Semifreddo translates to "half-cold" or "half-frozen in Italian. One of my best friends is obsessed with chocolate, and I mean, ooooobsessed. I invited her and her fiancé over for dinner and made chocolate semifeddo for dessert. Rich with cocoa and luscious with milk and cream, each spoonful of chocolate semifreddo is a delicacy. It is refreshingly simple to make and can stay in your freezer while you enjoy your time with guests. The semifreddo is ready to go once dessert time rolls around and I encourage a drizzle of Olinda olive oil and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. It's all about the pizzazz, baby.
Serves 2-3 guests (easily doubled or tripled)
1/4 granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, ideally Dutch processed (AKA processed to reduce acidity)
Pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large egg yolk (only use 1 egg yolk even if doubling or tripling the recipe)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of 1/2 an orange, plus more to garnish if you like
Dash of Grand Marnier
Drizzle of Olinda olive oil
Flaky salt, optional
Put a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl and set it aside. You will be straining the mixture later.
In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa and salt. Whisk in the milk, cream and orange zest until smooth.
Heat the mixture on low heat while stirring constantly with the whisk. Let it come to a low boil for one minute while stirring, until thickened.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the egg yolk, vanilla and Grand Marnier. 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. No chocolate to waste!
Divide the chocolate custard into two 6-ounce ramekins or freezer-proof cups. Use more cups if scaling this recipe. Cover tightly and freeze for 1 hour before serving. If you are making it ahead of time, refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving time, and then freeze it for 30 minutes-1 hour. The semi-freddo should only be partially frozen, but firmer than chocolate milk. Top with olive oil and salt and additional orange zest, if you like.