recipe requires several parts be prepared and created before the whole thing can be assembled.
- For almond brittle, heat oven to 350° F. Spread almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 7-10 minutes. Almonds burn very fast, so don’t walk away. Turn off oven and leave almonds in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove almonds from oven and let them cool off. Almonds can be stored in an airtight container once cooled and this step can be done even a week ahead.
- Line a baking sheet with a Silpat and set aside
- Make sugar syrup. Place sugar and water in a small heavy bottomed saucepan. Place pan on medium-high heat and watch as sugar melts and turns to a golden amber color. You may swirl pan but do not stir.
- The moment the right color is achieved, stir in toasted almonds. Stir almonds and caramelized sugar to coat all and pour brittle out onto silpat lined baking sheet. Spread it out fast, thin as you can, since it sets up very quickly. Do not touch with fingers this burns. Set aside to cool.
- When it is completely cool, chop brittle into coarse chunks.
- For meringue, set egg whites and salt in bowl of a stand mixer with a balloon whisk ready to whip.
- For syrup, place 1 and 1/ 4 cups sugar in a heavy bottomed small saucepan with water. Melt sugar and water then, bring sugar to a boil, without stirring. Cook until temperature reaches 238° F on a candy thermometer. The sugar will not turn color this time.
- When sugar begins to melt, begin whipping egg whites until soft peaks form. Sugar syrup reaches 238° very rapidly.
- As soon as sugar comes to the right temperature remove saucepan from heat and carefully pour in a slow steady stream into beating egg whites from as high up as you can aim and hold pan. Egg whites will instantly become glossy and stiffen.
- Continue to beat egg whites on high until they cool off or about 5 more minutes, set aside.
- Whip non-dairy topping until stiff. Add in sugar and beat for a second more.
- Place meringue in a large bowl fold in 1 cup of whipped topping to loosen. Add almond brittle, raspberry puree, and the rest of whipped topping. Fold together using a large spatula, gently reaching all the way under and giving a turn. Try to minimize deflating the meringue.
- Lastly, add fresh or frozen raspberries and gently spoon semifreddo mix into prepared loaf pans. Bring up sides of plastic wrap to seal. Place loaf pans in freezer until ready for next step.
- Make two recipe of Passover Individual Brownies and instead of making them in muffin tins Pour batter into two parchment lined rimmed baking sheets.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, remove from oven and cool. Wrap baking sheets in foil when cool and freeze.
- Remove brownie sheet pans from freezer, invert onto cutting board and peel off parchment paper. Measure loaf pan used to mold Semifreddo and cut two chocolate brownie rectangles to fit.
- Prepare 2 foil wrapped pieces of cardboard larger than the loaf pans. Remove first Semifreddo from freezer, unmold with plastic wrap still on. Carefully unwrap one .
- Place brownie rectangle on prepared cardboard, and place Semifreddo on top of brownie and cover with another brownie rectangle. Return to freezer as Semifreddo melts quickly. You can wrap in plastic later after it gets hard again. Repeat for second loaf.
- After several hours or several days you may glaze and cover.
Chocolate Glaze: (make it twice)
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, from bars kosher for Passover
3/ 4 cup margarine (must be kosher for Passover) or butter
3 tablespoons Safflower oil, kosher for Passover
3/ 4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened, kosher for Passover
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (C&H is pure cane sugar kosher for Passover)
- Prepare a double boiler. Heat chocolate, water, margarine, and oil in top of double boiler (I use a glass dish over a saucepan).
- Stir all until melted together. It will not look smooth or shiny. Remove bowl from double boiler and place on counter.
- Combine cocoa powder and sugar and pour into bowl of melted chocolate. Stir until sugar dissolves and glaze is smooth and shiny.
- Let glaze cool until thickened slightly but still pourable.
- Remove Semifreddo from freezer,
- Pour glaze over top and try to get sides, smooth sides quickly. Place Semifreddo back in the freezer to set up.
- To serve cover in whole fresh raspberries, slice like banana cake or pound cake and garnish with more whipped topping or raspberry puree.
Two loaves for two Seders!! or a big crowd.
