Cranberry and Biscotti Semifreddo – We Heart Local BC

Cranberry and Biscotti Semifreddo

Cranberry And Biscotti Semifreddo

Impress your friends and family with this make-ahead creamy and flavourful dessert.


  • 300 g fresh cranberries
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) sugar
  • 2 cups (500 mL) ricotta or mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup (250 mL) plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) store-bought almond biscotti, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) honey
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 egg whites (preferably pasteurized)


  1. Place the cranberries in a small pan with 100ml cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 10 minutes until the berries soften and become pulpy.
  2. Stir in the sugar and continue to stir until it has dissolved. Simmer for  4-5 more minutes until the mixture has thickened, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Zest orange with a peeler and cut into thin strips. Squeeze out juice and reserve.
  4. Place zest in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Drain zest and then put back in the saucepan with ⅓ cup (75 mL) water and the sugar. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes to candy the zest. Drain zest and reserve the syrup.
  5. In a large bowl, mix ricotta or mascarpone with yogurt and reserved orange juice.
  6. Add candied orange zest, biscotti, honey and hazelnuts. Mix together.
  7. In another bowl, beat egg whites with the reserved syrup until soft peaks form. Incorporate into cheese mixture.
  8. Spoon three quarters of the creamy mixture into a silicone loaf pan or a loaf pan lined with parchment paper then spread over the cooled cranberries.
  9. Top with the remaining creamy mixture, then use a skewer to swirl and marble the cranberry mixture through the creamy layer. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon.
  10. Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours before unmoulding.
  11. Let the semifreddo stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. This will help soften it before slicing to serve it “semi-frozen.”
  12. Serve slices of semifreddo with a drizzle of honey.

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