Passion Fruit Semifreddo
Semifreddo is without a doubt my new favourite thing. It delivers an incredibly delicious ice cream and has to be the easiest way of making ice cream when you do not have an ice cream maker.

Passion Fruit Semifreddo

Cape Town city centre is dotted with fruit sellers selling an array of fruit and vegetables during the week. I enjoy seeing the seasons change in their wares. Strawberries have started to appear and I saw the first batch of guavas just this week. I can not wait for the summer glut of grapes and stone fruit on its way.

I was walking down St Georges Mall a while back and could smell the sweet tropical fragrance granadillas. I immediately got some and knew that I wanted to make some sort of ice cream with it. I thought that chocolate would be a perfect accompaniment for the granadilla and this is how this recipe for Granadilla Semifreddo with Frozen Dark Chocolate Sauce came about.

Passion Fruit Semifreddo

I did tweak the recipe after shooting the photos. I found the chocolate freezes much harder than the semifreddo, so it is a bit of a struggle to cut through the chocolate when it is the top layer, without completely making a mess of the ice cream (you can see that in the photos). So my fix for that was to reduce the quantity of chocolate in relation to the cream and to make the chocolate the 2nd layer, so that when you turn it out you cut through the ice cream first and then the chocolate. But do use 70% cocoa solids at least. I think 85% is even better.

Passion Fruit Semifreddo

I did not sweeten the granadilla pulp – I feel that too sweet masks flavour. And the tartness of the granadilla carries through and works so well with the creamy bitterness of the chocolate.

Piled high with strawberries this is quite a festive dessert and dare I say it in the first week of October, a serious contender for Christmas day. So I think definitely worth a try out to see if you want to serve it on the festive day.

Granadilla Semifreddo with Frozen Dark Chocolate Sauce


  • 1 cup fresh granadilla (passion fruit juice) (I used 6 fresh grandillas and passed the pulp through a sieve to remove pips)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 eggs
  • 120g castor sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 500ml whipping cream
  • 100g dark chocolate (70% or 85%)
  • 250ml whipping cream
  • fresh strawberries


  1. Line a 2 litre loaf pan with plastic wrap with the wrap hanging over the edges.
  2. Place the grandadilla (passion fruit) juice in a small pan and get to a fast boil for about 5 minutes until slightly reduced
  3. Place the eggs, yolks, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl.
  4. Place over a saucepan of simmering water and using a hand-held electric mixer, beat about 8 minutes until thick and pale.
  5. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  6. Whisk the cream until stiff peaks form.
  7. Gently fold the cream through the egg mixture until combined.
  8. Fold through the granadilla (passion fruit) juice until combined.
  9. Pour into the prepared tin, smooth the top and loosely cover with plastic wrap.
  10. Freeze overnight or at least 8 hours until frozen through.
  11. Break the chocolate into small pieces.
  12. Combine with 250ml cream in a heavy bottomed pan and place over a low heat.
  13. Stir the cream and chocolate mixture until just melted.
  14. Remove from the heat and beat for about 5 minutes until smooth and shiny.
  15. Let it cool down and pour over the frozen semifreddo into the loaf pan and smooth the top.
  16. Cover the loaf pan with another piece of wrap and place in the freezer for another 6 - 8 hours.
  17. When ready to serve, take from the freezer and let it stand for 5 minutes.
  18. Turn the loaf pan over on a serving dish and unmould the semifreddo.
  19. Remove the plastic and top with fresh strawberries and serve
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