This is another dessert that I’ve been dying to make, and I was finally able to make that happen recently. I’ve never made a semifreddo before, and I really wanted to try it. It’s similar to cheesecake, but instead of baking it, you cook everything first and then freeze it. This looked like the perfect one to try because I really like the combination of chocolate and coffee. This isn’t a difficult dessert to make, but you just need to be organized. The only bad part is that it dirties a lot of dishes, but it’s worth it! The filling was smooth and creamy, almost like mousse. I used Kahlua in place of the espresso and the chocolate and coffee flavors complemented one another nicely. This was enjoyed by everyone when I served it and it was gone very quickly! This would be a great dessert to serve at a dinner party because you can make it in advance and keep it in the freezer. It also makes for such a pretty presentation. If it were summer, I would have added some strawberries or raspberries, but I just went plain this time.
Chocolate Espresso Semifreddo
Source: adapted from Use Real Butter
1 3/4 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 ounces Kahlua
4 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoons dark rum
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped fine
16 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 ounces heavy cream
Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Mix cookie crumbs and butter together. Press crust into the springform pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven (turn oven off). When cool, line the sides of the pan with a 3-inch wide parchment strip along the inside edge.
Over a double boiler, whisk together the yolks and 2 tablespoons of th sugar until it is pale yellow and thick. It should ribbon. Lift whisk out of the bowl to incorporate air into the mixture. Add espresso, rum, and vanilla. Place over simmering water and cook, vigorously whisking until liquid coats the back of a spoon and the mixture is thick and foamy. Remove from heat and add the finely chopped chocolate. Stir until melted and continue stirring until cooled. In separate bowl, stir together the mascarpone and cream until soft and smooth. Do not overstir. Place egg whites and 1/3 cup sugar in kitchenaid mixing bowl. Gently whisk together over a simmering water bath until 145°F is reached. Remove from bath and set the bowl on the kitchenaid with the balloon whip attachment. Whip on medium high until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to medium and mix until the bowl is cool to the touch (cooler than your hand). Fold the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate mixture until there are no streaks left. Fold 1/4 of the meringue (sacrifice) into the chocolate-mascarpone mixture. Fold in the remaining meringue in three parts – don’t overmix or the volume will reduce!
Spread the mixture over the baked crust in the pan. Tightly cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, loosen and remove the sides of the pan. Remove the parchment paper strip. Serve cold and cut slices with a warm, dry knife.