Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Chocolate Semifreddo

Lest you think we just ate fish sauce this summer, let me reassure you we didn't by sharing this recipe.  Chocolate semifreddo.  Before making this recipe, I didn't know what a semifreddo was.  I was drawn to it because it was frozen and had the word chocolate in the title.

Semifreddo is basically a frozen mousse.  It is an Italian dish and if you are comfortable with whipping cream/beating eggs and folding things into the light airy beaten eggs/cream, it is easy to make.

We all enjoyed this.  The original recipe also included a instructions for making a chile-chocolate sauce.  I omitted that and just used a good chocolate sauce in it's place.  The cinnamon whipped cream is fabulous though, and leftovers are great in coffee!

This serves 8 - 12 depending on how thick you make the slices.

Chocolate Semifreddo
adapted from Bon Appetit

2 large egg whites
1/4 c sugar
4 oz semi or bittersweet chocolate (don't exceed 61% cacao)
2 T butter, at room temperature
1 c chilled heavy cream

1 c chilled heavy cream
1 T sugar
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1 t vanilla

good chocolate sauce (probably a step above Hershey's) (optional)

Line a 9x4 1/2x3 loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 2" overhang.  Set aside.  Whisk the egg whites and 1/4 c sugar in a medium heatproof bowl set over a medium saucepan of simmering water until sugar dissolves and egg whites are warm (but not hot), about 5 minutes (this helps reduce the risk of salmonella).  Remove from heat.  Using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk, beat on medium-high speed until cool, tripled in volume, and stiff peaks form.  (Check this periodically by putting spoon into the egg whites and seeing if they will stay standing in peaks).

Stir chocolate and butter together in another heatproof bowl over the same saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat and let cool, slightly.

Beat 1 c cream in another medium bowl until medium-stiff peaks form (the peaks should just gently fall over onto themselves).  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate.  Fold in the whipped cream.  Be careful not to over-fold.  Stop folding as soon as the mixture is smooth and of uniform color.  Scrape the mixture into the prepared loaf pan.  Smooth top and cover tightly with the remaining overhang of plastic wrap.  Cover tightly and freeze until firm, 3 - 4 hours.

To make the whipped cream, combine the 1 c cream, 1 T sugar, and ground cinnamon in a bowl.  Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk again, beat until soft peaks form.  Stir in vanilla and beat a little longer (don't over beat you will end up with cinnamon-vanilla butter).

To serve, uncover semifreddo and invert.  Slice, using a knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry.  Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

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