Espresso Semifreddo under chocolate ganache dome

Espresso Semifreddo under chocolate ganache dome

Semifreddo is in a category of its own. Not ice cream or gelato. It is more like a frozen mousse. We make a zabaglione or sabayon first, fold into whipped cream and in this case served with swiss meringue, toasted, on the side. Meringue can also be folded into the semifreddo for a fluffy result.


MAPLE FLAVOR SEMI FREDDO VARIATION: To make this semi freddo with a lovely subtle maple flavor make these substitutions: Change the Marsal wine to 6 oz late harvest wine, and sub maple sugar for white granulated sugar. Do not add the Kalua.


  • 2 large egg whites, cold
  • 2 large egg yolks, cold
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar, or 3/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine, dry or use 6 oz. late harvest wine
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt


Zabaglione or Sabayon base: Whisk eggs, yolks and sugar and espresso powder in double boiler, being sure the simmering water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.  continue whisking for about 1 minute to make it smooth. Combine alcohols and shisk into eggs, a third at a time, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Whipped cream: Combine heavy cream with sugar, vanilla and salt; beat until enough air is incorporated to make soft peaks. Refrigerate until Zabaglione is chilled; then combine them both by folding in the zabaglione 1/3 at a time. Freeze in appropriate freezer container.

Chef Note: Due to the large amount to sugar and alcohol, this product will not freeze rock hard.

When frozen, serve as ice cream or as a mousse topper to chocolate sour cream cake with ganache, as in picture.


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