Semifreddo is a frozen dessert that is somewhere between a mousse and an ice cream, made with a flavored base of whipped cream and egg white meringue. It is lighter in texture than ice cream and requires no churning, just some time in the freezer to set up. I like it because it is easy to make, it looks very elegant and it melts quickly into the lightest, creamiest dessert you can imagine once it hits your tongue. The name means “half-cold,”Â and while this is usually said to describe the fact that there are lots of mix-ins in semifreddi, like nuts, fruits, chocolates and cookies. I used cookies in this recipe, adding the chocolate and crunch of Tim Tams into the ultra-light vanilla base of the semifreddo.
Tim Tams are a hugely popular Australian cookie that consists of a layer of chocolate mousse sandwiched between two layers of crispy chocolate biscuits, all of which is dunked in chocolate. Pepperidge Farms released them in the US earlier this year, and I’m not sure if they’re still available, but I regularly find them at stores that specialize in imports, like Cost Plus World Market. Typically, I eat these one at a time with a cup of coffee and do the Tim Tam slam. It was a little bit of a sacrifice to put almost a whole package into this dessert, but the result was well worth it. The crunchy, chocolaty cookies held up amazingly well in the creamy semifreddo and the chocolate mousse stayed just soft enough to melt in my mouth along with the dessert base.
If you can’t find Tim Tams, you can use other types of cookies. Oreos, Thin Mints or other similar crunchy chocolate cookies are great choices. Oreos have the bonus of a cream filled center that adds even more texture and flavor to the dessert. Feel free to experiment, but if you’re not using Tim Tams this time around, keep your eyes out for a package because they’re just right. This recipe calls for uncooked eggs, so if you’re uncomfortable using them, look for pasturized eggs. I used Safe Choice eggs, which are pasturized in the shell, in this recipe, but I’ve made it using completely uncooked eggs in the past.
Tim Tam Semifreddo
2 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream, cold
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Tim Tams, coarsely chopped
(or other favorite cookies, pref. crisp, chocolate sandwich cookies)
Line a loaf pan, either 9×5-inch or 8×4-inch, with lightly greased plastic wrap.
In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks until slightly pale. Add in sugar and beat until no sugar crystals remain and mixture is light in texture, about 2 minutes.
In a medium bowl, beat heavy cream until it reaches soft peaks. Beat in vanilla extract. Fold yolk mixture into whipped cream. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using very clean beaters, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Working in two or three additions, fold egg whites into the cream mixture. Fold carefully and make sure that no streaks of egg white remain visible.
Fold in chopped cookies, then spread the mixture into the prepared pan.
Freeze for at least 2-3 hours, or until dessert is solid and you are ready to serve.
To serve, slice semifreddo into portions with a sharp knife.
JacquiSeptember 21, 2009
Tim Tams are coming back to Target in October and they’re adding the Dark Chocolate variety!! Rejoice!
jaimeSeptember 21, 2009
what a great explanation, I’ve seen this once or twice on cooking shows but wasn’t 100% sure what it was exactly (or how it differed from ice cream). Thank you it looks fantastic. I’ll also have to keep an eye out for those Australian cookies
Nutmeg NannySeptember 21, 2009
This looks delicious!
KileySeptember 21, 2009
Note: They stopped making the Pepperidge Farms Tim Tams at the beginning of the summer, but they’re coming back in October (just a few weeks!!!!) I’ve only just opened my last rationed package, so i figure i’ll savor those, but once they’re back on the shelves i am so making this.
Suburban MissSeptember 22, 2009
I love this recipe! Thanks! My kids really enjoy it.
My husband and I always have a wine/snack at night. I thought this went really well with a nice white. (I had no idea about wines at all…my hubby found a site for us…click on my name to see it – I think it’s pretty helpful).
I think I will make this weekly, to be honest. The whole family loves it and we can’t get enough!
Thanks for the recipe again!
ScottSeptember 22, 2009
This looks amazing. I love love LOVE Tim Tams. I also heard they were coming back to the U.S. in October and are being sold nationwide, not just at Target. WOOT!
rachelSeptember 23, 2009
tim tams are a hugely popular australian BISCUIT.
Sam@BingeNYCSeptember 23, 2009
Tim Tam Slams!!! A close friend brought several boxes back from a trip to Australia, and of course once I was good and addicted, my supply ran out. I didn’t know they were available in the US, I’ll be picking some up asap, if only to make this gorgeous semifreddo! Yum.
mind map tony buzanOctober 21, 2009
i just love this so much… thanks for sharing.. already tried it so excellent!
fionaNovember 5, 2009
i simply love this recipe thanks for sharing ^.^
orlando sod installationNovember 9, 2009
Wow that’s good. I like the recipe of Semifreddo. As I am involved with a job, I have no more time to spend to make food. But Semifreddo Takes few minutes to be make. So i like it.
RanDecember 4, 2009
can i bain marie the egg yolks while beating them with sugar, nic? you know, salmonella and all.
laptop battery manufacturerMay 16, 2010
In a medium bowl, beat heavy cream until it reaches soft peaks. Beat in vanilla extract. Fold yolk mixture into whipped cream
JudyAugust 5, 2010
Lovely dessert indeed! Love tim tams. But I am concerned about the uncooked eggs.
libbyAugust 12, 2010
I actually just ate my last Tim Tam last night! Real ones too, sent over from Aus by my bf’s Mom. I will say the Pepperidge Farms ones come pretty close, but I wish they didn’t use partially hydrogenated oils. Le sigh. Mayhaps I should find a recipe to make Tim Tams myself!
Also, does anyone think this recipe would work if I used a whole milk/2% blend instead of heavy cream?
Easy Italian RecipesApril 11, 2014
Hi! Your semifreddo recipe was nominated as one of the “Best 300 Semifreddo Recipes on the Net”. To vote for it, please visit http://easyitalianrecipes.org/dessert-recipes/best-300-italian-semifreddo-recipes-on-the-net-vote-for-your-favorite/ – your recipe is positioned at #179 (random order).