Mocha Semifreddo


When I first posted this recipe on Instagram, I was hopelessly trying to find an emoji that best matched the delicious taste of this iced dessert. When I made this for the TV show Chryses Syntages, our show producer couldn’t stop until he ate half of this loaf. And when I made it as a birthday cake for my dad’s 94th birthday, my whole family (the toughest judges!) gave me raving reviews including my father who rarely eats dessert. Not convinced yet? Let me tell you then that it’s so easy to prepare, your kid could make it!


  • 160 grams butter cookies
  • ½ cup roasted almonds, coarsely ground
  • 100 grams Philadelphia style cream cheese
  • 400 grams sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 Tbs instant coffee granules
  • 3 Tbs hot water
  • 500 ml whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the chocolate ganache:

  • 250 grams bittersweet chocolate
  • 250 ml whipping cream
  • 1-2 Tbs coffee liqueur


To roast the almonds spread on a baking sheet and bake in a 175 C oven for 6-8 minutes. Cool slightly and then chop them roughly in a mini-chopper. Don’t turn them into powder. You want to feel the nuts in the semifreddo.

Crush the cookies in a mini chopper or food processor. It’s ok if some larger pieces remain. Set aside in a bowl until needed.

Make the chocolate ganache by heating the cream in a small saucepan. Put chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour over it the hot cream. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Mix until chocolate has melted completely and mixture is smooth. Set aside until needed

Put coffee granules in a mug or small bowl. Add the hot water and stir to dissolve.

In a large bowl, whip together the condensed milk with the cream cheese. Mix in the dissolved coffee.

In a mixer bowl whip cream and vanilla to soft peaks. Fold whipped cream in the milk/cheese/coffee mixture. Mix until you have a smooth coffee cream.

Time to assemble the semifreddo. Line the base and sides of a wet loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving some hanging from the sides.

  1. Spread the base with about 4 tablespoons of the coffee cream. Layer will be thin.
  2. Sprinkle cream with 4 tablespoons of the cookie crumbs and
  3. about 3 tablespoons of the nuts
  1. Pour over 1/3 of the chocolate ganache
  2. Top with spoonfuls of about half of the coffee cream.

Repeat process:

  1. Four tablespoons cookie crumbs
  2. Three tablespoons almonds
  3. 1/3 of the chocolate ganache
  4. Coffee cream

Finish with a final layer of cookie crumbs and nuts, keeping some for decoration if you like.

Fold over the plastic overhang to cover the semifreddo completely. Transfer in the freezer for at least 6 hours.


To serve, transfer semifreddo in the fridge for 30 minutes (you can also serve this straight from the freezer, which is actually a better idea if you live in Cyprus and it’s the middle of July!). Run a spatula around the edges to help unmold the dessert. Unfold the plastic wrap and invert on a serving platter. Remove the wrap and discard. Pour over the remaining ganache and sprinkle with cookie crumbs and nuts. Slice with a warm knife and serve.


2 thoughts on “Mocha Semifreddo

  1. Galatia mou, I recently made your cheesecake-flavoured semifreddo (from this season’s Chryses Syntages) and my family went crazy!! Can’t wait to try this version, it looks so delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

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