Grand Marnier Semifreddo

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Recipe for Grand Marnier Semifreddo. There's no more elegant finish to a meal than this silky, semifreddo that's spiked with a delicate orange liqueur from France.


  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks , at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 2 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. 1. Line a 1-quart ( 4 X 9 X 2 1/4 inch) loaf pan with plastic wrap and put it in the freezer while you prepare the various pieces of this semifreddo.
  2. 2. Beat the cream in a medium bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until doubled in volume and creamy, not at all buttery. Set aside at room temperature away from the stove's heat.
  3. 3. Bring about 3 inches of water to a boil in a large saucepan set over high heat; reduce the heat so the water simmers gently. Clean and dry the mixer's beaters.
  4. 4. Place the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a bowl that will eventually fit snuggly over the saucepan with the simmering water. First, beat away from the heat at medium speed until thick and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Then beat in the Grand Marnier and orange zest before placing the bowl over the saucepan. Beat at medium speed, frequently scraping down the sides of the bowl to prevent any eggs from scrambling along the edges, until the mixture is thick enough to make firm little mounds when the beaters are turned off and pulled up out of it, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool at room temperature for 5 minutes.
  5. 5. Clean the beaters again. Place the egg whites, salt and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a second bowl; set it snugly over the saucepan with the simmering water. Beat at medium speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating at medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a clean rubber spatula, until silky and shiny, about 4 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat (you can turn the heat off under the saucepan) and beat in the vanilla. Continue beating at medium speed until room temperature, about 2 more minutes.
  6. 6. Working quickly, fold half the egg-white mixture into the egg yolk mixture with a rubber spatula until smooth, then fold in the remaining egg white mixture. Fold in the whipped cream in gentle arcs so as to incorporate it fully without deflating the mixture.
  7. 7. Remove the prepared pan from the freezer and pour the mixture into it. Gently smooth it into the corners, creating an even surface across the top without pressing down. Freeze until set, 6 to 8 hours. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap to ward off freezer odors; the semifreddo can be stored this way for up to 2 weeks.
  8. 8. To serve, invert the pan onto a serving platter or cutting board; wiggle it gently back and forth until the semifreddo releases onto the platter or board. Remove the pan and all plastic wrap. Slice the semifreddo into 1-inch pieces and serve them on individual plates.