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Italian for "half-cold," a semifreddo has the lush texture of a frozen mousse. Our version is even airier, thanks to the meringue folded into the all-American combo of dark chocolate and peanut butter. Peanutty caramel corn strewn over the top adds just the right amount of crunch.

Martha Stewart Living, June 2018

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Credit: Marcus Nilsson

Recipe Summary test

prep:
30 mins
total:
15 hrs 25 mins
Yield:
Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf
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Ingredients

Caramel Corn
Semifreddo

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Caramel Corn: Preheat oven to 225 degrees. In a large heatproof bowl, sprinkle peanuts over popcorn.

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  • In a saucepan, bring brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring, until smooth and combined. Cook until darkened slightly and fragrant, about 3 minutes more. Remove from heat; immediately stir in baking soda and vanilla. Pour over popcorn mixture, stirring to evenly coat. Transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.

  • Bake 1 hour. Let cool completely. Break into bite-size pieces and serve, or store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days. (Makes 10 cups.)

  • Semifreddo: Line the bottom and sides of a standard 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 2-inch overhang on long sides. In a large heatproof bowl, combine chocolate, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In another large heatproof bowl, combine peanut butter and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Remove from heat; immediately divide cream evenly between bowls. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir each mixture until smooth. Let cool until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.

  • Combine egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over (not in) a pot of simmering water. Beat constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm to the touch (it should feel smooth when rubbed between fingers), 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, then transfer to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on low speed until foamy. Increase speed to high; continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form and bowl no longer feels warm to the touch, 7 to 9 minutes.

  • Divide meringue evenly between chocolate and peanut-butter mixtures; gently fold into each until thoroughly combined and no white streaks remain. Transfer half of chocolate mixture to prepared loaf pan; smooth top with an offset spatula. (Refrigerate peanut-butter mixture and remaining chocolate mixture until ready to use.) Freeze until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Pour peanut-butter mixture into pan, smoothing top; freeze 15 minutes. Pour remaining chocolate mixture over peanut-butter mixture and smooth top. Gently fold plastic-wrap overhangs over semifreddo to cover. Freeze until firm, at least 12 hours and up to 3 days.

  • Remove semifreddo from freezer 10 minutes before serving. Remove plastic from top, flip pan onto a chilled serving platter or cutting board, and lift pan from plastic. Remove plastic and slice semifreddo crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Serve, with caramel corn. Semifreddo can be stored, covered, in freezer up to 3 days.

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