This Fresh Mint Semifreddo is refreshing without being overwhelmingly minty. It’s an elegant frozen dessert that is simple to make and makes a stunning presentation!

Lately I’ve been thinking about what my “thing” should be.

You know, like how celebrities all have a thing? Michael Jackson with his one glove, Mariah Carey with her weird sparkly-butterfly-princess-rainbow obsession, Angelina Jolie with her Oscar leg pose (wait, are we over that already?)…everyone who’s anyone has a signature thing.

I considered some possibilities. My razor-sharp wit? My devastating good looks? My uncanny ability to remember any song lyric I’ve ever heard while not being able to retain any actually useful information I need in my everyday life? (That last one is actually true, by the way.) All good options.

semifreddo-2

In the end, though, I decided that maybe my thing is fresh mint desserts. I’m kind of obsessed with cramming fresh mint flavor into my sweets (exhibit A, exhibit B) and while you may be thinking that fresh mint desserts don’t count as a “thing,” you’re totally wrong.

These fresh mint semifreddos might not be as iconic as MJ’s glove, but I promise they’re at least as sexy as Angelina Jolie’s right leg.

Semifreddo means “half-cold” in Italian, and the best way I can describe this dessert is to say that it’s like if ice cream and mousse had a baby. It’s a great way to get a frozen dessert fix if you don’t have an ice cream maker, and it can be made in a loaf pan and sliced into pieces, or frozen in individual serving cups.

semifreddo-1

This recipe came about because I was craving homemade mint ice cream, but there was literally no room in our freezer to store the bowl for the ice cream maker. Gnawing on mint leaves and chewing ice cubes at the same time just wasn’t cutting it, so I decided to make an easier, less space-intensive dessert. The fresh mint flavor is refreshing without being overwhelming, and if you’ve only ever had mint desserts made with mint extract, you are in for a serious treat when using the herb itself.

Before I poured the semifreddo into the serving cups, I decorated them with a few artistic chocolate swoops on the inside of the glass. And how did I make these swoops, you might be asking? Well…

semifreddo-4 Yeah, you know I had to watermark this baby or else someone would surely want to steal it

I called on my trusty friend the Ikea milk frother, last seen whipping cream in this post. I swear, I’m not actually obsessed with the frother (…or am I? Maybe THAT should be my thing?) it’s just a coincidence it’s recently come up so often.

To make the design, I dipped the wire coils in some melted chocolate, then held the frother at an angle in the cup and turned it on. Once it made a lovely circular splatter, I repeated the process holding the cup at a different angle. I did this 4-5 times per cup to get a nicely random pattern of overlapping chocolate circles. Fast, easy, looks impressive…my kind of decorating trick.

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And here’s what your gorgeous semifreddo will look like after it gets a bit hot and bothered during a photo shoot. Melty along the edges, with a smooth, rich, creamy texture and a bright, herbacious flavor. Give it a try—maybe you’ll find that semifreddo becomes your thing!

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Close up of a Fresh Mint Semifreddo embellished with chocolate.

Fresh Mint Semifreddo

5 from 1 vote
This Fresh Mint Semifreddo is refreshing without being overwhelmingly minty. It’s an elegant frozen dessert that is simple to make and makes a stunning presentation!
Prep20 minutes
Cook8 minutes
Total28 minutes
Yields8

Ingredients

  • 1 oz fresh mint leaves, (1 cup), packed
  • 5 fl oz heavy cream, (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 4 oz granulated sugar, (1/4 cup + 1/3cup), divided use
  • Green gel food coloring, optional
  • Chocolate sauce, or ganache for topping, optional

Instructions 

  • Coarsely chop the mint leaves, and combine them with the heavy cream in a small saucepan. Bring the cream to a simmer over medium-high heat, and just as it starts to boil, remove the pan from the heat. Cover it with a tight-fitting lid and let it sit at room temperature for an hour to infuse the cream with mint flavor. After an hour, pour the cream through a strainer into a bowl and squeeze the mint leaves to remove any excess cream. Refrigerate the cream until cold.
  • Once cold, whip the cream to stiff peaks and refrigerate it while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  • Place a saucepan of water on the stove and bring it to a simmer. In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks and 1.75 oz (1/4 cup) of granulated sugar. Whisk them together, then place the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water. Continue to whisk as the egg yolks heat up, until the yolks have lightened and taken on a custardy texture, about 3-4 minutes. Set the egg yolks aside for a moment.
  • Place the egg whites and 2.33 oz (1/3 cup) of sugar in the bowl of a large mixer. Fit the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly while the egg whites heat up. Whisk until the sugar dissolves and the whites are hot to the touch, 3-4 minutes. Put the bowl on the mixer and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold the egg whites into the yolks in 3 batches, then gently fold in the whipped cream. If you want to give your semifreddo more of a green mint color, add a drop or two of green food coloring. Divide it between your serving dishes, and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Serve with a drizzle of chocolate sauce or warm ganache, if desired.

