Make Ahead

Gianduia Semifreddo (Chocolate-Hazelnut Frozen Dessert)

August 13, 2014
3 Ratings
  • Serves 8 to 10
Author Notes

This semifreddo is inspired by the delicious combination of chocolate and hazelnut that the Piedmont region is so well known for. Because of the ground hazelnuts and melted chocolate, the semifreddo holds its shape really well, remaining sliceable for quite some time after removing it from the freezer. For extra flavor, feel free to drizzle it with some chocolate sauce and garnish it with chopped, toasted hazelnuts. —Emiko

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup (100 grams) whole raw hazelnuts
  • 1 3/4 cups (400 milliliters or 13 1/2 ounces) heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 ounces (75 grams) milk chocolate, chopped
  • 2 1/2 ounces (75 grams) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (140 grams) sugar
  • 1/3 cup (about 90 milliliters) water
  • 2 egg whites
  1. Toast hazelnuts in the oven at 350º F (180º C) for 10 minutes or until warm. Remove from the oven and when cool enough to handle, remove skins by rubbing the hazelnuts in an old tea towel. This will usually remove most of the skin -- don't worry if some of it still remains. Grind the hazelnuts in a food processor until they are fine like sand. Set aside.
  2. Heat chocolate and cream together over a double boiler until the chocolate has melted; stir often. Add the ground hazelnuts and combine. Let the mixture cool, then chill it in the refrigerator until needed.
  3. While the chocolate is cooling, prepare the Italian meringue. Make a sugar syrup by combining the sugar and water in a saucepan and heating it to about 220º F (105º C). Meanwhile, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. When the syrup reaches 250º F (120º C), pour it immediately down the side of the bowl into the egg whites and continue whipping to stiff peaks. Whip until the bowl feels cool to the touch and the mixture is fluffy and thick, usually 7 minutes (but it can take between 6 and 10 minutes).
  4. Whip the chilled chocolate and cream mixture until fluffy and fold it carefully through the meringue.
  5. Place the mixture in a loaf tin lined with plastic wrap and freeze at least three hours, or until firm. Remove from the freezer about 15 minutes before serving to let it soften slightly before slicing it with a sharp knife dipped in warm water.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Steve
  • Julie
  • Stephanie B.
    Stephanie B.
  • Emiko

7 Reviews

Steve August 30, 2020
There is 200 grams of granulated sugar in one US cup.

There is no way that 1/3 of a cup is 140 grams, it's about 68!

1 3/4 cups of water is 414, not 400 mils.

So what measurements are correct to use??? The US ones or the Metric ones???
Julie August 30, 2020
Good catch Steve. Also, why use ML measurements? It’s more accurate to scale liquids and dry ingredients.
Emiko August 30, 2020
Thanks Steve. It's a typo, it should be 3/4 cup of sugar. 14ml of water won't make any adverse difference to the recipe (it's about 1 tablespoon) but to be sure please go with the metric measurements.
Julie June 30, 2017
Recipe does state that the chocolate cream mixture needs to be chilled!
Stephanie B. May 30, 2016
This turned out pretty good! I think my sad little food processor didn't get as fine a grind on the nuts as I would prefer, but that's not the recipe's fault. As with one of the questions on this recipe, I had a hard time getting the chocolate/cream mix to beat into a fluff. I think the recipe should specify that your mix needs to be cold; by the time I was done with the merengue my chocolate mix was not particularly cold, and an obstinate liquid through a decently long mixing time. I had to stick it in the freezer for ~10min (I didn't time it) and try again, and then it beat into a more solid form. Though not as fluffy as I was expecting. And if any macaron makers come into this recipe paranoid about aging egg whites: my merengue turned out fine with regular non-room temp eggs.
Stephanie B. May 30, 2016
*meringue. Though merengue is fun too.
Emiko May 31, 2016
Thank you for adding this note -- cold helps! And loved the bit about the merengue hahaha