Jul 21, 2019 Last Updated 6:31 AM, Nov 9, 2017

Chocolate Semifreddo

Chocolate Semifreddo by Patrice Vassell.

Chocolate semifreddo, orange caramel and donut dough by Patrice Vassell, Pastry Sous Chef of Telepan Restaurant in New York, NY.


Yield: 16 servings

  • 15 oz/428 g heavy cream
  • 8.25 oz/234 g 72% chocolate
  • 2 oz/56 g unsalted butter
  • 4.2 oz/120 g egg yolks
  • 7 oz/200 g granulated sugar, divided 
  • 3.17 oz/90 g milk 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3.5 oz/100 g egg whites
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar

1. Whip the heavy cream to firm peaks and refrigerate. 

2. In a heatproof bowl, melt the chocolate and butter and set aside. 

3. In a separate bowl, whip the yolks and 3.5 oz/100 g of sugar over a double boiler until it’s very thick and pale yellow.  Add the melted chocolate and butter mixture, milk and salt. 

4. Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar in a stand mixer on medium speed while slowly adding in the remaining 3.5 oz/100 g of sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped whites into the chocolate mixture and then fold in the whipped cream. Using a piping bag fill cylinder molds with mixture and freeze.

Orange Caramel:

  • 11.78 oz/334 g granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs orange zest
  • 6.7 oz/190 g orange juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar

On medium heat, caramelize sugar and orange zest until it turns golden brown. Add orange juice and salt, whisking to dissolve the caramel. Take it off the heat and stir in the white wine vinegar.

Donut Starter:

  • 9.2 oz/262 g bread flour
  • 8.6 oz/245 g warm milk
  • 0.009 oz/0.25 grams active dry yeast

Mix all together by hand and allow it to ferment overnight.

Donut Dough: 

  • Donut Starter (from above)
  • 21.5 oz/611 g bread flour
  • 6.17 oz/175 g whole eggs
  • 5.4 oz/154 g egg yolks
  • 0.63 oz/18 g active dry yeast
  • 4.6 oz/131 g granulated sugar
  • 0.63 oz/18 g salt
  • 14 oz/400 g unsalted butter, cubed

1. In a stand mixer, combine all the ingredients except the butter and mix with the paddle attachment on medium speed for about 8 minutes.  Switch to the hook attachment and continue to mix while adding the butter in little by little. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and should feel cool to the touch. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let stand at room temperature until doubled in size. 

2. Punch the dough down and chill for 30 minutes. 

3. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to about ¾” thick and punch out the dough using a ring cutter measuring 1 ½” in diameter. Let rise for 20 minutes.

4. Fry the donuts a few at a time in 325°F oil for about 5 minutes.


Using a pastry brush, brush the orange caramel sauce on the plate. Unmold the semifreddo and cut it in half, lengthwise and on a bias. Place the semifreddo on top of the caramel and place three donuts filled with chocolate sauce around the semifreddo. Finish with orange caramel around the plate.

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