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Icy Semifreddo

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I recently made a semifreddo, see recipe below, and the final texture was way too icy. Does anyone have experience with semifreddo or know of any tips to get a light creamy texture?

2 1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks
2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup diced strawberries

The milk served as the main ingredient in the "ice creamesque" base that was later folded in to whipped cream. Looking back that seems like a lot of liquid to expect it to freeze without any ice crystals. Any thoughts?

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  1. Making semifreddo has less to do with the ingredients (even though it is still important) but more to do with technique.

    You really really and I mean REALLY need to whisk, and whisk, and then whisk some more. And then you are going to fold, and whisk, and fold - and then freeze. All in the quest to create a fluffy, creamy and almost cotton-candy like ice cream dessert.

    Did you do that?

    2 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      No. I whipped the cream but that was it. Youre saying I need to while the custard as well?

      1. re: jfresch

        jfresch,

        This is what I do. It's nearly foolproof, and you get the best frozen treat.

        Begin with whipping the cream. Pour all of the cream into a medium-sized bowl and whisk until soft, floppy peaks form - they should be "soft weak" peaks, if they look stiff and perky, you've gone too far. Put the whipped cream in the fridge until you are done with the next step.

        Now, prepare an ice bath by filling an extra-large bowl with water and ice cubes.

        Next, create a double-boiler by setting a large heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the egg yolks and 1/4 cup of the sugar, and quickly start whisking - whisk until the mixture starts to pale, and then whisk some more until the mixture starts to thicken. Once thickened move the bowl from the stove and set it in the ice bath. Whisk some more until the mixture is cool to the touch.

        Then do the same thing with you egg whites (I know you recipe has no egg whites, but I usu. add them, you can skip this step if you want). Take another heatproof bowl, and set it over the simmering water. Add the egg whites and the remaining sugar and whisk like you've never whisked before. When you get glossy stiff peaks, remove from the heat.

        Now to combine your efforts. Gently fold the egg whites into the custard mixture. Then take out the whipped cream from the ridge and fold that in next.

        Voila, semifreddo.

        Of course, your steps may vary depending on what flavors or ingredients you want to add, but that's the basic technique I use as the foundation for my semifreddo.

        Hope that helps.

    2. You made creme anglaise with the milk, yolks, and sugar then folded in the cream and mascarpone?

      It is a fair amount of liquid. You could decrease the milk, and strawberries just frozen straight without sugar will freeze solid so you may want to put some sugar on the berries first.