Recipes | Ice Creams & Frozen Desserts

Mint Stracciatella Low FODMAP Semifreddo

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Semifreddo is a frozen dessert with a creamy, but somewhat soft texture that you can make without an ice cream machine. This one, our Mint Stracciatella Low FODMAP Semifreddo, is like a sophisticated mint chocolate chip ice cream, but easier to make and lactose-free!

Low FODMAP Semifreddo, slice on gray plate; loaf to the side on white platter with gold spoon

What Is A Semifreddo?

A semifreddo, as explained above, is a frozen dessert made without the aid of an ice cream machine. “Semifreddo” means “half cold” and indeed its texture, which is more like a frozen mousse than an ice cream. A semifreddo is softer, fluffier and less dense than most ice cream. This lighter texture also makes it feel less cold on the palate, than ice cream, hence the name.

It is frozen in a mold in the freezer, rather than in an ice cream machine. This method of freezing is called “still freezing” as the mixture is simply poured into a mold and placed in the freezer, rather than churning the mixture in a machine.

For our low FODMAP semifreddo recipe we use a simple loaf pan.

I was originally inspired by this version in Food & Wine magazine.

vertical image of Stracciatella low FODMAP Semifreddo, loaf shape, once slice flat on plate

What Ingredients Are In Semifreddo?

There is always cream, sugar and eggs. Cream is whipped and eggs are cooked and whipped, or a meringue is created, and the loftiness of the whipped cream and eggs provides the body of the dessert. Semifreddo is often made with inclusions.

“Inclusions” is a technical term for the textural add-ins that are often found in a semifreddo, which can vary from fruit to nuts to crushed praline or bits of chocolate, as we have used here.

vertical image of Stracciatella low FODMAP Semifreddo, loaf shape, once slice flat on white plate_

What Is Stracciatella?

Stracciatella is the most elegant, sophisticated chocolate chip frozen dessert that you have ever encountered. Stracciatella gelato is a classic and favorite flavor and the technique for making it, as well as the approach for making our stracciatella semifreddo, is the same.

First you prepare your base mixture of gelato, ice cream or semifreddo, which is usually flavored with vanilla, but in our case,  it is also infused with mint. Melted chocolate is drizzled over the mixture and then it is gently folded in to create broad swaths and streaks of the chocolate.

Once the mixture is frozen, the chocolate freezes harder than the gelato, ice cream or semifreddo, so when you scoop some up to serve, the chocolate cracks and shatters creating the most delicate chocolate “chips”.

overhead of low FODMAP semifreddo; whole loaf on white platter; slice on gray plate; gold spoon_

How Is This Stracciatella Semifreddo Low FODMAP?

The cream is the only potentially high FODMAP ingredient in this recipe. You can use lactose-free heavy cream, make your own, or you can even use conventional heavy cream.

Let me explain.

The Low FODMAP Diet Is Not Dairy-Free

The low FODMAP diet is not dairy-free, rather it is lowered in lactose. Cream is naturally high in fat, low in carbohydrates and low in lactose.

Monash university has lab tested both full fat cream as well as whipped cream and there are Green Light low FODMAP portions.

Whipped cream is low FODMAP in ½ cup (125 ml) portions according to Monash. In our recipe for Mint Stracciatella Low FODMAP Semifreddo we use 1 cup (240 ml) of heavy cream that is whipped to 2 cups in volume. This would mean that the recipe would have to serve 4 in order to have a low FODMAP portion of whipped cream. We suggest a serving size of 1/10th of the total mixture, so we are well within low FODMAP limits.

close up slice of Stracciatella low FODMAP Semifreddo, loaf shape, once slice flat on plate

Is Chocolate Low FODMAP?

Thank goodness chocolate is low FODMAP! I have written about it more extensively in these articles:

The dark chocolate used in this recipe is in small enough quantities that each serving size of the dessert contains a low FODMAP serving size of dark chocolate.

The base of the semifreddo is somewhat sweet, so a bittersweet chocolate is the best foil. Do not use a sweeter, lower cacao percentage chocolate.

Is Coconut Oil Low FODMAP?

Coconut oil, being a fat, is low FODMAP. All pure fats are, as they do not contain any carbohydrates.

Why Does The Recipe Call For Refined Coconut Oil?

The coconut oil, melted along with the chocolate, boosts the lovely, shatter-like qualities of the chocolate, once it is frozen.

I like using refined coconut oil in this recipe because it has less of a coconut flavor than unrefined. This recipe is all about the flavor of the dairy, the chocolate and the fresh mint.

low FODMAP semifreddo slice on a plate with gold spoon, gray backdrop

Let’s Talk About Mint & FODMAPs

Fresh mint has been lab tested by Monash University and a large quantity (90 g) is low FODMAP. This recipe uses ½ ounce (15 g) total, so the dessert is low FODMAP in this regard.

