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Friday, February 8, 2013

Raspberry Semifreddo Chocolate Cake Roll

I’ve made both Chocolate Cake Roll and Raspberry Semifreddo at separate times for different occasions. Taking on the role of matchmaker this week I arranged a special meeting of the two. They were absolutely meant for each other as it was love at first taste!

Here we have another interesting translation as the word Semifreddo in the Italian language translates into “half cold.”  It’s a dessert that has the consistency of frozen mousse yet the flavour of ice cream.  The good news is that there is no need for an ice cream maker or special utensil for making this tasty treat.

I have included the recipe for the Chocolate Cake Roll since they work so well together but the Raspberry Semifreddo can certainly be served on its own.  It’s usually molded in a terrine which is typically an oblong or loaf shape pan.  When frozen, it’s cut into slices for serving. 

I have only made Raspberry Semifreddo so far but am anxious to try as many flavours as I can in the future especially with the warmer weather approaching.  Flavour possibilities are truly endless and layering of different flavours can make it a really special dessert.

Don’t let the “half cold” translation mislead you.  This dessert freezes solid and requires a few minutes out of the freezer before serving.

Translations should not be taken too seriously as this particular one has raised a puzzling question…if it’s half cold is the other half not?

Chocolate Cake Roll

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated
1/3 cup water
¼ cup oil

For more information and pictures on method for making a cake roll see Chiffon Cake Roll.
  1. Grease a jelly roll pan with shortening, line with a piece of wax paper then grease again.
  2. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and 3/4 cup of the sugar
  3. Beat egg whites until frothy and add remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, beat until stiff.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add oil, water, egg yolks and vanilla.
  5. Beat until well blended then fold mixture into the egg whites until completely combined and no streaks of white remain.
  6. Pour batter into prepared jelly roll pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for approximately 20 minutes or until top springs back when lightly pressed.
  7. Remove from oven and immediately turn out onto a clean dish towel that has been sprinkled with cocoa.
  8. Remove wax paper and roll cake beginning at the narrow end.
  9. Place on rack to cool.

Raspberry Semifreddo

10 ounces/300 grams frozen raspberries, thawed. (use half of the 600 gram pouch bag available in the super market.)
3 eggs
2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons unflavoured gelatine
2 tablespoons water
1 ¾ cups whipping cream (35%)
  1. Press thawed raspberries through a sieve to make ¾ cups puree.
  2. Set a large heatproof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water and add puree, eggs and sugar.
  3. Wisk over water for about 8 minutes until mixture begins to slightly thicken and is hot throughout.
  4. Refrigerate 1 hour to cool, stirring occasionally.
  5. In a small (very small) pot place the 2 tablespoons of water and sprinkle the gelatine on top.  Place over low heat and stir until gelatine is melted and water becomes clear.
  6. Stir into raspberry mixture.
  7. Whip cream until stiff then using rubber spatula fold raspberry mixture into whipped cream.
  8. Place mixture into freezer stirring and scraping sides of bowl occasionally for 30 to 35 minutes until mixture becomes thick enough to spread with a knife, like soft frosting.

  1. Unroll cooled cake roll and place on wax paper.
  2. Spoon semifreddo mixture onto cake and spread evenly.
  3. Re-roll cake and wrap in the wax paper. (Don’t worry if the cake cracks somewhat while rolling.  No one will notice when served.)
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer

Notes, Tips and Suggestions
  • The chocolate cake roll can be filled with as many different fillings as your imagination allows.
  • Semifreddo can also be frozen in individual molds.
  • If timing permits, Semifreddo is absolutely at its best when served just frozen to the spreading consistency. It's like eating the best soft serve ice cream ever. Since no one was around when making this I got the coveted bowl and spatula!


  1. I wanted to comment on this existential blog post but found I did not have the time (well, linear time anyway). This was quite a nice marriage between frozen dessert and cake, a perfect after dinner treat. I don't know if my kitchen skills are quite ready for the two, but maybe I'll give a go at the semi-freddo in hopes I can produce a creamy concoction that is not too freddo!

    1. Oops, I am so existential I couldn't even type my name. It's me, E!

    2. We're already talking marriage of the two?
      Why I only introduced them last week!

      I'm really not surprised though, they're such a wonderful pairing!!