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Recipe: Mascarpone Semifreddo

Semifreddo is an Italian soft-frozen dessert which is light and airy because of the whipping that happens just before freezing. This particular semifreddo is not sweet, but is only lent a sweetness by the dark chocolate accompaniment. You can add sugar to the cream before whipping it together with the mascarpone if you like, but allowing the mascarpone and dark chocolate to be co-stars of this simple but impressive dish is what makes it marvelous.


  • 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. mascarpone
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, cold and fresh
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 1/2-ounces dark chocolate, chopped fine
  • 8 chocolate wafer cookies (optional)


  1. Whisk together the mascarpone, cream and a pinch of salt in a large glass bowl until stiff peaks form.
  2. Fold in the chopped chocolate pieces.
  3. Spread the semifreddo into a 5x9-inch loaf pan and cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic onto the surface.
  4. Freeze the loaf pan until the edges of the semifreddo begin to freeze solid and the rest of it is extremely cold. This may take up to an hour.
  5. Once the semifreddo is sufficiently frozen, spoon it onto four glass serving dishes, pressing the cookies into the mounds before serving it.