You will note below in the recipe that before roughly chopping the mint I suggest that you bruise it with a rolling pin. This will crush the cell walls and extract even more fresh mint flavor than chopping alone.

When made with the ½ ounce (15 g) of fresh mint, the dessert is pretty much an equal mint and chocolate experience. If you want it very minty, and it is summer and you have it growing like a weed in your garden, or can find it inexpensively at a farmers market, then feel free to use up to double the amount of mint. This will create a truly mint forward experience, with the chocolate as a supporting player.

Oil from peppermint leaves can help relieve stomach and intestinal issues related to IBS. Learn more here.

Can I Substitute Mint Extract?

Well, you could. But don’t. You will end up with a minty dessert, but it will not hold a candle to what you will experience if you follow my directions.

Can I Use Mint Essential Oil?

Using mint essential oil will give you much better results than an extract – but will still not provide the same fresh mint flavor that the fresh mint leaves provides. If you are going to make this recipe, please follow my directions and use the ingredients called for. You will be glad you did.

PS: If you are a fresh mint lover, check out our FRESH MINT Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

overhead of low FODMAP semifreddo; whole loaf on white platter; slice on gray plate; gold spoon_
5 from 2 votes

Mint Stracciatella Low FODMAP Semifreddo

Semifreddo is a frozen dessert with a creamy, but somewhat soft texture that you can make without an ice cream machine. This one, our Mint Stracciatella Low FODMAP Semifreddo, is like a sophisticated mint chocolate chip ice cream, but easier to make and lactose-free!

Makes: 10 Servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chilling Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Author: Dédé Wilson

Ingredients:

  • 4- ounces (115 g) bittersweet chocolate, preferably about 65% to 75% cacao, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons refined coconut oil
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (198 g) sugar
  • ½ ounce (15 g) fresh mint leaves; buy about 2-ounces/55 g including stems
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream, lactose-free if available
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

  1. Line a 9-inch by 5-inch (23 cm by 12 cm) loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a large overhang on all sides. Make sure you have a flat area in your freezer large enough for this pan.
  2. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil together either over simmering water or in the microwave. Stir until smooth and set aside until cool to the touch.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, sugar and mint in a medium-sized heatproof bowl; place bowl over simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture reaches 165°F (74°C), which might take several minutes. Go by the thermometer and don’t worry about the time. Once it comes to temp, pour mixture through a fine-mesh wire strainer into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted. Press on all the mint solids to extract as much liquid (and color) as possible; discard solids. Beat on high speed using the balloon whisk attachment until thick and fluffy; it should be room temperature as well. Again, it this might take several minutes. Don’t worry about the time – go by visual cues.
  4. Whips the cream with the vanilla and salt until medium-stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat. Fold about half into the egg mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whipped cream until just combined. Drizzle the chocolate mixture over top, and gently fold into egg mixture 2 to 3 times, to create the swirls and ribbons – do not over combine. The chocolate mixture will continue to combine as it is poured into the pan. Pour mixture into prepared pan, and fold overhanging plastic wrap over the top. Freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight. Unwrap, invert pan over cutting board, lift pan up and away, remove all the plastic wrap and slice and serve immediately.

Tips

  • You may make the stracciatella up to 2 days ahead and keep it wrapped in the pan in the freezer, but I think the texture is best after just one overnight freeze.

FODMAP Information

Our recipes are based on Monash University and FODMAP Friendly science.

  • Chocolate: Monash University has lab tested dark, milk and white chocolate all have low FODMAP amounts: 85% dark at 20 g; dark at 30 g; milk at 20 g; white at 25 g.
  • Eggs: Eggs are high in protein and do not contain carbohydrates, according to Monash University.
  • Sugar: Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have both lab tested white, granulated sugar. Monash states that a Green Light low FODMAP serving size of white sugar is 1/4 cup (50 g). FODMAP Friendly simply states that they have tested 1 tablespoon and that it is low FODMAP. Regular granulated white sugar is sucrose, which is a disaccharide made up of equal parts glucose and fructose. Sucrose is broken down and absorbed efficiently in the small intestine.

Please always refer to the Monash University & FODMAP Friendly smartphone apps for the most up-to-date lab tested information. As always, your tolerance is what counts; please eat accordingly. The ultimate goal of the low FODMAP diet is to eat as broadly as possible, without triggering symptoms, for the healthiest microbiome.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 96mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 516IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.