Sep 17, 2019 Last Updated 6:31 AM, Nov 9, 2017

Vanilla & Chocolate Semifreddo with Brazil Nut Streusel & Coconut Sauce

Colleen Grapes' Vanilla & Chocolate Semifreddo with Brazil Nut Streusel & Coconut Sauce.

Brazil nut crumble, brazil nut brittle, vanilla semifreddo, chocolate semifreddo and coconut sauce by Colleen Grapes, Executive Pastry Chef of Oceana in New York, NY.


Yield: 10-12 servings

Brazil Nut Crumble: 

  • 3.17 oz/90 g muesli cereal
  • 11 oz/310 g Brazil nut flour
  • 7.7 oz/220 g pastry flour
  • 8 oz/225 g raw cane sugar
  • 8.8 oz/250 g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • Pinch of kosher salt

1. Pick out the fruit from the museli and discard. Place on baking sheet, and toast the museli at 325°F for 7 minutes. Process toasted museli into a powder using a spice grinder.

2. Process the Brazil nut flour in a food processor with some of the pastry flour so it does not clump. Place all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix until you obtain cornmeal consistency. Place in the refrigerator until cold.

3. Push through a drying rack and bake on a Silpat-lined sheet pan at 300°F for about 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature and then place in the freezer.

Brazil Nut Brittle:

  • 8 oz/227 g Brazil nuts
  • 5 oz/142 g granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 2 liq oz/59 ml cold water
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

1. Slightly chop up the Brazil nuts and toast them at 325°F for about 8 minutes. Keep warm.

2. Place the sugar, lemon juice and water in a small pot and bring it up to a light caramel. Fold in the warm toasted Brazil nuts and sea salt. Pour out onto a Silpat and let cool to room temperature.

3. Once cool, chop the brittle into smaller pieces. Set aside in an airtight container; reserve larger pieces for finishing.

Vanilla Semifreddo:

  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 8.8 oz/250 g heavy cream
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 5 oz/140 g egg whites
  • 6.7 oz/190 g granulated sugar

1. Scrape the vanilla pod. Place the vanilla pod, seeds, and heavy cream in a container and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.

2. The next day, scrape the pod again to remove anything that may have stuck to the pod; discard pod. Put the vanilla-infused heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the salt and whisk heavy cream to soft peaks.

3. Whisk egg whites and sugar to medium peaks. Fold heavy cream and meringue together. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Semifreddo:

  • 11.11 oz/315 g heavy cream
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 63% Valrhona Peruvian Illanka
  • 5.6 oz/158 g granulated sugar
  • 3.3 oz/95 g egg whites
  • 11.6 oz/330 g 53% chocolate

1. Whisk the heavy cream and salt together to soft peaks.

2. Place the chocolate in a bowl over a double boiler and melt. Whisk together the granulated sugar and egg whites to stiff peaks. At this point, the chocolate should be at 122°F. Fold in the heavy cream and maintain the temperature at 122°F. Check the chocolate after each addition and warm up if necessary. Fold in meringue. Place into a pastry bag.

Coconut Sauce:

  • 8.1 oz/230 g coconut puree
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 liq oz/118 ml Valrhona Absolu Cristal glaze
  • 1 Tbs plus 1 tsp Gosling’s Dark Rum

Place all ingredients in a quart container and process with an immersion blender.


1. Whisk up the Vanilla Semifreddo a little bit as it might have fallen. Fold in the Brazil nut brittle and place into a pastry bag. Spray a terrine mold with non-stick cooking spray and line with plastic wrap. Making “S” shapes back and forth, place the Chocolate Semifreddo down first. Sprinkle some of the Brazil nut crumble on top. Going the opposite way, pipe out the Vanilla Semifreddo. Smooth top with offset spatula. Place a piece of parchment paper on top and freeze for 3 hours.

2. Remove dessert from the freezer,  peel off the parchment paper and put a fresh piece of parchment paper down. Invert onto a sheet tray. With a warm towel or blowtorch, heat up the mold slightly to pull out the plastic wrap and remove the semifreddo from the mold. Cut the semifreddo to desired size with hot knife. Place some of the Brazil nut crumple on top of a cold plate. Place the semifreddo on top of the crumble. Place a tablespoon of Coconut Sauce on top of semifreddo. Finish with Brazil nut brittle.


Click here to read more about this and related recipes in the article "Dessert & Coffee."

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