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Desserts

Chocolate Semifreddo

Chocolate Semifreddo
Ren Fuller / For The Times / Prop styling by Nidia Cueva)
Total time: 5 hours, largely freezing | Serves 12

Chocolate Semifreddo

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 can(14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vodka
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Step 1Press plastic wrap into the bottom and up the sides of a 9- by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet or cake pan with overhang on all 4 sides.

Step 2Sift the cocoa powder into a medium bowl. Add the sweetened condensed milk and stir until well-combined.

Step 3Whisk the cream using an electric mixer on medium-high speed until medium peaks form. Reduce the speed to low and add the cocoa mixture in a steady stream, then add the vodka and salt. When well-blended, pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Step 4Smooth the top with a spatula, then gently press the plastic wrap overhang directly against the surface of the chocolate mixture. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 1 week.

Step 5Lift the mixture out of the pan using the plastic wrap overhang and unwrap. Cut into 12 even pieces. Put on serving plates and top with shards of saffron glass. Serve immediately.

Saffron Glass

  • 1 ½ teaspoons saffron
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch of fine salt

Step 1Put the saffron in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Toast, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant and brittle but not browned, about 3 minutes. Immediately pour the boiling water over the saffron and let stand for 1 hour to infuse.

Step 2Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

Step 3Add the sugar, cream of tartar and salt to the saffron water. Stir well, then spread in an even layer. Bring to a boil over medium heat without stirring. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush any sugar granules off the sides of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sugar is an amber color and registers 310 degrees on a candy thermometer. Immediately pour onto the prepared pan and spread as thin as possible with a spatula.

Step 4Let stand until completely cooled and hardened. Break into shards.

Note: Make Ahead: The semifreddo can be frozen for up to 1 week. The glass will keep in an airtight container at room temperature in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days.

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