Recipe By Chef John
Published Jun 19th
Prep 10m Cook 4m Additional 8h 4m Ready In 8h 18m
Servings 2 servings Calories 279.3

A massively underrated summer dessert, semifreddo has a rich taste, and you get what’s basically an airy, custard-style ice cream without having to use a machine. However, it all comes at a cost. The classic procedure is a little bothersome, since you need to make three separate components – a zabaione, a meringue, and whipped cream – so, I decided to simply use the eggs whole, and make a ‘zabaringue.’ I knew I wouldn’t get as much volume, but I didn’t care.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coffee-flavored liqueur (such as Kahlua®)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup ice cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon whipped cream for garnish
  • 1 pinch unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Whisk eggs, sugar, coffee-flavored liqueur, instant coffee, and 1 teaspoon cocoa powder together in a metal bowl.
  2. 2 Place bowl over low heat on the stove (holding bowl with a dishtowel) and continue whisking until mixture thickens, 4 to 6 minutes. Whisk continually to prevent eggs from scrambling. Remove bowl from heat and let mixture cool completely. (You can set the bowl on ice water to speed this up.)
  3. 3 Whisk ice-cold heavy cream and sugar together in a chilled bowl until stiff peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes. Add cooled egg-coffee mixture to the whipped cream. Stir with a spatula until just combined.
  4. 4 Transfer mixture to serving cups. Wrap cups in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, 8 hours or overnight. Garnish with whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 279.3
  • Carbohydrate 24.4 g
  • Cholesterol 227.1 mg
  • Fat 16.3 g
  • Fiber 0.5 g
  • Protein 7.3 g
  • Saturated Fat 8.6 g
  • Sodium 83 mg
  • Sugar 22.2 g

Chef's Notes

Answering questions about how to use this technique to make other flavors is tough, since there are many variables. Theoretically, if you replace the coffee and liquor, with other similar "stuff," then you should get a similar product. Good luck!


  1. I enjoyed trying this but I never quite achieved the "ribbon stage" while whisking.
  2. Made with lemon liqueur (30% alc) and lime zest also added a bit more sugar. It was awsome! Great consistency!
  3. I tripled the recipe used an electric mixer and followed directions. I had no idea whether this would work but it did! And it was great! Will be making this again!
  4. I highly suggest watching the video. I'm not sure what happened during the egg step on my first try but I got some solids of what I am guessing are scrambled eggs haha. SO I scrapped that used C&H instead of my "natural" sugar and "borrowed" two of my roommate's higher quality eggs and kept - Read more ...
  5. This was awesome! Definitely a keeper. I used Bailey's Irish cream instead of Kahula and it tasted great! 10 out of 10
  6. This is my fourth try. The main problem has been getting the eggs to thicken. Tonight I resolved to either thicken them scramble them or break something I did not follow the instructions exactly anymore. I simmered water in a skillet and placed a pyrex bowl in that and whisked and whisked. Not much happened - Read more ...
  7. I really liked it the downside is that I'm underage and couldn't get any coffee liqueur so I just used coffee. I tried it once using whole eggs to get the custard but it just didn't work so I separated the eggs. I whipped the whites and turned the yolk into the custard. I ended - Read more ...