Monday, September 24, 2012

Chocolate Semifreddo with Chestnut Creme and Candied Oranges

Plating a dessert is never something easy for me to do..i mean how often do i make a dessert and then plating or arranging it with all the different components? Never. That is the theme of this month's Aspiring Baker's Event - Desserts on a Plate. While making some of the components may not be too complicated, it's actually  how we match each of the flavours of the components and what comes with what and arranging them that is  really cracking my head. This may be an easy peasy job for a chef to to do it but for me, not easy man! I mean it's really rare for me to prepare desserts on a plate like this, not even on special occasions or friends coming over for meals or what. This is really to participate to support all the hosts!I'm glad that i found a recipe on Masterchef Au website, a recipe that i have all the ingredients ready and happy that it's just a very small recipe. It's made up of 3 components or maybe 4 if we consider the candied orange as another component.

Main: chocolate semifreddo
2nd component : chestnut creme
3rd component : caramel orange
4th component : candied oranges

the block of semifreddo. the white thing you see there is not's a sign of the folding of the cream
not properly done!!
the semifreddo was cut lengthwise and i got about 4 slices of this size.

It's my first time making a semifreddo. Not sure if  I got it right but it's like ice cream when it's hard and when it gets softer, is like mousse. I dont know, maybe there were something somewhere i didnt do it quite right, it was not really smooth but i still enjoyed eating that, just like eating a block of chocolate ice cream! The chestnut creme wasnt too bad, just a little sweet for me.

chestnut puree got it from hkg last, not expired yet.
wonder when can i be able to finish the whole jar?

The most difficult thing to do here was actually the orange caramel, couldnt believe that! The instruction says after cooking the caramel, pour in the orange juice and the orange segment to toss. The moment i poured in the orange juice, the caramel solidified and i couldnt get the oranges in so what i did the 2nd time, i just left out the orange juice and i dont like this, i think the orange caramel here tasted a little weird for me. On the other hand, the candied oranges were very nice, i really like it and apart from putting that 2 slices on the plate, i just snacked on them!

my chestnut creme is melting..but the semifreddo seems okay, still tolerating...

Recipe ( from with minor modifications )
Chocolate Semifreddo ( made in a 7" x3"x2.5" tin)  i made this 2 days ahead
4eggs, separated ( i used pasteurised eggs )
100ml hazelnut liquer ( i used 20ml rum and dilute in 80ml water )
5-6 tbsps hot water
175gm caster sugar ( I used 125 gm, see my notes * )
50gm cocoa powder, sifted
100gm dark couverture chocolate, finely chopped
150ml dairy cream, whipped to soft peak
1/2 tsp of cream of tartar ( I added this to beat the egg whites)

Chestnut creme
3 tbsps of sweetened chestnut puree
150ml dairy cream, whipped to soft peak

Orange caramel
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 orange, peeled into chunks ( i segment it )
juice of 1 orange ( i skipped )

To serve
Candied oranges ( easy recipe from )

1.Line your tin with clingwrap. For semifreddo, whisk egg yolks, liquer , hot water and 50gm sugar in a large metal bowl over bain marie until mixture starts to thicken.Whisk in cocoa powder, remove from heat, whisk in chocolate and whisk until mixture is cool.
2.Place 75gm sugar and a little water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves, increase heat to high and cook until syrup reaches 121C on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile whisk 4 egg whites together with cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks. While whisking,slowly pour in hot sugar syrup in a thin stream and whisk on high speed until mixture is thick and shiny.
3.Whisk half of the meringue into the chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the 2nd half of the meringue. Fold cream through.Pour into the prepared tin, tap gently and smooth top.Cover and freeze for 1.5 hrs or until firm.
4. For chestnut creme, whisk chestnut puree and whipped cream until well combined, refrigerate until required.
5.For orange caramel, place sugar in a large frying pan an dplace over medium high heat. Agitate until sugar melts and begins to caramelise.Allow to form a thick caramel, it will turn dark reddish brown and remove from heat. Pour in the orange juice and orange segments, tossing to coat and allow to steep in caramel. ( I skipped the orange juice )
6. Cut a slice out from the semifreddo and assemble the rest of the components on a plate and serve.

* notes: original recipe indicates 175gm sugar but 50gm sugar is missing from the recipe so i just used 125gm  total in all.

This post is linked to the Cook Like A Star Event ( Masterchef) hosted by Zoe, together with Anuja of simple baking and Baby Sumo from Eat Your Heart Out

and also submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #23 - Desserts on a Plate ( September 2012 ) hosted by Swee San of The Sweet Spot


  1. aah Love this Lena, the mix of chocolate and orange is lovely!!

  2. Chocolate dessert!! Yummy~ Sweet semifreddo with a taste of orangy zest.

  3. Lena, this is one superb dessert! Your chocolate semifreddo is magnificent, and the candied orange slices are amazing. Love your presentation and the beautiful photos:)xo

  4. Lena this is deliciousness on a plate! you've done spectacularly well and that too when you are a self-confessed "dessert-non-platterer" :D.
    Thanx for submitting this into Cook Like a Star.
    Love it!

  5. Cantik tu lena..Cm pun memang tak pandai jika nak arrange di dalam pinggan yang comel seperti ini..selalunya combination tak jadi.tak berseni hehe...

