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Raspberry & Passion Fruit Semifreddo with Chocolate Crumbs

Raspberry & Passion Fruit Semifreddo with Chocolate Crumbs

With creamy, ultra-flavorful layers of tropical passion fruit and bold raspberry semifreddo and a dark chocolate crumb for a bit of sweet and salty crunch, this no-churn frozen dessert is truly next-level.

A semifreddo is an Italian frozen dessert (literally translating to half frozen) that, texturally, falls somewhere between an ice cream and a frozen mousse. It is a great option if you’re craving a frozen treat but don’t have an ice cream maker.

Overhead, marble background and three glass plates with cross-section slices of Raspberry & Passionfruit Semifreddo with Chocolate Crumbs, and a few frozen raspberries scattered around.

Spoiler alert: this is not Neapolitan! At first glance you may think you’re seeing the classic strawberry-vanilla-chocolate combo, but don’t be fooled, this sweet frozen treat is anything but ordinary, a next-level-Neapolitan if you will, featuring the trifecta of raspberry, passion fruit, and chocolate flavors.

The texture is lighter than ice cream thanks to the folded-in whipped cream, giving the consistency of a luscious frozen mousse that softens into a velvety smooth texture on your tongue. And thanks to the custard base, it has all the creaminess that you love in ice cream without the extra effort of churning.

The beauty of a molded frozen dessert like this is its layering ability, a benefit that poor ice cream certainly can’t claim. Here I’ve stacked layers of bright passion fruit and bold raspberry with Milk Bar-style chocolate crumbs in between and on top for the prefect foil of salty to sweet, crunchy to creamy.

Frozen loaf of Raspberry & Passionfruit Semifreddo with Chocolate Crumbs in between and on top, on a white square plate, two slices laying on their sides.
Two bottles of Amoretti Artisan flavors, Passionfruit and Raspberry, along with a few plates with slices of raspberry passionfruit semifreddo, and the rest of the frozen loaf in the background.

I originally created this recipe to feature Amoretti’s Natural Artisan Passion Fruit Flavor, however in my first test, the passion fruit layer (made with the Amoretti flavor) far eclipsed the raspberry layer in terms of boldness of flavor; the poor raspberry just couldn’t compete with the bright and punchy passion fruit.

So I asked Amoretti if we could make it a two-fer, and use the Natural Artisan Raspberry Flavor as well (obviously, they said yes). The next round was a resounding success, with both passion fruit and raspberry flavors equally bold and still balanced, a perfect fruity flavor combination.

For frozen desserts specifically, flavors are often dulled (it’s a scientific truth that your tastebuds aren’t as active at cooler temperatures). For that reason I wanted to make the fruit flavors in the semifreddo extra punchy, hence the addition of the Amoretti flavors, which enhance the natural fruit flavors beautifully without adversely affecting the texture (doubling the amount of raspberries in the raspberry layer, for example, would result in a much icier final product).

Did you know that Amoretti’s Artisan flavoring line was designed and developed for frozen desserts? I know I’ve only used them in baked goods up until this point, so I figured it was high time to showcase their original intention.

While this semifreddo is made with both passion fruit pulp and fresh raspberries, the Artisan flavors enhance the natural flavor of the fruit, making it stronger and more prominent even at sub-zero temperatures.

Amoretti’s Artisan flavors are made with real fruit, so they actually taste like real fruit, and are a great way to make the most of fruits that may be hard to source or simply not in season (like passion fruit, for example—if you can’t get your hands on passion fruit pulp or juice, you can still make this recipe! Just double the amount of the Amoretti Natural Artisan Passion Fruit Flavor and add it to the semifreddo base.)

Slices of Raspberry & Passionfruit Semifreddo with Chocolate Crumbs on glass plates with forks and frozen raspberries on a marble background.

Mix it Up

The semifreddo base involves eggs and egg yolks whipped in a double boiler until it reaches 170ºF (which negates any concerns about raw eggs in this recipe).

A double boiler is a piece of cookware that allows for gentle heating, with the boiling water providing gentler heat than if a pan was placed directly on a burner. While you can buy specially designed double boiler pots, you can also easily make your own by setting a heat-proof bowl (glass or stainless steel) on top of a saucepan filled with an inch or two of water.

Note that the act of beating the eggs with a hand mixer over a double boiler can be a bit precarious if you are using the bowl-set-over-a-pot method. I recommend playing with different pot/bowl combinations until you get one that seems stable. For me that was a mid-sized stainless steel mixing bowl set on top of an 8 quart pasta pot filled with 2 inches of water (the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl). Normally I use a bigger bowl/smaller pot, however in this instance the rim on the mixing bowl fit perfectly on the edge of the pasta pot, which gave me a sturdier foundation for mixing that didn’t wobble around.

If you don’t have an electric hand mixer, use a regular whisk and keep whisking for 5 to 10 minutes until it feels like your arm might fall off. Once off the heat, you can transfer it to a stand mixer for the final few minutes if that helps, or keep going with your hand whisk. You’re ultimately looking for a thick and glossy fluff with a very pale yellow color.

