Espresso-Chocolate Semifreddo

This dessert, which is like the fluffiest, creamiest ice cream pie imaginable, was created by Spago's pastry chef, Sherry Yard, for the opening of Spago Beverly Hills in 1997. It's based on a Malakoff torte, which is a traditional Viennese layered cake. "For the warmer climates of California, we changed it to a semifreddo, which is perfect for summer," says Wolfgang Puck.

Espresso-Chocolate Semifreddo

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Serves: 8 Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • Water
  • 1 1/4 cups strongly brewed espresso
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin dissolved in 2 teaspoons of water
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 18 dry ladyfingers or savoiardi cookies
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa, for sprinkling
  • Raspberries, for serving


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