Mascarpone and Vanilla Bean Semifreddo

, from Issue #29. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Mascarpone and Vanilla Bean Semifreddo

Semifreddo, or ‘half frozen’ as the name translates, is a soft frozen dessert that does not freeze solid. This is due to the high proportion of egg yolks and cream, rather than milk, which contains water. Semifreddo do not require churning so are very easy to make successfully at home.

Serves: 6


4 eggs
1 vanilla pod
150 grams caster sugar, divided
200 grams mascarpone
200 grams crème fraîche

To garnish
¼ cup roughly chopped, chocolate coated nuts or coffee beans


Separate the eggs and place the yolks and egg whites in separate bowls.

Halve the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife. Add to the yolks with 100 grams of the caster sugar. Beat until very thick and pale.

Beat the egg whites with the remaining 50 grams of caster sugar to stiff peaks.

Combine the mascarpone and crème fraîche in a large bowl. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the egg yolk mixture then fold in the egg whites. Pour the mixture into a freezer-proof container. Cover and freeze for at least 8 hours or preferably overnight.

To serve: Using an ice-cream scoop dipped in warm water, roll balls of semifreddo and place in chilled serving glasses. Top with the roughly chopped chocolate nuts. Serve immediately.

To simplify serving, roll the semifreddo ahead of time and place on a tray in the freezer.