Chefs' Recipes

JoyBird's cheesecake semifreddo

Is it a cheesecake? Is it an ice-cream? Adelaide's JoyBird marries the two creamy desserts into one.

By Adam Liston
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking (plus freezing, defrosting)
  • Serves 12
  • Print
"Every standard chicken shop has the stock-standard Streets ice-cream selection," says Adam Liston. "We wanted to do an ice-cream, so we made a cheesecake semifreddo rolled in chocolate that's been caramelised in the fire then blended with milk powder." Start this recipe a day ahead to freeze the semifreddo.


  • 150 gm white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 150 gm unsalted butter, coarsley chopped
  • 150 gm (1½ cups) full-cream milk powder
  • 250 gm softened cream cheese
  • 250 gm sour cream
  • 1½ eggs, lightly beaten
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 500 ml (2 cups) thickened cream
  • 75 gm (⅓ cup) caster sugar
  • 4 eggwhites


  • 1
    For cheesecake, preheat the oven to 150°C. Beat cream cheese in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth, then add sour cream and mix until well combined (2-3 minutes), then with the motor running, add the egg a third at a time until combined. Add remaining ingredients and a pinch of salt and beat until incorporated. Transfer to a 30cm x 20cm tin lined with baking paper and bake until set (20-25 minutes). Allow cheesecake to cool completely, then break it into small pieces.
  • 2
    For semifreddo, whisk cream and sugar in an electric mixer on high to firm peaks. Fold through broken cheesecake and transfer to a bowl. Clean and thoroughly dry mixer, then whisk eggwhites on high to firm peaks. Gently fold eggwhite and a pinch of salt into cream mixture to combine. Line a 30cm x 20cm tin with baking paper, extending the paper 2cm above the top. Transfer semifreddo mixture to tin, cover and freeze until set (overnight).
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 220°C. Place chocolate in a loaf tin and bake, stirring every minute for the first 4 minutes, then every 30 seconds thereafter, until golden brown (5-7 minutes). Freeze until set (10 minutes), then break into small crumbs with your hands.
  • 4
    Melt butter in a small saucepan over high heat, add milk powder and cook, stirring constantly, until it turns brown (3-4 minutes). Transfer to an oven tray lined with baking paper and freeze until firm (10 minutes). Break into fine crumbs and combine with chocolate crumbs
  • 5
    Remove semifreddo from freezer, slice it into 12 squares and gently roll in chocolate crumb mixture to coat. Stand at room temperature until softened (10-15 minutes), then serve.
  • 6


Wine suggestion: Wines by KT Melva riesling from the Clare Valley. Drink suggestions by Ollie Margan.