Konnichi wa / Great Outdoors


Semifreddo is a frozen Italian dessert that can be served in several different ways. The most common way of serving semifreddo is to cut it into small pieces and serve it on top of fruit or cake for a beautiful presentation. Another popular way to serve this type of food is as an ice cream sundae. This article will discuss semifreddo and show you how to make it!

Watch this video on mocha semifreddo!

What is semifreddo?

Semifreddo is an Italian ice-cream made from whipped cream, sugar, and egg whites. This dessert has a light texture that's soft enough to scoop but firm enough for you to eat with a spoon. You can make semifreddo using any flavor of ice-cream or gelato; it makes no difference if the base is chocolate or pistachio - we promise all your guests will enjoy this dessert!

The Italians know their desserts - maybe it's because they're so passionate about them or maybe it has something to do with all those centuries worth of practice making gelato - either way, if someone sets down a dish of semifreddo there's no point arguing because we can't resist its sweet temptation. And as long as you have a few basic kitchen skills (or at least a little creativity) and know how to beat eggs with sugar, then it's as easy as pie (or pudding!)

The Italians have made this dessert for centuries. In fact, the name semifreddo is derived from the Italian word "freddare" which means "to chill." The Italians first used egg whites in their recipes because they believed that those who ate them were more likely to survive the winter months thanks to all of the protein!

Semifredo has been around since at least 1684 when Carlo Tarini introduced his recipe for zabaione gelato - an early form of semifreddo.

In 17th century Florence there was even a shop called Il Semifreddi where you could get a dish of this frozen delight.

Semifreddo is the perfect dessert because it's light enough to satisfy your sweet tooth but not so heavy that you feel like you're going to fall asleep after eating it!

How to make semifreddo?

Semifreddo is delicious, but it can be tricky to make (unless you are a pastry chef or have extensive experience making French parfait!). If you want your guests to enjoy this dessert without any issues, then follow these easy steps!


  • Sugar
  • Egg whites (or meringue)
  • Heavy cream or whipping cream

We recommend using room temperature eggs for a better consistency when they're added into whipped cream mixture later on in step two.

You'll also need an ice bath bucket - some people use their kitchen sink with lots of cold water and ice cubes; others just add crushed ice directly to the container that will hold semifreddo once it's completed.

If you have leftover egg yolks from another recipe such as buttercream frosting, you can use those as well!

You'll also want to have a spoon, bowl and whisk on hand.


  1. In your metal bowl, add sugar into the whipped cream or heavy cream - whichever one you choose for this dessert. Whisk together until it's fully blended in; then set aside for now.
  2. Using an electric mixer bowl with whisk attachment (or stand mixer), beat egg whites or meringue up to soft peaks form (or stiff peaks form, if you prefer) on medium speed before adding them to the whipped cream mixture.
  3. Once all of the ingredients from the egg mixture and whipped cream mixture are mixed together, transfer them onto your serving dish (or prepared loaf pan) that will hold semifreddo later on when it's done freezing/chilling overnight so they're ready to go once you wake up tomorrow morning!
  4. Put serving dish into your freezer overnight.
  5. Transfer semifreddo from freezer, remove plastic wrap, and place onto serving dish right before guests arrive so they're ready to go once you wake up tomorrow morning!

We recommend making this dessert in advance so you don't have to spend all morning preparing it for your guests. Plus, Italian semifreddo has an added benefit of being able to be frozen overnight and served the next day - just remember not to put any garnishes or toppings on until right before serving!


If you're using Italian meringue as part of this recipe, then whip it up according to these directions:

  1. In a clean large bowl whisk together egg whites (or pasteurized egg whites) and cream of tartar at room temperature until they form soft peaks; set aside while we prepare other ingredients.
  2. In mixer's mixing bowl add sugar and beat well for about five minutes or until sugar is dissolved.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together egg yolks and beat well for about two to three minutes; then, slowly add the whipped cream mixture into this second mixing bowl with egg yolk mixture while continuing to mix on low speed so it doesn't splash out of the bowl.
  4. Gently fold in meringue (or pasteurized whites) by hand using rubber spatula without knocking air out of them. Continue folding until all ingredients are fully incorporated into each other - remember that you don't want any streaks!
  5. Pour semifreddo onto your baking sheet (or 5-inch loaf pan) lined with parchment paper inside freezer before placing frozen container around it with lots of crushed ice in it. Leave room for the semifreddo to expand as it freezes overnight.
  6. Transfer semifreddo from freezer, remove plastic wrap, and place onto serving dish right before guests arrive so they're ready to go once you wake up tomorrow morning!


If you have an ice cream maker, then follow these directions:

  1. Pour all ingredients into your frozen container with lots of crushed ice in it; place lid and turn on for about 25 minutes or until mixture is thick enough that instead of melting away when touched, will hold its shape on a spoon without any drips running down the side. If this happens before 25 minutes are up - don't worry! You can just stop machine and check consistency after every few seconds depending how quickly it's behaving (milkier/softer desserts require less time than richer ones).

How to remove semifreddo from a loaf pan?

Lift the pan up and then let it gently slip down to remove. If you don't have a loaf pan, use a cake stand or tray.

How long do you have to freeze semifreddo?

Semifreddo should be kept frozen overnight. If it's not, then the semifreddo will start to leak out of its container and go back to being a crème anglaise with that weird jelly texture again.

What to serve with semifreddo?

Semifreddo is a frozen dessert that's light and airy, but still creamy. It can be served with fresh berries or fresh fruit compote on top. You can also serve it with whipped cream, crumbled cookies, biscotti, toasted nuts... the list goes on! Also, there are many different flavor combinations, including cappuccino semifreddo and lemon semifreddo (with lemon juice)!

Final thoughts on semifreddo

Hope you enjoyed this article on semifreddo!

Looking for more on Semifreddo and other similar content? Try these:

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Konnichi wa / Great Outdoors

August 07, 2021 — Konnichi wa