03 May The Rise of the Semifrío
Any time is a good time to enjoy a semifrío, the semi-frozen Spanish dessert akin to the Italian semifreddo. As a big or little part of a mid-morning brunch, after lunch, in the afternoon or as the culmination of a fine evening meal. Even as a snack or carry-along treat while you’re out and about. Semifríos are really playing an essential role in today’s pastry industry, and they’re popping up more and more in restaurants and coffee shops.
When we talk about semifríos, we’re talking about desserts that are both stored and served at very cold above-freezing temperatures, somewhere between 4 and 10 °C. Mostly they’re found in the form of mousses and creamy desserts layered on a cake base. Fruit or crunchy ingredients are sometimes put inside for an extra pop, or they may be used outside as a coating or decoration for a more elegant, original presentation.
Semifrío of mascarpone with strawberries
In either case, semifríos are exquisite palate teasers whose variations of flavour and size (almost more than texture) are limited only by the preferences and imagination of the pastry cook or company crafting them. There’s just one rule: Always use quality products, like cream, cream products, chocolates and other ingredients. They are essential. It is your ingredients that ultimately make the difference in the quality and flavour of your finished semifrío.
In the windows of the thousands of pastry shops all over the country and on the menus of a multitude of restaurants– Everywhere you’ll find that semifríos are the desserts customers are clamouring for. They’re beloved by the kinds of customers who shy from both assembly-line desserts and refined cakes that require hours of preparation, but instead long for a dessert somewhere in the middle, something lighter. Something like a semifrío.
The top semifríos
Semifrío variety differs widely from one country to another, and from one region to another as well. In regions like Catalonia and Valencia, you’re a little more likely to find semifríos than in southern Spain. And within a region, the same dessert may have different elements, always depending on who is making it.
Flans, semifríos flavoured with coffee, cheese, chocolate, mascarpone, Nutella, pineapple… Half-frozen peach, lemon, strawberry, and pear cakes. These are some of the desserts you are most likely to find. There is also the yogurt semifrío, in which cream is again an indispensable component. In general, as we said before, a semifrío takes just a few ingredients and very little time to make.
Easier recipes, even for people who aren’t epicurean masters of the pastry chef’s art.
Take a look at the delicious recipes we’ve prepared especially for you.