Mascarpone cheese semifreddo

I don’t know how it could have happened, but January 2018 has already come to an end! And while, in Italy, they are busy celebrating Carnevale (you should see Venice in these days, full of people in beautiful costumes parading thorough the fascinating alleys called “Calle”), in the USA, we are busy getting ready for a most anticipated holiday- the day of love (and friendship between children)- Valentine’s Day! In the past, I’ve shared with you many different dessert ideas to surprise partner (take a look to “semifreddo al torrone” or to the delicious and easy to be made “Nutella semifreddo“), and even ideas to prepare “themed” snacks for the kids (such as the festive “chocolate rice crispy hearts“). This year I have for you another great dessert recipe- ideal for someone who has little time to cook, but wants to impress their “better half”: this “Semifreddo al Mascarpone“. For those who are not familiar with the term “Semifreddo,” Italians use this word to refer to any kind of dessert that falls halfway between mousse and ice cream, with the consistency of a frozen mousse, and the flavor of ice cream. It’s much lighter than ice cream and melts on your tongue very quickly, giving the impression you just ate the lightest dessert imaginable.  So the object of my post today is a creamy and fancy dessert, where mascarpone cheese is softened and mixed with powdered sugar, and served with a thin layer of Nutella, in a “cookie box” made out of Pavesini Italian Biscotti drenched in milk and espresso coffee.  The recipe does’t belong to any particular Italian tradition, and has been found (tried and translated for you) on Pinterest, at this website. The only difficulties of this dessert is providing the ingredients, but Mascarpone cheese is sold practically in every American grocery store and you can easily order Pavesini Biscotti online here (just to be precise, I am not earning a penny for your possible purchase!).

You will need five of those small Pavesini packs  (so you’ll need just one big pack).

When all the ingredients will be collected, your fancy romantic scrumptious dessert will be ready in less than 20 minutes, and will need to rest in the freezer just one hour before serving…


2 packs Mascarpone cheese

7 oz. heavy whipping cream

3/4 cup powdered sugar, divided

5 packs Pavesini Italia Biscotti

Nutella to taste

1/2 cup milk mixed with 1/2 cup espresso coffee (at room temperature)


Coat the loaf pan with plastic paper so it will be much easier and less messy to extract the dessert from the pan once ready.  Whip the heavy whipping cream with 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar until stiff, and then set aside. In a different bowl, hand-whip the mascarpone cheese with the remaining powdered sugar.

Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mix. Stir gently so you do not cause the mixture to separate.

Place the mascarpone cream mixture in the refrigerator. Next, combine the espresso and milk in a shallow dish, and dredge the Pavesini Biscotti through it lightly. Then you can begin lining the loaf pan with the drenched biscotti. Arrange first the cookies flat on the bottom of the pan, and then on the four sides.

Pour half of the Mascarpone cream into the loaf pan, and then spread a layer of Nutella. (You can really use the amount of Nutella you prefer, but I would aim for about 5 or 6 Tbs.). Be careful to keep the Nutella well-separated from the cream, so the dessert will have a nice presentation, once cut.

Now cover with the remaining Mascarpone cream and finish with a last layer of drenched Pavesini.  Close up the loaf in the plastic paper and put in the freezer for not more than two hours.

I would suggest taking the dessert out of the freezer, and flipping it onto a pretty serving dish or tray, and decorating it as you prefer- with a drizzle of dark cocoa or powdered sugar, surrounded with some piped whipped cream dollops. Then move it into the refrigerator as soon as you begin your romantic dinner, so by the time you’ll be ready for dessert, this will have the perfect “semifreddo” consistency. Or, just take it from the freezer at least one hour before serving it.

SO YUMMY!  If I was you, I would try this recipe out as soon as possible!!!


TIPS: – Pavesini cookies are ideal as a base for Tiramisu in place of the Lady Finger.. for the prefect Tiramisu recipe, just click here, and use Pavesini or Lady Finger, as you please!

– This “semifreddo” can absolutely been considered a “cheese cake”,  since is basically made just with cheese, and the quantity of sugar is so paltry that a cheese lover would absolutely lose its mind over this dessert!

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do,

share it, like it, leave a comment, and subscribe to receive a new recipe each week for free,

and help support my blog!

Much thanks,



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