Traditional versions of this elegant dessert — which translates as
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup strong brewed espresso, (or dark-roast coffee) or 3 tablespoons instant espresso granules dissolved in 1/3 cup boiling water, cooled
- 2 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons dried egg whites, reconstituted according to package directions (equivalent to 3 large egg whites)
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts
- Fill a large saucepan or Dutch oven with 1 inch water and bring to a simmer for Step 3. Place a small mixing bowl in the freezer to chill.
- Whisk whole eggs and 1/4 cup sugar in a heavy, medium, nonreactive saucepan until smooth. Whisk in espresso (or coffee). Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened and an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F, about 10 minutes. (Do not let the mixture come to a simmer.) Remove from the heat and whisk in liqueur and vanilla. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
- Combine reconstituted egg whites, cold water, cream of tartar and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a large heatproof mixing bowl. Set the bowl over (not in) the barely simmering water and beat with a hand-held electric mixer at low speed for 4 to 5 minutes. Increase mixer speed to high and continue beating for 3 minutes more. The meringue should hold firm peaks. Remove from the heat and continue beating until cool and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Whip cream in the chilled mixing bowl (no need to wash meringue from beaters) until soft peaks form.
- Whisk one-fourth of the meringue into the cooled coffee mixture. Using the whisk, fold in remaining meringue. With a rubber spatula, fold in whipped cream.
- Divide the mixture among six 3/4-cup metal molds (see Tip) or spoon into an 8-by-4-inch metal loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours.
- Before serving, toast hazelnuts at 350°F until fragrant, about 5 minutes. (Alternatively, microwave hazelnuts on high for 4 minutes, stirring twice.) Let cool. Dip bottoms of molds or pan in hot water for a few seconds, then invert onto chilled dessert plates or a serving platter. Garnish with hazelnuts and serve.
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 6. Freeze well-wrapped for up to 1 week.
- To successfully unmold the semifreddo, it is important to use metal molds. If you have only glass or ceramic ramekins, simply serve directly from them.
Per serving: 185 calories; 7 g fat (3 g sat, 3 g mono); 85 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 0 g fiber; 58 mg sodium; 136 mg potassium.
Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2
Exchanges: 1 other carbohydrate, 1 1/2 fat
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