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A chocolate semifreddo recipe on a white surface topped with fresh berries
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5 from 4 votes

Chocolate Semifreddo Recipe

Light, airy and chocolatey this semifreddo recipe is absolutely delicious and requires no ice-cream machine! So simple to put together and looks so impressive to serve to guests or at the weekend for your family. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 292kcal
Author: Emily Kemp


  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup (3.5 oz/100g) white sugar
  • ¼ cup (50ml) marsala
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 200 (200g) dark chocolate 70% cocoa
  • 2 cups (16 fl oz/450ml) heavy double cream

Special Equipment needed

  • 1 loaf tin , 10x5 inch
  • cling film


  • First, you need to make the zabaglione (Italian frothy custard). Place the egg yolks and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until pale and thick.
  • Place the bowl over a pot of hot water (don't let the water boil and don't let the bowl touch the water). Whisk with a hand whisk whilst slowly adding the marsala and add the vanilla. Continue to whisk until the zabaglione is frothy, pale and doubled in size. Set the pot of water aside off of the heat with the zabaglione still on top to keep warm.
  • Tip: The zabaglione should be thick enough to see a trail from the whisk and no more.
  • Next melt the chocolate by using the same method as above (mixing bowl over simmering water) you can also melt the chocolate in a microwave heating it at 30-second bursts at a time whilst taking it out to stir.
  • Set the melted chocolate aside to cool and add the cream to a stand mixer (you can use a hand-held electric mixer or hand whisk to do this too) whip the cream to stiff peaks.
  • Slowly add the melted chocolate into the zabaglione until completely incorporated. Add one third of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture and fold it gently as if you were folding cake batter. Continue doing this adding 1 third at a time until the cream and custard are combined.
  • Line a loaf tin with cling film and spoon the semifreddo mixture into the tin. Spread it out in an even layer and give it a gentle tap to get rid of any air holes.
  • Cover the top with the rest of the cling film and freeze overnight.


  • Do not allow the water to boil and don't let the bowl touch the water when thickening the zabaglione and melting the chocolate. If the eggs are heated too quickly they will scramble and the chocolate will split or burn.
  • Keep the zabaglione warm but don't continue to heat it. Turn the heat off and remove it from the burner. Keep it on top of the warm water as you melt the chocolate.
  • Always set the chocolate aside off the burner to cool slightly as you whip the cream. This will make sure it's cool enough to be mixed with the zabaglione.
  • I used a non-stick loaf tin size 10x5 inches.

Extra Tips For Making This Chocolate Semifreddo Recipe

  • Whisk the egg yolks and sugar well with electric beaters before heating on the bain-marie, don't skip this step I tried and the custard was too thick and end results weren't great.
  • Make sure the custard/zabaglione and chocolate are cooled (not cold) before mixing together.
  • Leave the semifreddo out of the freezer for 10-15 minutes before serving. 
  • Always wrap back up in cling film before placing back in freezer.
Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Semifreddo Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 292 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 133mg44%
Sodium 21mg1%
Potassium 159mg5%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 665IU13%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 46mg5%
Iron 2.2mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 133mg | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 665IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2.2mg