Full loaf of frozen Raspberry & Passionfruit Semifreddo, with visible layers of pink raspberry and pale yellow passionfruit, with Chocolate Crumbs in the middle and on top.

Lovely Layers

The beauty of this frozen dessert is in the layers, with pink and pale yellow layers hinting at the flavors to be found inside; the dark chocolate crumb only enhances the visual contrast.

Granted, it takes a few bowls to achieve this multi-colored effect, but the final reveal, with pale pink and yellow layers with dark chocolate crumbs in between, not to mention the bold flavor combination, is well worth washing a few extra bowls.

Tip: Measure the tare weight of all your mixing bowls before you begin, and write those numbers down! Then, when it comes time to split the semifreddo base and whipped cream components, you can easily figure out the total weight of the mixture and split it in half perfectly between the two layers.

The egg-based semifreddo mixture is made all at once, then split into two bowls, one with the passion fruit base and one with raspberry. Then soft whipped cream is folded in, half into each flavor bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Here’s How to Make it…

Start by making the two fruit bases.

Then you’ll make the custard base of the semifreddo, splitting it between the two fruit mixtures, and finally fold in the whipped cream.

And finally, the layers are made and assembled in a parchment or plastic-lined loaf pan.


I used a 9-by-4-inch pullman loaf pan for this recipe, as it has nice straight sides and sharper corners, but a regular 8.5-by-4.5-inch or 9-by-5-inch loaf pan works as well (though the larger size will be slightly wider and not as tall as mine). I also liked using the pullman loaf pan for this recipe as it comes with a lid, making it super easy to store this dessert in the freezer—extra bonus!

Line your loaf pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap (plastic will likely be easiest of your pan has rounded corners, though do note there will be more wrinkles in the outer surface). You could also use a silicone loaf pan without needing to line it at all if you have one!

While you’ll make both flavors at the same time, freeze the bottom layer for about an hour before adding the second layer on top to ensure they stay beautifully defined. The second mousse layer should be refrigerated in the meantime (don’t worry, it’ll hold its fluffiness just fine).

Tip: Give the pan a good thwack on the counter after adding the mousse layers, just so it settles evenly into all the little nooks and crannies in the pan.

Slices of Raspberry & Passionfruit Semifreddo with Chocolate Crumbs on glass plates, rest of the frozen loaf in the background with a few frozen raspberries scattered around.

If you want to simplify this recipe a bit, you can skip the crumbs, or use some crushed up cookies instead. Also note the crumb mixture can be made a few days ahead of time; let cool then store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Additionally, if the prospect of two flavors makes your mind boggle, you can make just a single flavor instead; to do so, double the base fruit ingredients for the flavor of your choice (for example 1/2 cup passion fruit puree or 8oz raspberries) mixed with the full amount of semifreddo custard and whipped cream (no need to worry about splitting mixtures and tare weights and all that jazz).

Overhead, marble background and three glass plates with cross-section slices of Raspberry & Passionfruit Semifreddo with Chocolate Crumbs, and a few frozen raspberries scattered around.
Closeup, slice of Raspberry & Passionfruit Semifreddo with Chocolate Crumbs on a glass plate with a forkful taken out of it.

Serving and Storage

Use the parchment or plastic wrap to lift the entire frozen block out of the pan, then place on a cutting board. Cut immediately while the block is still frozen solid (if the cream layers become softer than the crumbs, it gets much harder to get a clean slice).

If you want to have everything cut ahead of time, have a parchment-lined cookie sheet in the freezer, and transfer cut slices to it as soon as they are cut. Keep frozen until ready to serve.

I like to let the semifreddo sit for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving, allowing for a slight softening of the icy crystals for the most luscious velvety texture; but unlike straight ice cream, thanks to the folded-in whipped cream, it won’t melt into a complete puddle.

Any leftover semifreddo should be stored in the freezer; if you’ll be storing it for longer than a day or so I recommend covering/wrapping in plastic wrap to prevent any ice crystal buildup or transfer of freezer flavors. Tightly wrapped, it’ll keep for up to 2 weeks.

Slices of Raspberry & Passionfruit Semifreddo with Chocolate Crumbs on glass plates, front slice with a forkful taken out of it to show the creamy melty texture.

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

Amoretti Natural Passion Fruit & Raspberry Artisan Flavors: This recipe was designed specifically to highlight these flavoring products, which enhance the natural fruit flavor that would otherwise be too mild in the final frozen dessert. While omitting the flavoring won’t affect the technical outcome of the recipe, you’re simply not going to get the same intense fruit flavor in the final product without it, so I highly recommend getting your hands on these products—your tastebuds will thank you!

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Raspberry: Fresh or frozen raspberries both work fine here (if using frozen, let thaw overnight in the fridge before you start so there’s enough juice to dissolve the sugar). You could also use strawberry or blackberry (or any berry really) if you wanted (pair with the corresponding Artisan flavor).

