Cherry Semifreddo - Christy Tania | Dani Valent

Cherry Semifreddo – Christy Tania

A dessert masterclass that ends with a most delicious ice cream souffle!

This video is packed full of goodness!

Firstly, we get to hang out with pastry chef extraordinaire and MasterChef Australia regular Christy Tania. Secondly, we find out how to make semifreddo (‘half frozen’), a gorgeous no-churn Italian ice cream with a dreamy creamy mousse-like texture. And along the way, we learn so much about eggs, meringues and desserts in general. Christy is so generous with her knowledge that this video is something of a dessert masterclass.

Christy does two versions of the Cherry Semifreddo. She sets some of the mixture in moulds: this will be made into a magnificent Choc Top (video coming soon). If you want to make this version, you could use silicone moulds like these or these, or just be creative with muffin moulds, large ice cubes, or icy pole moulds.

The remainder of the mixture is turned into Soufflé Glacé, or ‘ice cream soufflé’. An ice cream that looks like a soufflé! Does life get any better?!

The recipe is really simple but the video is quite long. Skip straight to the bits you want with my handy time-coded contents below!

By the way, Christy’s frozen dessert palace, Augustus Gloop, is a Melbourne must!

Skip to:

1:25 Pâté à Bombe: a fluffy mixture of egg yolks and sugar

2:00 Every egg is different: why you need to keep an eye on eggs!

2:40 Pâté à Bombe result; what your mixture should look like

3:00 Three types of meringue rundown. What’s the difference between French, Swiss and Italian meringue and which one is best?

3:45 Making Swiss meringue

4:25 Swiss meringue result: what you’re looking for

4:50 How to fold (and see 8:45 for folding in the cream)

5:15 Christy’s ‘brick wall’ theory of whipping egg whites

6:10 Whipping cream, Chantilly cream (and see the result at 8:15)

6:30 Types of vanilla bean, how to cut it and scrape it and what to do with used pods. Also, how to make vanilla essence (7:30)

8:15 Whipped cream: what you’re looking for

8:45 Folding cream into the mixture

9:20-9:40 Me trying not to dive in

10:05 Cherry talk: tales of Griottines, cherries soaked in cognac

11:20 Cherry placement

11:50 No-spill piping bag trick! I love this!

12:41 Using a spatula to level the mixture

12:55 What’s a Soufflé Glacé? And is it the best thing EVER?

13:40 Using baking paper to turn ice cream into a soufflé

14:50 Finishing and serving the Soufflé Glacé (finally I can dive in!)

Serves: 6-8 for dessert
Time: 20 minutes + freezing time

Ingredients

Pâté à Bombe

  • 120 grams egg yolks (from approx. 6 eggs)
  • 120 grams sugar

Swiss Meringue

  • 60 grams egg whites (from approx. 2 eggs)
  • 80 grams sugar

Chantilly Cream

  • 600 grams thickened cream
  • 1 vanilla pod (Christy prefers Madagascan vanilla)
  • Griottine cherries (whole cherries soaked in Cognac; Amaretto would do fine as well, see Tips)

Garnish

  • good quality dark chocolate

Method

Pâté à Bombe
1. Insert butterfly whisk. Place yolks and sugar into mixing bowl. Mix 3 min/75ºC/speed 4 (80ºC in TM31) or until pale and fluffy (see video at 2:40). Remove butterfly whisk and transfer mixture to a large bowl and set aside. Clean and dry mixing bowl and butterfly whisk thoroughly.

Swiss Meringue
2. Place egg whites and sugar into mixing bowl. Insert butterfly whisk and mix 3 min/75ºC/speed 3 (80ºC in TM31), or until fluffy (see Tips and video at 4:25). Remove butterfly whisk. Fold half of the Swiss Meringue into the Pâté à Bombe, stirring to combine well before folding in the second half of the mixture. Set aside. Clean and dry mixing bowl and butterfly whisk.

Chantilly Cream
3. Insert butterfly whisk. Flatten vanilla bean by running the back of a knife along it before slicing lengthwise in half. Place cream into mixing bowl. Again, using the back of a knife, scrape both vanilla bean halves and add seeds to mixing bowl. Retain scraped vanilla bean for other uses (see Tips). Mix on speed 3 (approx. 1-2 minutes) until cream has reached a shaving mousse consistency rather than stiff peaks (see video at 8:15). Fold half of the Chantilly Cream into the Paté à Bombe and Swiss Meringue mixture, stirring to combine well before folding in the second half. The mixture will now resemble a white, fluffy mousse and can be used as such at this point, if desired.

4. Sprinkle cherries into mousse (reserving some for garnish), and some of the cognac liquid too, adjusting the amount to your preference. Gently fold through to combine.

5. Pour mixture into ramekins, a terrine or moulds of your choice:
If using shallow moulds, Christy recommends placing 4-5 cherries into each ring before piping in the mixture. Tidy up by scraping off excess mixture from the moulds with a palette knife, so that the surface is level. Place moulds into freezer.

To turn it into Soufflé Glacé (frozen soufflé), pour mixture into ramekins until ¾ full. Spoon in more cherries to taste. Cut baking paper strips wide enough to line the exposed upper ¼ of ramekins plus a few extra cm to extend above the rim. Pour in more mixture until it sits over the rim of the ramekins, supported by the baking paper, so it resembles a soufflé. Place ramekins into freezer.

6. When ready to serve, remove moulds or ramekins from freezer. If baking paper has been used, remove it before serving.

Garnish with shaved dark chocolate, place a few cherries on top and serve immediately.

Tips

  • If your egg whites refuse to fluff, Christy suggests introducing some acid by either adding a pinch of Cream of Tartar, a pinch of citric acid or even a dash of lime juice.
  • If you don’t have a piping bag, spoon mixture into a plastic bag and snip one corner to make your own.
  • Griottine cherries are available in jars; you can use any preserved cherries or other fruits in this recipe.
  • Check out subscriber Sharon Weidenbach’s awesome tips for her one bowl method and double deliciousness: “My “go to” recipe for all our Ice cream needs…sooo delicious and super easy! I’ve streamlined it to a one bowl method with no in between washing required and I’ve done it doubled when needed! Sequence is – mill all sugar, then do egg whites, set aside (over a bowl of chilled water), then yolk step and add to meringue bowl. Wait a bit till TM Bowl cools down to do cream step then gently fold into eggs and voila! YUM! ?

Christy has great suggestions for used vanilla beans:

  • Place beans in a jar with vodka to create your own vanilla essence.
  • Dehydrate scraped vanilla beans in a low oven or dehydrator before blitzing in the Thermomix 3 sec/speed 8 to create your own vanilla bean powder.

Variation

  • The mixture can be eaten as a mousse as well: just spoon it into little cups and set it in the refrigerator rather than the freezer.
  • Stand by for the Choc Top extension of this recipe

Christy’s Choc Top follows on from Cherry Semifreddo and just as in this video, is a dessert masterclass in itself.

Did you know Dani Valent Cooking gift vouchers are available right here? They make the perfect present for the Thermo-lover in your life.

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