  6. Wow, this looks really impressive! I have never made plated desserts either, as it seems so complex. This looks really delicious.

  7. Very pretty plate of dessert. I am a very simple person and hardly ever plate my dessert that way. Always serve it plain ha ha..

  8. Hi Lena,

    Food plating can be like a work of art... Funny that some will look messy but artistic and some will look modern but plain. I guess food plating can be very perceptional based and I think it can be also quite difficult to achieve.

    Everything on your plate looks very lovely together and I think you have done a great job in your dessert plating.


  9. I enjoyed eating your chocolate semifreddo with my eyes:D reading the recipe is enough to put me in my tracks about making this lol! You've plated it beautifully!

  10. Lena, your plating is rather good. It does look quite elegant and I would be happy if I could have that plate of yummies right now!

  11. Now, this is what we called 'Cook Like a Star"! Such beautiful combination of dessert. I guess there'll be no more blue Monday.
    Have a great week ahead, Lena.

  12. You did a really great job plating! Cake looks delicious too.

  13. Dear Lena,

    You have moved heaven and earth
    To produce this dessert on a plate
    I agree with the comment of Elisabeth
    Great job Lena, to you I congratulate

    Yes, if the plight of the needy we are alert
    And we help and bless the less unfortunate
    God Almighty will bless us even more
    We will prosper better than before

    Have a great week

  14. Oh this is really impressive - like a very fancy restaurant dessert - just delicious and GREAT flavorings
    mary x

  15. wow. beautiful beautiful presentation. so yummy!! good for you!! thanks for sharing!!
    I am your nest follower..pls follow back if you can.
    we are having plain old boxed brownies for dessert tonight.

  16. What a lovely dessert, Lena! Wish that plate of yumminess is right in front of me, in my hands, not on the screen! It looks perfectly done to me! Yum, yum!

  17. Lena, Very pretty presentation you made and looks very yummy too!

  18. yummm... I would like to have a plate pleaaasseee :)

  19. The flavor combo in this impressive dessert is just delicious ! Lovely presentation , Lena !

  20. i don;t know which i like more the candied oranges or the semi-freddo? Both sound amazing, both look amazing and both are just simply sinful!

  21. Wow lena, this is one luscious and irresistible chocolate treat!

  22. Lena Lena, don't worry, you got the semifreddo right. For me semifreddo is ice-cream that is made without ice-cream maker. It doesnt need to be churned like ice-cream. I have a semifreddo recipe which I'm looking forward to make this year.

  23. dreamer said,

    I have made an error in my poem above.
    The 6th line should be:-
    'And we help and bless the unfortunate'

  24. Hi Lena, your dessert look delectable and very well done. Love the candied oranges.

    Have a nice week ahead.

  25. gloria: yeah, the candied oranges are nice with the semifreddo:)

    yvonne: oh yeah, i forgot you said you sapu everything with ice cream!

    elisabeth: thank you so much! i hope to make a better semifreddo next time!

    anuja: thanks! is your flu getting better?

    cm: thank you kak! I pun ambil masa lama fikirkan macam mana arrange bahan2 itu semua! tak peduli lah, macam ini saja!

    mich: this is also my first time doing it! thank you for your compliments!

    gert: me too, if i make cake, then just eat cake lah, what else you want?? haha!

    zoe: yea, some might be so simple but still looks sophisticated, i really dont know how to make my food look fancy, it's tough!LOL! thanks anyway!

    jeannie: haha! ok , just look then!

    phong hong: you really think it's elegant? i took a long time thinking how to do the arrangement! do you believe that i do my plating in the fridge? haha! cos i'm so afraid it will melt while i'm thinking how to assemble :D

    kristy: ha! nice name hor the event? everyone is cooking like a star! you hv a great week too, dear!

    babysumo: thank you!the semifreddo was quite nice but i think i still prefer real ice cream!

  26. dreamer:

    thanks so much for your constant support
    made me smile reading what you write
    never written rows of poems like this sort
    hope to you, my poems sound alright.

    oh, i understand abt that word error
    a lil act of kindness will make the world better
    to spread smiles and love while we live
    i think it's the best gift that we all cld give.

  27. alex: thank you and thanks for visiting!

    mary: wow, thanks so much!

    momto8blog: thanks, i'm enjoying your stories as well!

    joyce: LOL!! you sound like that kit kat ad, melt in your mouth and not in your hands!

    anncoo: thanks, i love your lemon custard too, hope i can try it out someday!

    sweesan: hey, you dont need mine, i'm sure you have tons of deliciousness in your house!! LOL!

    Anne: thank you so much, hope to try out another semifreddo next time but i still prefer ice cream!

    jessica: i think you will love the candied oranges!

    angie: thank you!

    jessie: would love to see you making semifreddo!

    amelia: yea, the candied oranges are very nice!

  28. love your top notch presentation!! FAB!

  29. Wow! My kind of melting moment! This looks so tempting mann! Beh tahan lah, I wann all! LOL Love your presentation , look so gourmet! :)

  30. Wow your plate certainly looks very professional. Great job.

  31. You did a good job with the plating! I struggle with plating just about anything. Sigh.

  32. Hi Lena,
    This looks so pro.
    This is like those after main course and comes the dessert, its so inviting.
    I would like to have some..:p

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