Dark Chocolate Semifreddo with Vanilla Meringue



Dark Chocolate Semifreddo Filling

  • 275g Dark Chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa content)
  • 1000ml Heavy Cream
  • 500ml Milk
  • 8 eggs Yolks
  • 75g Unsalted Butter
  • 75g Brown Sugar
  • 20g Cocoa Powder
  • 75ml Dark Rum
  • 2tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2g Salt

Vanilla Meringue

  • 8 Egg Whites
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 200g Sugar
  • 100ml Water
  • 2tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1tbsp White Wine Vinegar

Lady Finger Base

  • 2 x 100g Packs Ladyfingers (Savoiardi Biscuits)
  • 300g Sugar
  • 200g Espresso
  • 75ml Dark Rum


Dark Chocolate Semifreddo Filling

  1. Add your egg yolks, salt and cocoa powder to a bowl and whisk until fully incorporated.
  2. Add your brown sugar, and milk to a pan and cook over medium high heat until it reaches a boil.
  3. Pour your hot milk into your eggs mixture to form a custard.  Return your custard mixture to the pan and cook over medium low heat until the custard reaches 165ºF.  Turn off the heat and add your dark chocolate and butter to your warm custard, whisk until fully incorporated.
  4. Pass your chocolate custard mix through a strainer into a clean bowl.  Set aside and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
  5. Place your heavy cream and rum into a stand mixer and whisk under medium high speed until the cream aerates, quadruples in volume and the whipped cream turns into stiff peaks.
  6. Gently fold your whipped cream into your cooled chocolate mixture.  Adding your whipped cream one third at a time until everything is fully incorporated. Set aside.

Vanilla Meringue

  1. Place your egg whites, salt, vanilla extract and vinegar into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk for 2-3mins under medium speed until light and foamy.
  2. Place your sugar and water into the pan and cook over medium high heat until the mixture comes to a boil, thickens and reaches 250ºF.
  3. Begin whisking your egg white mixture again under low speed and slowly pour all your sugar syrup into your egg whites in a thin steady stream.  After you’ve added all your sugar syrup, turn up the speed of your stand mixer to high and continue whisking for approximately 5-6mins until the meringue mixture has quadrupled in volume and has cooled down to room temperature.  Remove and set aside in another bowl.

Lady Finger Base

  1. Place your espresso, and sugar into a pan and cook over medium high heat until the mixture comes to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and allow the espresso syrup to cook for additional 5mins after coming to a boil.
  2. After you’ve finished cooking your espresso syrup, turn off the heat and add your rum.  Set it aside and allow to cool.


  1. In 2 rectangular molds (width 6 inches, length 13 inches, height 2 inches), line one side of your rectangular mold with cling film, ensure it’s tightly wrapped.
  2. Quickly dip your lady fingers in your espresso and rum syrup and line the base with your soaked lady fingers inside your rectangular mold where you have your cling film until it’s completely filled.
  3. Pour your dark chocolate semifreddo filling into your mold until it’s completely full.
  4. Place your dark chocolate semifreddo onto a large sheet or roasting pan and place them inside the freezer for 4-6hrs until their fully set and firm.
  5. Remove from the freezer and spoon your meringue mixture on top of your dark chocolate semifreddos.  Using a blow torch, lightly torch the top of your meringue till it’s nice and golden brown around the edges.
  6. Remove the clingfilm lining the bottom of your semifreddos and molds, and using the blowtorch heat the sides and edges of your mold to release your semifreddo.
  7. Place your semifreddo onto a large serving dish/plate and serve.


  • This is a nice summer treat during those hot days where you want something cold and refreshing but also rich, decadent and sweet.  This Dark Chocolate Semifreddo ticks all the boxes.
  • This recipe actually produces two full semifreddos.  Since semifreddos are kept and held frozen, they keep beautifully well without any issues and can be prepared well in advance of any large dinner parties or functions.  But if the recipe is too much for you, you can always halve the recipe and just make one semifreddo.
  • If you don’t happen to have a mold fitting those dimensions, you can reproduce this recipe using a large serving dish or roasting pan.  You can either grease and line the serving dish or roasting pan ahead of time with clingfilm or parchment paper, or serve it straight from the pan like tiramisu.
  • The end result of this semifreddo is really dependent upon the quality of chocolate you use, so try to find and use the best quality dark chocolate you can afford for this recipe.  It’ll pay off in the end, I assure you.
  • If you’re preparing this ahead of time, the meringue portion can be made and frozen without issue as well.  You just need to wait for the dark chocolate filling to settle and firm up before you add the meringue, otherwise the meringue mixture will smear and drag the surface of the dark chocolate filling.


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