Measuring Tips

Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.

Want to learn more about baking measurements and conversion?

Nutrition

Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 30mg | Potassium: 65mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 545IU | Vitamin C: 1.8mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 0.6mg
Tried this recipe?Snap a pic and hashtag it #SugarHero. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @elabau.
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Meet Elizabeth!

Hi, I’m Elizabeth — a trained pastry chef, cookbook author, video instructor, and your new Baking BFF! I’m going to teach you everything you need to know to be a sugar hero. ❤️

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12 Comments

  1. You’re such a clever lady. I’m not such a sweet tooth but ever since I found your blog well…. blog on, my friends and I think you’re amazing!

  2. This can seriously be made sans ice cream maker? I’m making it today. No joke. Nothing beats homemade ice cream. Also, I LOVE your frother picture.

  3. Oh you are ever so creative with your trusty whisk! Those little semi-freddos are beautiful. Mint Julep is my thing for the summer. I even started growing mint for it.

  4. I love your whisk trick.. só innovative!!! These look amazing, I´m definitely going to give them a try…

    Have a good weekend!

  5. Great recipe! My family is asking me to make this every time the come for a visit.

    Ottima ricetta! La mia famiglia mi sta chiedendo di farlo ogni volta che viene per una visita.

    1. Thank you, Alex! I’m thrilled to know that you and your family enjoy this recipe–thanks for the comment!

    1. Hi Louis! To make the design, I dipped the wire coils of a milk frother in some melted chocolate, then held the frother at an angle in the cup and turned it on. Once it made a lovely circular splatter, I repeated the process holding the cup at a different angle. I did this 4-5 times per cup to get a nicely random pattern of overlapping chocolate circles. I hope this helps!

  6. I’ve never had a problem whipping cream before, but with this recipe I couldn’t get it to whip. I’m not sure if I squeezed the mint too much to get the cream out? I used fresh mint leaves from our garden and followed the recipe precisely (using my scale to ensure the weight measurements were right). The rest of the recipe turned out great and I ended up whipping up plain cream and using flavoring instead, but I’d really like to figure out how to make it work with the fresh mint! Any ideas?

    1. Hi Tiffany, I’m sorry to hear the cream gave you problems. Without having been there to see the process, I have a few suggestions for areas to look at: temperature of the cream when whipping, temperature of the cream when heating, and type of cream used.

      1. Was the cream very cold when you tried to whip it? The fat content in cream is most stable when cold, so cold cream whips the best. Cream that is warm or even room temperature is more difficult to whip, and the resulting whipped cream is softer and less stable. So not chilling the cream enough after heating it up could be one cause.

      2. Heating the cream too much during the mint infusion step could have produced issues. Theoretically, cream should be fine even if you bring it to a rolling boil and then whip it later, but if you are using a cream with a lower fat percentage, or if it was boiled for awhile, the fat can break down or separate, making whipping later difficult. (This is why I recommend only a simmer rather than heating the cream any hotter.) Overheating the cream isn’t usually a problem, but when combined with #3 could be something to look at…

      3. The higher fat cream you use, the better. It can be hard to know exactly what you’re using because some manufacturers and packaging don’t clearly state fat percentage. But in general, heavy cream is better than whipping cream, and ANYTHING is better than “light whipping cream,” which has a lower fat percentage and which is difficult to whip well even under the best circumstances. I use and highly recommend 40% fat cream, sometimes also called “manufacturing cream.” I get it from Costco and the high fat percentage means it’s super stable and whips BEAUTIFULLY.

      I know this isn’t a definitive answer but hope that it gives you a place to start! If you were to try it again in the future I would recommend starting with a high fat percentage cream, making sure that it doesn’t come to a boil but instead just simmers before infusing the mint, and then making sure it is VERY cold before whipping, and chilling the bowl and whisk you use to whip also helps get great results. I hope this helps, and please feel free to reach out with any other questions!