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Grana Padano

Italian semifreddo: Unique, Delicious and Scientific

The seventh step of La Vita è Dolce, in Beijing, is dedicated to one of the most important icons of Italian Pasticceria around the world, consequently one of the most counterfeited. It’s not very easy to make, it commands knowledge of techniques and rigorous respect of the ingredients’ proportions. Here the step by step recipe by Francesco Elmi.
Here a step by step recipe of Semifreddo as suggested by Fabbri.


Semifreddo all'Italiana

Ingredients for Semifreddo

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1250 gr Cream
750 gr Confectioners' Custard
125 gr Crushed hazelnut nougat
250 gr Egg whites
500 gr Granulated sugar
100 gr Water
(photos 2 & 3)


Preparation Meringa all'Italiana (Italian Meringue)

Weigh out 400 gr of sugar and pour it into a copper saucepan and add the water (photo 4), place on the stove and bring to 121° C – syrup (photo 5) will form.
Place the egg whites and the remaining 100 gr of sugar in the Planetary mixer and begin to whip; trickle in the hot syrup and continue whipping until cooled. A cream of very foamy and glossy aspect will form (photo 6).

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Composition Semifreddo

1250 gr Whipped cream
750 gr Confectioners'Custard
375 gr Meringa all'italiana
125 gr Crushed hazelnut nougat


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Lightly mix the meringue with the confectioners'custard (photos 7 & 8), then still mixing lightly, add the nougat (photo 9) and finally the cream (photo 10).
Fill the moulds (photo 11) and quick-freeze (photo 12).
12 to 14 servings.


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This recipe is from Luca Caviezel’s book (Scienza e tecnologia del semifreddo artigianale).


Confectioners´ Custard


1 Lt milk
260 gr granulated sugar
280 gr egg yolks
60/ 80 gr flour
2 gr salt
1 vanilla pod


Bring the milk with the vanilla to a boil (photo 13).
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar, flour and salt well (photos 14 & 15).
Add the milk and mix with a whisk.
Simmer until it reaches a creamy consistency.

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Recipes Editor and La Vita è Dolce Worldwide Tour Coordinator: Elena Ruocco.

Photos: Paolo Della Corte- FOOD REPUBLIC