In honor of National S’Mores Day, I came up with something a liiiiiitle outside the box. Well, technically it’s still in a box-like shape. But it’s EVEN BETTER because it’s all the flavors of a summertime s’more, but elevated.
It’s like all the fun of a campfire, except most of the work is done by the freezer and not your 6th grade camp counselor. And only in extreme cases is a fire extinguisher even on the recommended ingredient list. And that’s really only for when I’m feelin’ a little zaney. Is zaney even a word people use anymore? Probably not. But I’m going to bring it back, starting right now.
A semifreddo is an Italian dessert that, as you might imagine, translates to “partially frozen”, and is essentially a partially frozen ice cream base. Leave it to the Italians to make something to casual and effortless look so chic.
Traditionally a semifreddo has an egg base along with sugar and cream. It’s just not churned frozen and the ratios are a little different than ice cream. However, on an episode of a popular Food Network holiday entertaining show, I once saw a chef melt down a pint of store-bought ice cream and mix in other ingredients, then refroze it and called it a semifreddo. So I’m somewhere in the middle with this recipe because in honor of summer and the fact that I somehow broke 4 eggs today and got them all over my kitchen, this recipe is eggless and happily requires no oven at all.
The texture is soft but not frozen-it’s somewhere between an Italian gelato and a French mousse. So it’s like an Italian wearing a French beret. You’re welcome for that visual. But I bet you’ll always remember what a semifreddo is now, though.
Bottom line-this dessert can get messy. But it is so creamy and delicious, it makes the child inside all of us smile, even while getting messy. I’d serve it in hindsight with scoop or disher like you would ice cream. Cutting it into slices was a frustrating endeavor that looked cool in the pictures but would likely frustrate me if I was alone in my kitchen trying to distribute it to guests.
And torching the marshmallows on top with a creme brûlée torch before serving is, of course, completely optional. But HIGHLY zaney, don’t you think?
1 C. Heavy cream, chilled
1-14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
1 sleeve/9 sheets of graham crackers, lightly broken into pieces
1/3 C. Marshmallow topping
½ C. Chocolate chunks or chocolate chips
1-4 oz. container vanilla Greek yogurt
1 C. Mini marshmallows
In stainless steel or glass bowl, whip up the heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk with a hand mixer or hand mixer until thick and creamy, will take 4-5 minutes
Add in vanilla bean paste, Greek yogurt and marshmallow topping
Mix in chocolate, 2/3 of graham cracker mixture and reserving 1/3 for topping
Pour mixture in plastic-wrap lined loaf pan, mixture will fill all the way to the top. Gently tap loaf pan to release bubbles and allow it to settle more
Sprinkle on remaining graham crackers crumbs on the top and cover with the sides of the plastic wrap
Freeze for 5-6 hours
Remove from pan, top with mini marshmallows and brûlée if desired. Slice and serve immediately. Enjoy!