Passion Fruit: I used frozen passion fruit pulp, strained to remove seeds (you’ll need about 150g of passion fruit pulp [that’s about 3-4 whole fruits worth if you’re using fresh] to yield 1/4 cup strained pulp). Passion fruit juice, nectar, or puree would also work (if it’s already sweetened, just omit the extra tablespoon of sugar). In lieu of passion fruit, I think something like mango would work well in combination with the raspberry, just puree, strain, and follow the same steps outlined in recipe.

You could also leave out the passion fruit pulp entirely (since I know it can be hard to find sometimes), but if so, you must get the Amoretti Natural Passion Fruit Artisan Flavor. Skip the separate passion fruit base (semifreddo step 1 in the recipe card below), and then in step 5, mix the corn syrup and 2 teaspoons of the Passion Fruit Artisan Flavor into half of the semifreddo base.

Corn syrup: This is used to help give the semifreddo a less-icy texture. Golden syrup or glucose syrup would be the closest substitution; honey would technically work as well (but will change the flavor profile quite a bit so use the mildest possible honey you can find).

Flour: for a gluten-free version of this recipe, replace the AP flour in the crumb mixture with your favorite GF flour blend. Since it’s not a major structural part of the recipe (the crumbs are just for crunch between the layers of frozen mousse), it should be an easy 1:1 replacement. You can also skip the crumbs entirely, or use your favorite crushed up cookies.

Heavy cream: for a dairy-free version of this recipe, you can replace the heavy whipping cream with a dairy free whipping cream (as long as it whips up to nice medium-soft peaks it should work), or even something like CoolWhip (although whether or not it is *technically* dairy free is up for debate.

I do not recommend replacing the eggs in this recipe, as the fats/proteins present in the eggs are what give the semifreddo its velvety, mousse-like texture.

Raspberry & Passionfruit Semifreddo with Chocolate Crumbs

Raspberry & Passion Fruit Semifreddo with Chocolate Crumbs

With creamy, ultra-flavorful layers of tropical passion fruit and bold raspberry semifreddo and a dark chocolate crumb for a bit of sweet and salty crunch, this no-churn frozen dessert is truly next-level.
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For Chocolate Crumb:

  • cup all-purpose flour
  • cup dark or Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For Passion Fruit Base:

For Raspberry Base:

For Semifreddo:

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 ¼ cup heavy whipping cream


For Chocolate Crumb:

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
  • In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add melted butter and mix with a spatula (or your hands) until evenly moistened; dough will stick together when squeezed but will still be fairly crumbly.
  • Crumble mixture in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until dried and crispy (they will firm up more once they cool). Set on a cooling rack and let cool completely. Crumbs can be made a few days ahead of time; store in an airtight container until ready to use.

For Semifreddo:

  • In a small saucepan, combine passion fruit pulp, sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a simmer and boil for about 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl, scraping out as much as you can from the pan. Mix in Amoretti Natural Passion Fruit Artisan Flavor and set aside.
  • Return saucepan to medium heat (no need to wash, it's ok if there's a little passion fruit in there still). Add raspberries, sugar, and corn syrup and cook, mashing the berries with the back of your utensil to release the juices. Let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or until noticeably thickened. Pour through a fine mesh sieve into a second mixing bowl. Mix in Amoretti Natural Raspberry Artisan Flavor and set aside.
  • Set up a double boiler, placing a heat-proof bowl on top of a saucepan filled with an inch or two of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water). It should be sturdy and not move around if possible, so play with bowl/pot combos if you have to.
  • Add eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt to the bowl. With an electric hand mixer (or a whisk if you have the arm strength), beat on high speed for about 4 minutes or thickened, paler in color, and reads 170°F on a digital thermometer.
  • Remove from heat and continue beating for another 3 minutes until the mixture is pale yellow and quite thick and mostly cool to the touch. Divide, adding half to each of the raspberry and passion fruit base mixtures and fold until incorporated.
  • Whip the heavy cream with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until it forms soft peaks. Add half to each of the raspberry and passion fruit base mixtures, folding with a large rubber spatula until fully incorporate. Refrigerate both mixtures until ready to use.
  • Line a metal loaf pan or pullman loaf pan (approximately 9-by-4-inches in size) with parchment paper or plastic wrap.
  • Pour the raspberry mixture into the pan, rapping it once or twice on the countertop so it settles fully into the nooks and crannies. Sprinkle with half of chocolate crumb mixture, then transfer to the freezer until solid, about an hour.
  • Pour the passion fruit mixture on top of the frozen raspberry layer and sprinkle with remaining chocolate crumbs. Lightly cover and freeze the whole pan for at least 4 to 6 hours or ideally overnight until completely solid. If you'll be storing it in the freezer for more than a day I recommend covering it more tightly to prevent freezer burn.
  • To serve, lift the whole frozen block out of the pan using the parchment or plastic wrap, or invert it onto a cutting board; peel off parchment or plastic. Cut with a sharp knife into approximately 3/4-inch thick slices and serve immediately.
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