Italian semifreddo, or "half-chilled", is the perfect summer (read: anytime) dessert.
It's easy to make if you take your time with each of the components. And the version I make is pasteurized, meaning it's safe for kiddos and pregnant women to enjoy.
Here's my take on a classic, sweet cream semifreddo.
Before you begin, separate your eggs into whites and yolks. And place a metal (or glass) mixing bowl in the freezer to be used later for the whipped cream. Don't forget to prep a 5" x 9" loaf pan by greasing the bottom and sides, and lining with cling or plastic wrap.
5 medium eggs, yolks and whites separated
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3-4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
2 pinches sea salt
Marsala, port or cognac, optional
Step 1: Swiss Meringue
In a small bowl, whisk together eggs whites, and 1/4 cup sugar
Place in a double boiler over simmering water, whisking until sugar is dissolved and the temperature reaches 165° F
Using an electric mixer, whip on high until stiff peaks form
Add 1 tsp vanilla at the end, mix one more time & refrigerate
Step 2: Zabaglione
Whisk together egg yolks, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/4 cup sugar
Place in a double boiler over simmering water, whisking until sugar is dissolved and it’s thick and pale yellow. Be sure it reaches 165°F.
Continue heating and add 1/2 cup of cognac or marsala at this time (optional)
Transfer to stand mixer & whip on high until it doubles in volume (~3 mins)
Set aside to cool down
Note: Zabaglione can be a dessert in itself. simply add lemon and orange zest and enjoy with Italian pizzelle or anisette cookie.
Step 3: Whipped Cream
In a chilled bowl, whisk together cream, powdered sugar, and remaining vanilla until stiff peaks form
Add two pinches of sea salt and whip once more
Fold zabaglione into whipped cream
Fold in meringue to the mixture
Pour into the prepped loaf pan, seal with plastic wrap and freeze for 6+ hours
Lift from loaf pan, using the plastic wrap as handles, and invert on a serving platter
Run a metal icing spatula under hot water, and smooth out the top and sides
Add chocolate curls, berries, toasted hazelnuts or pistachios, or any other topping of your choosing.