Brandy-Mascarpone Semifreddo

"I love this dessert because it makes me think of eggnog," says Valerie Gordon of Valerie Confections. To give the semifreddo its spectacular shape, she freezes it in a silicone kugelhof mold. You can also use any mold or pan that holds at least eight cups.


Slideshow: More Semifreddo Recipes


  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 14 to 16
  • Time(Other): Plus 24 hr freezing

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  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • Ice water
  • 12 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cups mascarpone (14 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup brandy, such as Cognac or Armagnac
  • Stewed Winter Fruits in Spiced Wine Syrup

How to make this recipe

  1. <p>In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of the heavy cream with the gelatin over low heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatin dissolves. Let cool completely.</p>

  2. <p>Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a medium stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 1 cup of the sugar and the vanilla extract. Set the bowl over a pan filled with 1 inch of simmering water and cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is pale and thick and registers 160&#176; on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes. Set the bowl in the ice water and let the egg-yolk mixture cool, stirring occasionally.</p>

  3. <p>In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream with the mascarpone and the remaining 2/3 cup of sugar at medium-high speed until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually add the cream-gelatin mixture and brandy and beat until firm peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold one-fourth of the whipped cream mixture into the cooled egg-yolk mixture, then fold it into the remaining whipped cream until no streaks remain. Scrape the semifreddo mixture into a 10-cup silicone kugelhopf mold or another 8- to 10-cup mold, spreading it in an even layer. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the semifreddo and freeze for at least 24 hours, until very firm.</p>

  4. <p>Carefully peel the mold from the semifreddo, shaking gently onto a platter. Cut into wedges and serve with the Stewed Winter Fruits in Spiced Wine Syrup.</p>

Make Ahead

The brandy-mascarpone semifreddo can be frozen, in its mold, for up to 2 weeks. At room temperature, the semifreddo will keep its shape for about 30 minutes.

Photo © Jonny Valiant Published December 2011

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