Monday, April 18, 2016

Three Ways to Use One Delicious Chocolate Recipe: Dark Chocolate Semifreddo

A few weeks back, I picked up the March issue of bon appétit Magazine. The main reason I bought it was for a chocolaty recipe that I saw on page 36: Dark Chocolate Semifreddo.  I've made many chocolate mousse recipes before, but this sounded a little different, and the magazine described it as an "airy" mix between "frozen chocolate mousse and gelato." I was sold.

In the weeks since, I made this recipe six times. I've served it as a frozen mousse, in a cookie-crusted chocolate and caramel pie, in chocolate shot glasses, and as a gelato of sorts with toppings and inclusions. Since I have enjoyed it so much, I wanted to share my excitement by not only directing you to the recipe, but also giving you new recipes to change up the way you serve dark chocolate semifreddo. See below for three great ways to make it.

Dark Chocolate Semifreddo (Frozen Chocolate Mousse) Recipe:

This is what you'll need:
  • 6 oz of 70% dark chocolate (use 50% to 60% if you must, but I like it dark)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (1 is okay if you are using a chocolate with vanilla already in it)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (or kosher, as per the original recipe, but any salt is fine)
  • 2.5 cups whipping cream, divided into 1.5 cups plus 1 cup
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
Plus: A candy thermometer.

For a pie or other desserts, you'll also need:
  • A store-bought chocolate pie crust, OR 2 cups of chocolate shortbread or chocolate wafer cookies broken up, 1/3 cup butter and 1/4 cup granulated sugar.
  • Thick caramel sauce, like a jar of Dulce de Leche, but if all you can find is a liquidy butterscotch, that is fine too.

For chocolate cups, you will need:
  • Store-bought chocolate cups or at least 500 grams of chocolate, melted and tempered.

Once you've gathered your ingredients, there are three ways (at least) to make and serve semifreddo:


1. To Make Simple Dark Chocolate Semifreddo (frozen chocolate mousse):

Follow the original recipe here on the bon appétit website: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/dark-chocolate-semifreddo or on Page 36 of the March 2016 issue of Bon Appétit.

Freeze in an airtight container. Remove from the freezer about 10 minutes before serving, then use an ice cream scoop to scoop into martini glasses or serving bowls.  Top with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings.


2. To Make a Caramel & Chocolate Mousse Pie with Semifreddo:

1. If you did not buy a crust, place your chocolate cookies in a large freezer bag and using a rolling pin or bottle, roll over the bag to crush the cookies. Place your butter in a medium, microwave safe bowl, and melt in the microwave until liquid (about 35 seconds). Add the cookies and the sugar, then stir until the cookies are moist. Press into the bottom of a greased pie plate. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 350º F.  Let cool 15 minutes.

2. Spread the caramel sauce in a thick layer (1/4") over the entire bottom of your cookie crust.

3. Scoop in as much of the semifreddo as you can, then smooth or round out. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze.

4. Before serving, remove pie from freezer for 5 minutes while you make the whipping cream by beating 1 cup of whipping cream with a hand mixer or stand mixer until soft peaks form.  Add 1 tsp of agave, honey, sugar or caramel sauce to sweeten lightly.  Add 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean (or the scrapings from one vanilla pod) and beat for 5 seconds more until mixed.

5. Spread the whipped cream on top of the pie and serve. You can use a pastry bag and decorator tools to make it a bit fancier, if you like.

Slice and enjoy. Keep frozen and simply remove from freezer about 10 minutes before slicing and serving each time.


3. To make Semifreddo in Chocolate Cups:

Buy or make chocolate cups. To make them, you can follow the same moulding process as in my chocolate egg recipe (click here for recipe) to create chocolate cups with a chocolate shot glass mould, cup mould or using your cupcake pans. Simply fill the mould or pan cavities with melted and tempered chocolate, flip upside down to let excess drizzle out. Then let set for 20 minutes in the fridge and turn out onto the counter. Click here for a more detailed description to make hollow moulds.

You can place crumbled chocolate wafer cookies in the bottom of the cup, or crunchy caramel bits or layer in caramel sauce if you like. Fill remainder of cup with Dark Chocolate Semifreddo, and top with whipped cream and/or chocolate shavings. Freeze in an airtight container. Remove from freezer about 30 minutes before serving (to soften the frozen chocolate cup). Serve with a spoon.

Enjoy!



You can also top the semifreddo with a soft chocolate ganache,
which seals in the mousse as a lovely surprise inside!



***
I am sure there are many other ways to serve Dark Chocolate Semifreddo! Be creative and if you come up with something great, please feel free to share in the Comments section below!

Thanks to Bon Appétit Magazine for this great recipe  in their March 2016 issue!!!

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