The Key Ingredient For Low-Sugar Semifreddo

Semifreddo is an Italian dessert that is easy to make, yet makes a bold statement. The word "semifreddo" is Italian for "half-frozen." Semifreddo is similar in taste and texture to ice cream or a frozen mousse. It's rich and creamy, but also fluffy and light due to the higher concentration of air (per Italian Gelato). It also does not need to be churned, making it ideal to make for anyone who doesn't own an ice cream maker. Instead, it is often prepared in a loaf pan. Once the mixture is made, it's stored in the freezer for a minimum of eight hours, but preferably overnight (via Serious Eats).

There are a few schools of thought when it comes to what to add to a semifreddo. Similar to ice cream, semifreddo is made with heavy cream, eggs, and sugar. Some recipes call for the use of whole eggs, while other recipes prefer to use egg whites that are whipped into a meringue. Sugar is either whipped into the egg whites or cooked with the egg yolks. 

But if you want to reduce the sugar content, but retain the creamy and light texture, there is one key ingredient you can use.

Get ready to raid your bar

One of the reasons sugar is needed is because it acts as an anti-freezing agent. This helps the semifreddo retain its half-frozen status. According to Italian Gelato, if you're wanting to cut down on your sugar intake, you can add alcohol to the semifreddo mix. Alcohol works like sugar to lower the freezing point of whatever you are making. If you are going to add alcohol, you'll need to lower the amount of sugar to ensure the same texture. Depending on the alcohol you choose, it can also be used as a flavor enhancer.

BBC Good Food suggests using limoncello, an Italian lemon-flavored liqueur in a semifreddo. If you don't have any on hand, you can try your hand making a classic limoncello recipe at home. The tartness from the limoncello pairs well with tart and sweet raspberries for a limoncello raspberry semifreddo. Another popular alcohol for semifreddo is Amaretto, an Italian almond-flavored liquor (per Laura in the Kitchen). 

Basically, if you want to use less sugar, pick the alcohol you enjoy drinking and it'll be delicious.