Sunday, July 22

Chocolate Semifreddo with Spicy Chocolate Sauce & Cinnamon Whipped Cream

I've learned soooo much about cooking, baking, how to avoid 3rd degree burns, etc in the past couple years. I feel like I "know what I'm doing" much more now than ever before (despite the fact that I have a fresh scar on my bicep from a cookie sheet..!?). 

But I remember cooking back before I technically "knew how" and it's weird, but I was so much more confident.

Ok sure, there was the time I made stew and didn't peel the carrots. And yea, there was the time I burnt everything I was making (that was more than one time). The time I ruined a sauce pot making rice. The time I dumped baking soda into my flour container (ok, that was yesterday). But I think the point is that despite the mistakes, I had more confidence then, than I do now.

Why, you might ask? I think it's because now I know that things are difficult. I had no idea that there were so many ways to screw things up.

I made a pie crust in college using a container of Pam spray for a rolling pin.. AND IT WAS FLAKY! I made a lemon meringue pie at age ~12 for Easter... AND THE MERINGUE DIDN'T RECEDE FROM THE PIE CRUST. I made soo many muffins as a kid that, in retrospect, I know I stirred 12,0000+ times, but they were still good. You get my point.

Now that I know the proper way to do things, it just seems harder. Now that I know it's supposed to be difficult, it is! I have become the "omgosh that looks hard" self fulfilling prophecy of baked goods.

So, ladies and gents... this is why I'm going to preface this recipe with... the opposite of a warning. This recipe is SO godamn easy; please don't make it hard. It looks hard. It sounds hard. What if my egg whites don't whip to stiff peaks? What if I over whip them? Did I heat them to the right temp? The chocolate could seize! What if I stir the custard too many times!


I think that's the key to semifreddo (a semi-frozen custard with a mousse-like texture). It sounds like there are a lot of steps, but this took me under 10 minutes. Just chill out. Heat the eggs, kill that bacteria, and then just whip 'em. Do your best to get stiff peaks, but I think under-whipping is better than over whipping. Melt your chocolate however you want. I've only ever had chocolate seize on me once and it was white chocolate, so it doesn't count. And then when you fold everything together, just keep in mind that it's ok if it's not totally uniform. If you see a little white in your finished product, that's how you know it's homemade. If it's a little flat, next time stir a few less times, but again try to err in favor of not fully mixing rather than over mixing. And you know what, just enjoy yourself.

My whipped cream was a little sad and droopy. The cream I bought JUST WOULDN'T WHIP!
See? Imprefect!


Chocolate Semifreddo with Spicy Chocolate Sauce & Cinnamon Whipped Cream
Adapted from Bon Appetit

2 large egg whites
1/2 c sugar
4 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces
1 c chilled heavy cream

Spicy Chocolate Sauce:
3/4 cup 2% milk
1 tsp hot chile powder
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp packed light brown sugar
6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp corn starch
1 tbsp tequila

Cinnamon Whipped Cream:
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

"Special" Equipment:
2 medium heat-proof bowls (but if you only have one, you could heat your egg whites, then transfer them to another bowl to whip, clean the original bowl and reuse OR honestly I'm sure you could melt the chocolate in the microwave, but I did not test this)

To make the semifreddo:

Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line with plastic wrap, leaving a 2" overhang and set aside. 

Fill the bottom of a medium saucepan or saute pan with water and bring to a slow boil (you are created a double boil). In a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Set this over the boiling water and, whisking continually, heat the egg whites until warm. This could take from 2-5 minutes, just keep checking. Remove from heat.

Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until whites have tripled in volume and stiff peaks form when you remove the mixer. Set this aside.

Place chocolate and butter in similar heatproof bowl over same saucepan of simmering water. Stir over the heat the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside. You will want to let this cool slightly.

In a third bowl, beat the cream until medium-stiff peaks form.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold egg whites into warm chocolate. Then, fold in the whipped cream. Fold gently (the goal is to not lose all the air in the eggs and cream) and in as few strokes as possible until mixed. Scrape semifreddo into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Cover tightly and freeze until firm, 3-4 hours. This will keep in the freezer up to a week.

Spicy Chocolate Sauce:

In a small saucepan, add milk, chile powder, cinnamon stick and brown sugar. Cover, bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Allow to steep for 15 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and discard (or rinse for reuse).

Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and set aside. 

Bring the milk back to a boil. Gradually pour milk mixture over chocolate, continuously stirring until melted and smooth. Stir in tequila, vanilla and corn starch. Return to the saucepan and heat, stirring continuously, until sauce thickens. (Watch this closely, it will thicken quickly and if not continuously stirred will burn to the pan.)

This will keep in the refrigerator for a week. Reheat before use.

Cinnamon Whipped Cream:

Combine cream, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until soft peaks form.

To serve:

Uncover semifreddo and invert onto a platter (or if not serving all pieces at once, you can cut slices from the pan as needed). Using a knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry, cut semifreddo into slices and transfer to plates. Garnish with cinnamon whipped cream and warm spicy chocolate sauce.


  1. This recipe looks waaay to good!
    BTW I love your blog title, totally agree with it. =)

  2. Haha! Thank you! :)

    Your site is so cute! I'm following!