This Tiramisu Semifreddo combines the best of two Italian desserts – all the flavours of tiramisu in the semi-frozen mousse-like ice cream. The layers of coffee dipped sponge cookies add some texture. If you love coffee, you will undoubtedly love this decadent frozen dessert.
Semifreddo is a traditional Italian, semi-frozen dessert. It’s super easy to make as it doesn’t involve churning. Using whipped cream lends the velvety smooth mousse-like texture. Using condensed milk adds a richness as well as helps avoiding any ice crystals formations. It’s typically made in a loaf pan and served as slices instead of being scooped.
When someone asked me “what’s your favorite dessert” on my Instagram’s ‘ask me anything’ stories, the first thing that came to my mind was Tiramisu! Espresso dipped sponge biscuits (savoiardi/lady fingers) layered in between sweet & light mascarpone cream – it’s a rich, luxurious treat indeed!
I’ve been playing around Tiramisu flavours recently (tried a Tiramisu Tres Leches Cake for an event – that indeed demands its own post soon!). Knowing my love for tiramisu, my friend Samantha recommended me to try this recipe from Gemma’s Bigger Bolder Baking blog and I was sold! Gemma does say you’re going to love this, and when I took my first bite, I honestly felt like I am in heaven. And it’s not just me, everyone who ate this – be it adults or kids – couldn’t stop licking their spoons (and some may be their plates too)!
Thank you Sam for the recommendation! This one’s definitely a winner (just like your rose & pistachio tea cake!)
Lady Fingers are essentially sponge cake batter piped into strips then baked and dried into biscuits. They are known “savoiardi” in Italian and are perfect for tiramisu because they absorb the liquid fairly quickly without getting soggy. You only need to soak the lady fingers biscuits for 1-2 seconds at the most so as to maintain their structure, else they’ll get soggy and collapse.
I’ve skipped the alcohol in the recipe, but feel free to kick this Tiramisu Semifreddo up a notch by adding some brandy or rum to the coffee soaking mixture.
- 120 g mascarpone cheese
- 240 ml heavy whipping cream – cold
- 140 g sweetened condensed milk – cold
- 2 tsp instant coffee
- 4 tsp hot water – to dissolve the coffee
- 150 ml strong brewed espresso – add 3 tbsp brandy or rum if using
- 12 Savoiardi / lady fingers biscuits
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – for dusting
- Prepare a 9"x 5" loaf pan with at least 3-4 layers of cling wrap. Dissolve the instant coffee in hot water and keep it aside to cool completely. Pour the 150 ml strong coffee in a flat dish and keep aside.
- In stand mixer or with hand mixer and a large bowl, whip the mascarpone cheese for couple of minutes till smooth and lump-free.
- Add the heavy whipping cream and whip on medium speed till you reach soft peaks.
- Add the cold condensed milk and coffee and continue whipping till you reach stiff peaks. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl in between.
- We'll be adding the cream mixture in 3 parts. Spread about ⅓ of this cream evenly on the base of the pan.
- Dip one biscuit at a time in coffee for at max 1-2 seconds before taking it out, letting the excess drip, and lining it on the cream. Do not over-soak. You'll be able to line 6 of the biscuits in one layer.
- Dollop the next ⅓ of the cream mixture onto the biscuits layer and spread it out gently.
- Repeat the process of soaking the biscuits in coffee and layering them into the cream for remaining 6 biscuits.
- Dollop the remaining cream mixture onto the top and spread it evenly. Cover it with cling wrap and freeze the pan for at least 6 hours.
- When serving, remove the pan from the freezer and use the cling wraps to remove the semifreddo from the pan. Invert it over a plate, remove the cling wraps and dust cocoa powder. Slice and serve immediately. The semifreddo can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.