Chocolate dessert recipes
Italy loves chocolate – if that wasn't clear already, it soon will be with our collection of chocolate dessert recipes. You only have to look at Francesco Bracali's stunning Shapes, tastes and textures of chocolate recipe to understand the country's love affair with the stuff.
Chocolate is a vital part of Italian dessert tradition, and Italian chefs are doing amazing things with it these days. Daniele Usai's winter-inspired Chocolate, coffee and hazelnut dessert is a gorgeous assemblage of textures and flavours, fantastic for anyone who wants to challenge themselves, whilst Manuela Zangara goes for something rather more classic with her Chocolate semifreddo – perfect for a summer's day.
Vegans still have cause for celebration too. Both Cristina Bowerman and Fabrizio Marino have developed vegan chocolate desserts with their respective Vegan chocolate gelato and Vegan tiramisu recipes, proving that everyone can enjoy chocolate these days. Read on for more chocolate inspiration.
Double-Chocolate Skillet Brownie
This double-chocolate brownie with crunchy pecans and ice cream is the perfect dessert for the whole family to share this Mother's Day.
Since 1995, Epicurious has been the ultimate food resource for the home cook, with daily kitchen tips, fun cooking videos, and, oh yeah, over 33,000 recipes.
Limoncello & raspberry semifreddo
Line the base of a 1kg loaf tin (19cm x 12cm x 9cm deep) with baking parchment. For the semifreddo, mash the raspberries and half the sugar in a bowl with a fork. Whisk the cream, the rest of the sugar and the limoncello to soft peaks. Beat the crème fraîche briefly so it is in soft peaks like the cream. Gently fold the cream mixture and crème fraîche together.
Pour the mashed raspberries into the cream and give a few stirs only - just enough to swirl it through the creamy mix. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and smooth the top.
For the coulis, mash the raspberries, sugar and limoncello with a fork, then push through a sieve.
Open-freeze (see 'Try' below) the semifreddo then cover with cling film and foil and freeze for up to 1 month. Pour the sieved coulis into a rigid container and freeze for up to 1 month.
To serve, thaw the coulis in the fridge overnight. Thaw the semifreddo in the fridge for 1 hr. Remove it from the tin and peel off the lining paper. Drizzle with a little of the coulis and scatter some raspberries over the top. Serve in slices with the rest of the coulis.
Strawberry Semifreddo Recipe
Semifreddo is Italian for half-cold, and the name refers to desserts made from whipped cream mixed in equal amounts with ice cream or frozen custard. In Italy, gelato, a frozen dessert much like ice cream, but with a lower butterfat content, is the dairy ingredient in semifreddo. The desserts can be made at home without using an ice cream maker by chilling homemade custard in the freezer or using commercially prepared ice cream.
When the whipped cream is added to the frozen dessert, air is incorporated as well, which keeps the semifreddo from freezing solid again. The same effect has also traditionally been achieved by mixing in a meringue made from egg whites, but it is not generally advised to eat raw eggs now. The taste and texture of semifreddo has been compared to mousse, and it melts in the mouth quicker than ice cream.
Most dessert makers who create semifreddo with homemade frozen custard start by creating a custard base called creme anglaise in French and zabaglione in Italian. It’s a heated mixture of milk, egg yolks and sugar to which flavorings like almond extract or vanilla can be added. The dessert base is then chilled in an ice bath and mixed with the whipped cream. The dessert is then placed in the freezer until it is cold, firm and ready to be served.
Strawberry Semifreddo Recipe
5 mins to cook (plus 6hrs freezing time)
- 500g (1lb 2oz) strawberries, hulled, plus a few extra (whole), for decoration
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 200g (7oz) caster sugar
- 400ml double cream
- biscotti, to serve
Line a 13 x 23cm (5½in x 9in) loaf tin or small brownie pan with non-stick baking paper.
Halve the strawberries and crush with a potato masher to make a chunky purée.
In a large glass or heatproof bowl, add the eggs, yolks, vanilla and sugar. Place over a saucepan filled with 1 inch of water. Using an electric whisk, beat the mixture over the simmering water for 4 minutes. Remove and continue to whisk until thick, frothy and completely cool.
