Chocolate Semifreddo Seduction

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chocolate semifreddo recipe
Matthew Septimus/Rose's Ice Cream Bliss

Calling all chocolate lovers: This chocolate semifreddo (ahem, chocolate semifreddo seduction)—from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s new cookbook, Rose’s Ice Cream Bliss—is as rich and silky as chocolate pudding, and as refreshing as a scoop of ice cream. It also takes a measly 5 minutes to make, 30 minutes to chill and serves two…so you don’t have to share.

The creamy dessert is made with cocoa powder instead of chocolate, because as Beranbaum explains, the cocoa butter in chocolate would become very hard when chilled. A semifreddo (which means semi-frozen) should have a lighter, airier consistency.

She calls for Dutch process cocoa powder, which has been alkalized, or processed to reduce the acidity, and tastes smoother and mellower than natural cocoa powder. Make sure you sift that cocoa before measuring it for the most accurate measurement (and the most delicious results).

Excerpted from Rose’s Ice Cream Bliss © 2020 by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Photography © 2020 by Matthew Septimus. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.


¼ cup (50g) superfine sugar

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (28g) sifted Dutch process cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

¼ cup (59mL) milk

½ cup (118mL) heavy cream

1 or 2 large (19g) egg yolks

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Have ready a fine-mesh strainer suspended over a medium bowl. Set aside. In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa and salt. Whisk in the milk until smooth, then whisk in the cream.

2. Heat the mixture on low heat, stirring constantly with the whisk, until it begins to boil. Cook at a low boil for 1 minute, continuing to stir, until thickened.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the egg yolk and vanilla. Scrape the chocolate custard into the strainer. Press it through the strainer and scrape any mixture clinging to the underside of the strainer into the bowl.

4. Divide the chocolate custard into two ramekins or 6-ounce cups. Cover tightly and freeze for at least 30 minutes, and up to 45 minutes, before serving. It is at its best texture at this point, when only partially frozen. If you are making it ahead of time, refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving time, and then freeze it for 20 to 30 minutes.

Note: The recipe can be doubled to serve four.

Nutrition Facts
  • 409 calories

  • 29g fat

  • 43g carbs

  • 8g protein

  • 29g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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