An Easy Ice Cream Recipe From a Legendary Baker

Recipe: Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Chocolate Semifreddo
Chocolate Semifreddo
Chocolate Semifreddo

It’s hard to believe, but this rich chocolate cream is made with cocoa powder, not chocolate. I use cocoa because the cocoa butter in chocolate would become very hard when chilled, whereas a semifreddo, which means semi-frozen, should have a lighter, airier consistency, which the cocoa powder provides. The egg yolk adds shine and silkiness and enhances the flavor.

Makes two half-cup servings; it can be multiplied for more servings.
Both weights and volume measures are given.
This recipe takes 5 minutes to put together and 30 minutes to chill.
An ice cream machine is not required.


Ingredient Weight Volume
Sugar, preferably superfine 50 grams 1/4 Cup
Unsweetened alkalized cocoa 528 grams 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (sift before measuring)
Salt a tiny pinch a tiny pinch
Milk 60 grams 1/4 cup (59 ml)
Heavy cream 116 grams 1/2 cup (118 ml)
1 (to 2) large egg yolks 19 grams 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon (17.5 ml)
Pure vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml)

*Have ready a fine-mesh strainer suspended over a medium bowl.

  • In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, and salt. Whisk in the milk until smooth. Then whisk in the cream.
  • Heat the mixture on low heat, stirring constantly with the whisk, until it begins to boil. Cook it at a low boil for 1 minute, continuing to stir, until thickened.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the egg yolk and vanilla. Scrape the chocolate custard into the strainer. Press it through the strainer and scrape any mixture clinging to the underside into the bowl.
  • Divide the chocolate custard into two pot de crème containers or 6 ounce custard cups. Cover tightly and freeze for at least 30 and up to 45 minutes before serving. It is at its best texture at this point, when only partially frozen. If you are making it ahead of time, refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving time, and then freeze it for 20 to 30 minutes.

Keeps for 3 days, refrigerated, in a covered container

Check out her blog, Real Baking with Rose, for recipes, videos.