Whip the double cream and fold into the egg mixture along with half of the strawberry purée.
Spoon some of the strawberry mixture into the bottom of the tin and then cover with ¼ of the semifreddo. Cover with more of the purée and repeat until it’s full.
Freeze covered for 4-6 hours until frozen. When ready to serve, cut into thick slices or spoon out with an ice-cream scooper. Serve with little biscotti and extra strawberries.
Double Chocolate Brownie Semifreddo - Recipes
Before starting this blog, I promised my husband I wouldn’t air out his dirty laundry online. That was, of course, so long as he managed to put in in the hamper where it belonged. Jokes aside, both Brett and I have learned a lot through this blogging venture and he’s been really supportive by listening to ideas, stories, ingredient lists and technical woes. While I’m certainly able to go to him about the vast majority of my blog-related needs, the disparities between mine and Brett’s food preferences have become more and more apparent since the recipe testing began months ago. Exhibit A: Peach semifreddo with blackberry mint compote.
If you’re thinking to yourself right now, “what is semifreddo?”, then you and Brett are tracking on the same page. Upon first hearing of semifreddo and spotting it in the freezer, Brett made his patented stink face and asked me if I had any cookies instead. Truth be told, it’s not much to look at while it’s resting in the freezer, but sliced on a plate with a warm smattering of compote, this semifreddo has effortless good looks to boot.
Semifreddo means “semi-frozen” and is a fluffy, mousse-like dessert made up of whipped cream, eggs, and sugar. The air incorporated during the whipping process causes this little sweet treat to freeze up light and airy, similar to the consistency of frozen whipped topping, making it 100% mouth-meltable and refreshing.
I first tried semifreddo only recently at Bottega, one of my favorite restaurants in Birmingham, and proceeded to have dreams about roasted strawberries, toasted pistachios, and this newfound love of mine. Even more recently, I purchased the fruit-heavy cookbook by food blogger goddess Yossy Arefi called “Sweeter off the Vine: Fruit Desserts for Every Season.” Her take on semifreddo includes roasted rhubarb and it is an absolutely stunning addition to the book. In a cookbook filled with numerous promising recipes, the rhubarb semifreddo called my name and I knew I had to give it a try.
We’ve already established that ice cream has a major place in my heart (Exhibit B: confetti ice cream cake, mocha brownie fudge ice cream, and apple crisp ice cream ), but semifreddo is really quite different. I love this recipe because it feels like a more polished dessert option than ice cream and because both the peach semifreddo and the compote can be made up to a week in advance, it’s a terrific make-ahead option for a crowd. With sweltering summer months just around the corner, I’m happy to have this recipe in my arsenal as a potential late night treat for Brett and I to snack on.
If you’re not a fan of peaches, feel free to roast up a different fruit like strawberries, plums, or raspberries and swirl that in instead. The blackberry compote is an entirely optional addition to this recipe, however, I certainly recommend it. The contrast of the tart berries against the sweet and creamy peach semifreddo is really delightful. I also chose to top my dessert with a dollop of whipped cream, mainly because I have a hard time not believing everything is better with a little cloud of cream and sugar on top.
Give this recipe a try and be sure to check out Yossy’s book here. The recipes and images are gorgeous and it’s definitely a book you’ll want on your shelf this year. Happy Wednesday!
Double Chocolate Brownie Semifreddo - Recipes
3/4 cup raspberries, fresh or thawed frozen
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp unbleached granulated sugar
2 oz dark chocolate, chopped (I used Lindt brand)
1. Add the raspberries to a small bowl and lightly mash them with a fork set aside.
2. Whisk the eggs with the sugar in a medium heat-safe bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water and whisk continually until the mixture thickens. It should go from a golden caramel-colored liquid to a yellowy-beige thickened liquid. It should take about 10-15 minutes of whisking. An electric hand mixer can be used to whisk as well.
3. Once the egg mixture has thickened, remove it from the pan and continue whisking it until it's completely cool.
4. Stiffly whip the cream, then fold in the raspberries and cooled egg mixture.
5. Line a rectangular loaf pan with plastic wrap and sprinkle the chocolate on the bottom. Pour over the ice cream. Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving. Turn the semifreddo out the the pan, remove the plastic wrap, and slice.
