Chocolate Hazelnut Semifreddo


Semifreddo (half cold) is a partially frozen Italian dessert.

You do not need an ice cream maker to make semifreddo.

Cold and creamy, this luscious dessert is easy to make. Similar to ice cream but more like a mousse because it’s made with whipped cream instead of churning air into the mixture while it freezes.

In this recipe I use Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread) instead of making a custard and if you don’t have amaretti, you can substitute biscotti or cookies.

Molded in a loaf pan, (same as tiramisu) this dessert makes  for a pretty presentation.



  • 1 cup crushed amaretti cookies
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (13-ounce) jar Nutella (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup Frangelica (hazelnut liqueur)
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts, chopped
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder (garnish)
  1. Line a 9x5x3 -inch loaf pan with plastic wrap (see Limoncello tiramisu).
  2. In a small bowl, combine the crushed cookies and melted butter. Press the mixture into the prepared pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the Nutella with Frangelica.
  4. In another large bowl, using a mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold (1/3 at a time) the whipped cream into the Nutella. Add the pistachio nuts.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Bring the plastic wrap up and over to completely cover the semifreddo (use additional plastic if necessary).
  6. Freeze for 8 hours or overnight.

To serve, sift cocoa powder onto a serving tray, unwrap the top of the loaf, invert the semifreddo onto the tray. Remove the remainder of the plastic wrap. Slice for individual servings.

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