Chocolate Orange Pistachio Semifreddo by Chef Dahlia Narvaez

Serves 10-12
Chocolate Orange Pistachio Semifreddo Filling Metric Grams (Original) Metric High-Volume Yield % Comments
Cream, heavy¹ 300 g 3000 g 18.35 %
Milk, whole 120 g 1200 g 7.34 %
Orange, zest 120 g 1200 g 7.34 % Zested in large strips
Salt, Kosher Pinch Pinch 0.00 %
Orange, juice 370 g 3700 g 22.63 %
Orange, liquor 185 g 1850 g 11.31 %
Eggs, yolk 100 g 1000 g 6.12 % 6 eggs yield 100 g of yolk
Sugar, granulated 25 g 250 g 1.53 %
Cream, heavy² 355 g 3550 g 21.71 %
Creme, fraiche 60 g 600 g 3.67 %
Total 1635 g 16350 g 100.00 %


In a saucepan, scald heavy cream¹, milk and orange zest. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the orange juice and liqueur (555 g). Boil until the mixture reduces 90 % (55 g left). Stir in the cream mixture. In an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat yolks with sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Reheat cream to scalding. Pour about half of hot cream into the egg yolks, whisking continuously. Return saucepan and whisk egg cream mixture into remaining cream. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture just reaches the boiling point. Immediately remove from heat, whisk for a few minutes to stop the cooking. Transfer mixture into the bowl of electric mixer, remove and discard the orange zest. Beat at high speed for 10 minutes, until the mixture is thick and mousse like and the underside of the bowl is cool. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes. Using the whisk attachment of an electric mixer, beat heavy cream² with crème fraiche to medium peaks and set aside until ready to use. Remove orange parfait mixture and gently fold in the whipped cream. Set in refrigerator until ready to use.

Pistachio Macaroon Layer Metric Grams (Original) Metric High-Volume Yield % Bakers % Comments
Sugar, granulated¹ 30 g 300 g 8.70 % 16.67 %
Sugar, granulated² 10 g 100 g 2.90 % 5.56 %
Sugar, powdered 50 g 500 g 14.49 % 27.78 %
Pistachio, flour 170 g 1700 g 49.28 % 94.44 %
Orange, zest 20 g 200 g 5.80 % 11.11 %
Flour, all-purpose 10 g 100 g 2.90 % 5.56 %
Egg, whites 55 g 550 g 15.94 % 30.56 %
Total 345 g 3450 g 100.00 % 191.67 %


Preheat oven to 160 ⁰C, low fan. Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet, lightly sprayed. Set the 25 cm flan ring on baking sheet. In food processor, add granulated sugar%sup1;, powdered sugar, pistachio meal, orange zest and flour. Process a minute or so until combined. In a stand mixer beat egg whites on low speed until frothy. Increase speed to medium and beat until soft peaks. Increase speed to high and very gradually beat in remaining granulated sugar² until stiff, glossy peaks. Fold pistachio meal-sugar mixture, one third at a time, folding well. Using a pastry bag, (no. 3 plain tip), pipe a border of meringue around the edge of the ring. Then starting in the center, pipe an even spiral all the way to the sides of the flan ring, or pour it into the ring and spread with an offset metal spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until meringue starts to color. Meringue should spring back when touched lightly. It will hardens as it cools.

Bitter Sweet Chocolate Glaze Metric Grams (Original) Metric High-Volume Yield % Comments
Chocolate, bittersweet 225 g 2250 g 48.39 % 70 % cacao solids, chopped
Butter, unsalted 170 g 1700 g 36.56 %
Syrup, corn 66 g 660 g 13.98 %
Brandy 5 g 50 g 1.08 % Can be substituted with whiskey
Total 465 g 4650 g 100.00 %

Serves: 6


Place in a double boiler, the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup. Once melted together, remove from heat and stir in the brandy.

Pistachio Cocoa Nib Brittle Metric Grams (Original) Metric High-Volume Yield % Comments
Sugar, granulated 200 g 2000 g 54.05 %
Butter, unsalted 15 g 150 g 4.05 %
Pistachios, shelled 125 g 1250 g 33.78 %
Cocoa, nibs 30 g 300 g 8.11 %
Total 370 g 3700 g 100.00 %


Prepare a parchment lined sheet pan, lightly sprayed. In a small sauté pan, add the sugar, swirl in enough water to create the texture of wet sand. Making sure to wipe down the sides to prevent crystallization. Bring to a boil, until you start to get a light caramel color, titling and swirling the pan to ensure even color. Once the color is medium amber add the butter, pistachios and cocoa nibs and using a wooden spoon, mix continuously to get a bit darker color, and carefully pour out onto prepared sheet pan. Allow to cool, and then chop into small pieces.

Assembling Metric Grams (Original) Metric High-Volume Comments
Yield 1 (25 cm) semifreddo 10 (25 cm) semifreddos
Macaroon As needed As needed Baked, from provided recipe above
Orange Semifreddo Filling As needed As needed From provided recipe above
Chocolate Glaze 170 g 1700 g Warm, from provided recipe above
Pistachio, flour 115 g 1150 g
Chocolate, bittersweet 115 g 1150 g 70 % cacao solids, chopped
Pistachio Cocoa Nib Brittle 115 g 1150 g Chopped


To build and freeze the Semifreddo:
To begin, prepare a parchment lined baking sheet with a 30 cm cake board and set a 25 cm flan ring on top, lightly sprayed. Carefully lay your meringue layer into the 25 cm flan ring. Remove your filling from the refrigerator, fold in chopped chocolate and chopped pistachio brittle. Pour semifreddo onto molded macaroon layer, using an offset spatula to smooth out the top and evenly distributing the filling to the edges. Place into freezer and freeze until firm, up to 6 hours or overnight. 5. To finish with the glaze, pour the warm glaze onto the top of the semifreddo tilting the pan so that it forms a thin, even layer, dust with pistachio flour. Freeze until ready to use. When the semifreddo is completely frozen (6 hours or overnight), remove from freezer. Unmold by wrapping a hot towel briefly around the sides of the ring mold. Pull up on mold. Peel away any paper lining, smooth the sides of the semifreddo with a long metal spatula, and refreeze again for 15 minutes. Just before serving, cut into 1.5 cm slices with a heated knife and lay flat on individual plates.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!