It’s full on summer here in Kiwi-land, where we’re currently enjoying a very temperate 25-30 degrees celsius. It’s time for barbeques, beach walks and, of course, ice cream. I’m quite partial to semifreddos – a semi-frozen Italian dessert that tastes pretty much like ice cream, though the texture isn’t as dense. And, unlike ice cream, you don’t have to make a custard and you don’t have to churn it – in fact it’s surprisingly quick to make.
Given cherries are in their all too brief season, I decided upon this recipe from New Zealand’s Food magazine, (Feb/Mar 2014, Issue 75), which pairs fresh cherries with white chocolate. I followed their suggestion of using New Zealand’s premier chocolate – Whittakers – and, more specifically, their white chocolate with raspberry (see image below). But you can use any high quality white chocolate – just make sure it has cocoa butter in it. It’s fair to say that this is a sweet ice cream, but the cherries do provide a nice tart contrast.
One suggestion I’d make, if you intend to slice this like a cake, is to more finely chop the cherries – the half cherries were a bit bulky and made the slicing a bit challenging. Otherwise, you can always simply scoop the ice cream instead. And, just be aware, semifreddo melts very quickly, as you can tell from my photo (especially in 30 degree heat!), so you’ll want to serve it fairly quickly once it’s out of the freezer. And be prepared for how fast it gets hoovered up – almost everyone I served it to came back for seconds.
CHERRY & WHITE CHOCOLATE SEMIFREDDO
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 3.5 oz caster sugar
- 10.1 fl oz cream, whipped to soft peaks
- 7 oz high quality white chocolate (I used Whittaker’s White Chocolate with Raspberry, plus extra to decorate)
- 10.5 oz cherries, stoned and halved (or sliced more finely for easier slicing), plus extra to decorate
- Line a 1.5 litre (3 pint) loaf pan with plastic wrap, making sure to allow enough to overlap on all sides to fold and cover the top of the semi-freddo.
- In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and caster sugar until the mixture is very thick and pale and about three times the volume – this will take several minutes.
- Fold in the whipped cream and chocolate. Then carefully fold in the chopped cherries until just combined (if you over mix the juice will stain the ice cream giving it a greyish tinge).
- Pour the semi-freddo mixture into the prepared pan and fold over the overhanging plastic wrap. Wrap the whole thing in silver foil for extra protection. Freeze the semi-freddo for several hours, or overnight.
- Turn the semi-freddo out onto a platter and decorate it with extra cherries or shards of white chocolate. Or serve in scoops.