150g (just over 1/2 packet) of plain biscuits (I used milk arrowroot)
1 can condensed milk
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
100g milk chocolate, melted
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla essence
1. First of all, preheat your oven to 180C. Then line your ramekins well (depending on the size of your ramekins you should be able to get 4-6 serves). Cut some strips of baking paper to use as handles underneath your dessert. Draw around the base of your ramekins onto some baking paper and then cut out the circle to fit inside the base of your ramekins. First place the strip of paper inside the ramekin (you could use 2 and cross them over) so that the ends are hanging out on both sides, then place the circle on top of the strip in the base.
2. Now start with the base. Put the biscuits into your food processor and pulverize to small crumbs. Mix the butter in with a spoon (or your hands if you feel like getting dirty). Press into the base of your ramekins. Put into the oven for 8-10 minutes.
4. When ready to remove the ramekins from the oven put them straight into the fridge to cool down. Leave them there until completely cool and hard to the touch.
3. In the meantime, make the caramel. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the golden syrup and condensed milk. Stir for 6-8 minutes over medium heat until thickened. If you cook it over too high a heat it may burn slightly and you may get small chewy brown bits through the caramel. This apparently doesn’t alter the taste but if it happens you can always push the caramel through a sieve before using.
4. Once your caramel is made leave it to the side and whip the cream. Whip the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form and then transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
5. Now once your bases are cold, remove them from the ramekins and create collars with baking paper around the bases. Tape them tightly with masking tape (you will be putting the caramel in here so you want to make sure they are tight). You could put the collars inside the ramekins from the start and cook everything in them, but this didn’t work as well for me since the caramel is so sticky it was hard to get them out of the ramekins even with the ‘handles’.
6. Dollop approximately 3-4 tbsp of caramel onto the bases (use all the caramel and make sure they are all even). Put into the oven and cook for 20 minutes at 180C.
7. Once the caramel is cooked, it should brown around the edges, put into the fridge to cool completely (at least an hour). Once cool, start making the mousse, leaving the caramel in the fridge while you do so.
8. Add the egg yolks to your smallest mixer bowl and mix on medium speed until pale and creamy (about 5 mins).
9. Meanwhile, add the sugar, water and golden syrup to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue boiling until the yolks are ready.
10. Turn the mixer to low speed and pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl, mixing into the yolks.
11. Remove bowl from the mixer and stir in vanilla essence, pinch of salt and melted chocolate.
12. Remove the whipped cream from the fridge and using a whisk, stir 1/3rd of the chocolate mixture into it. Once combined whisk in the remainder of the chocolate mixture.
13. Push the mousse mixture through a sieve to remove any uneven bits.
14. Add the mousse evenly to the caramel slices and refrigerate for 4-6 hours (or overnight).*
15. When ready to eat, remove from the fridge and place on some plates. Carefully remove the collars, the caramel is very sticky so go slowly so the paper doesn’t stick. You can serve them with whipped cream if you want, we had them without and found it fine (the mousse is very creamy and light after all).
* I put them in the freezer after a couple of hours in the fridge because we wanted to eat them that night and they stayed there for almost 2 hours and they were pretty well set but melted quickly once taken out. They keep very well in the freezer. The caramel didn’t freeze, and while the mousse did freeze it had the consistency of ice cream so didn’t even need to wait to thaw and we ate them straight from the freezer.
Above is the exact recipe I used, however if I made it again I would use dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate in the mousse. I think the dark chocolate would cut through the sweetness of the caramel better than the milk chocolate. My guinea pig (aka my brother) also would have preferred less mousse on top, I personally liked the amount of mousse on top, but I do have a sweet tooth. Reduce it or not based on your own preference.
Finally I would also say if you are serving several people and don’t want to make individual portions (or don’t have enough ramekins to do so) then you can make this as a whole cake (but probably double the base and caramel recipes). If you want to make one big cake I would insist on using a spring form tin, otherwise I think you will have a lot of trouble getting it out of the pan.