I’ve been a very lazy blogger this Summer. It’s usually the time of year where I churn out recipes as I can take photos in the evening with all the natural light. With this year’s unusually hot Summer though, I’ve been sticking to old favourites and salads that can be made in no time so I don’t spend all day faffing with pictures in the kitchen. Which is a shame because I have several recipes in my drafts folder that I need to take pictures of.
With a return to normal temperatures I hit the kitchen this weekend, determined to make this Chocolate and Cherry Semifreddo again while it is still cherry season. The cherries contrast beautifully with the sweet white chocolate and topping it with dark chocolate afterwards adds another layer of flavour. The only time you’ll find me with milk chocolate is when I make my Chocolate Biscuit Cake. This is quickly becoming my new favourite dessert and can be made in the winter with frozen, defrosted cherries.
Semifreddo has all the deliciousness of ice cream without the hassle of churning or using an ice cream maker. The word means “half cold” in Italian and this is like the perfect cross between ice cream and frozen mousse. It’s delicious when you allow it soften for a bit out of the freezer and the edges go all soft while the middle stays frozen.
Useful tips & links:
- You can use this recipe as a base for making a semifreddo with your preferred flavours. I think this would be great with raspberries and lemon curd swirled through it.
- This is the only time I will recommend using cheap chocolate: the fancier white chocolate does not melt very well so I use a kids cheap white chocolate for this.
- Use any shaped mould that you like to make this. I use a 2lb loaf tin as it is easy to turn out and slice in this shape.
- If using frozen fruit defrost it thoroughly before using. I only use 100g of fruit in the semifreddo but always top with fresh fruit too.
- I love cherries in both sweet and savoury dishes. Have a look here at my selection of cherry recipes.
- For more ideas have a look at this Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Semifreddo from Cooking in Mammy’s Kitchen or this version from Neven Maguire.
Chocolate and Cherry Semifreddo
- 150g of white chocolate
- 4 eggs, separated
- 75g of caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 450ml of double cream
- 100g of pitted cherries, chopped
- Extra cherries and dark chocolate to decorate
- Line your mould with cling film, allowing an overhang of several inches on each side. Set up 4 mixing bowls, one heatproof for the white chocolate, another heatproof one for the egg yolks, a regular bowl for the egg whites and another for the cream.
- Set up a bain marie by placing the bowl of white chocolate over a saucepan of simmering water but do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Melt the chocolate and set aside to cool a little.
- Meanwhile whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and then whisk the cream until soft and pillowy.
- Place the egg yolks, vanilla and sugar over the saucepan for your second bain marie. Whisk these over the simmering water until light and fluffy and when you take the whisk out you can make a ribbon shape and it will hold for a few seconds. Take them off the heat.
- Fold the melted chocolate into the egg yolk mixture and then fold through the cream and chopped cherries.
- Take a large spoonful of the egg whites and gently fold these through the chocolate mix. This will lighten the mixture so that you can fold the remaining eggs through easily, but gently, and keep as much of the air in the mix as possible.
- Pour the mixture into the mould and fold over the excess cling film to cover the top. Freeze for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
- Take the semifreddo out of the freezer about 10 minutes before you want to serve it to allow it to soften slightly.
- Peel the cling film off the top and turn the dessert out onto a plate. Remove the cling film completely.
- If you want to smooth the edges take a large palette knife dipped in hot water and run it over the top and sides. I think it looks nice left a little rustic.
- Top with extra cherries and more fresh cherries. Slice into pieces about 2cm thick. If you would like a little crunch top with toasted flaked almonds and chopped pistachios.