Ice cream, gelato and frozen yogurt all show up regularly at shops and restaurants but semifreddo is another delicious frozen dessert that might be a little less familiar. Semifreddo – which translates to “half cold/frozen” – is a dessert that falls halfway between mousse and ice cream, with the consistency of a frozen mousse and the flavor of ice cream. It is much lighter than ice cream and melts on your tongue very quickly, giving the impression you just ate the lightest dessert imaginable.
It is usually made by folding whipped cream into a thicker base containing all of the flavorings for the semifreddo. That base could be a thick custard (similar to a regular ice cream base) that has been lightened with egg whites or a much airier meringue. Once mixed, the mixture is poured into a large tin and frozen for a few hours until it solidifies. The semifreddo can then be scooped and served, although it is often sliced for serving because its light texture makes cutting through it with a knife very simple. A semifreddo can be flavored with just about anything, from fruit to chocolate to nuts.
The big advantage of a semifreddo is that it requires no special equipment to make one. They come together quickly and can be served within a few hours. They also keep very well in the freezer, so while they’re great for entertaining, you can also make a batch for yourself and enjoy it over the course of a week or so.