It’s full on summer here in Kiwi-land, where we’re currently enjoying a very temperate 25-30 degrees celsius. 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. 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.
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 100g (3.5 ounces) caster sugar
- 300ml (10 ounces) cream, whipped to soft peaks
- 200g (7 ounces) high quality white chocolate (I used Whittaker’s White Chocolate with Raspberry), plus extra to decorate
- 300g (approx. 2 cups) cherries, stoned and halved (or sliced more finely for easier slicing), plus extra to decorate
- Line a 1.5 litre 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.