We are back to the nailed it or failed it series after a week off to spend some time in Vegas at the World Food Championships. It's always interesting to see chefs under pressure in a battle for a $100,000 prize. Vegas is always good for some entertainment! We are still working from the Bachour book, and continuing to learn new things with each recipe. This week we attempted the cherry semifreddo popsicle.
Cherry Semifreddo Popsicle
Bachour plated this with a pistachio microwave sponge cake and pistachio tuile. I prefer chocolate with my cherry desserts, so I switched it up a bit. We went with the cherry semifreddo recipe from the book, but instead plated it with a chocolate almond microwave sponge cake and a chocolate tuile.
Ok, back to the cherry semifreddo. There is nothing difficult about this semifreddo recipe. It probably took 20 minutes to prep and create, then it sat in the freezer until very firm. The microwave sponge cake is also very easy. The majority of the time was for the 2-3 hours of refrigeration before cooking in the microwave for 40 seconds. The cherry gel is just a matter of mixing a few ingredients and refrigerating until cold. Hopefully you are noticing a theme for all these components. About 15-20 minutes of prep and cook time, a few hours of refrigeration, then plate and you have a great refreshing dessert.
- Cherry puree
- Heavy whipping cream
- AP flour
- Cocoa powder
How to Make The Semifreddo Popsicle
If you don't have popsicle molds for the cherry semifreddo, you could easily mold them with small silicone tart molds and freeze. You just need to be able to get them out of the mold. So get creative, and work with what you have in the house. No need to run out and purchase new pans or molds for this recipe. You can see with the comparison image, that I didn't have the same popsicle mold that he had, so I just used what I had in the cabinet.
What's The Difference Between Semifreddo And Ice Cream?
You might be wondering what’s the difference between semifreddo and ice cream? In Italian "semifreddo" means "half-cold" or "half-frozen". Semifreddo is made with different ingredients than ice cream: semi-whipped cream, eggs, and sugar. Eggs aren’t always present in ice cream, but are necessary in semifreddo. Sugar can act as an antifreeze, so the amount of sugar, 20-27%, is integral to achieving the soft, creamy texture. Unlike ice cream, semifreddo isn’t churned, so it’s able to stay soft and creamy. It’s compared to having the texture of frozen mousse. Since semifreddo isn’t ice cold like ice cream, it’s a dessert fitting for cooler temperatures too. Once you take a bite of a cherry semifreddo popsicle you’ll notice the creamy, velvet texture.
How To Serve Semifreddo
Unlike ice cream that is served by scooping, semifreddo is typically prepared in a loaf pan and sliced or poured into a shape mold. To create a cleaner presentation when serving your semifreddo, I recommend going with toppings instead of mix-ins to your semifreddo batter. This will result in cleaner slices when you plate it. I’ve heard of semifreddo being compared to a sundae. Just pile your toppings on top!
For this recipe I topped each popsicle with dots of cherry gel, a piece of chocolate almond sponge cake, and garnished with tuile. Try out this cherry semifreddo recipe We would love to hear how you do!
Looking For More Recipes?
Nailed It! Cherry Semifreddo Popsicle
- 2 large eggs
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 113 g granulated sugar
- 340 g cherry puree
- 227 g heavy cream whipped to soft peaks
Chocolate Almond Microwave Sponge Cake
- 70 g sugar
- 125 g egg white
- 80 g egg yolk
- 40 g almonds ground
- 19 g AP flour
- 40 g chocolate finely chopped
- 20 g cocoa powder
- 100 g cherry puree
- 15 g granulated sugar
- 1 g agar agar
- 50 g unsalted butter melted
- 50 g icing sugar
- 50 g egg whites
- 40 g all purpose flour
- 10 g cocoa powder
- Whisk eggs, salt and sugar over a double boiler and continue to cook, whisking often to reach 170°F.
- Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip until thick and cool.
- Fold in cherry puree and whipped cream until smooth.
Almond Chocolate Sponge Cake
- Process all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Strain into an iSi whipper, charge with 1 N2O charger and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.
- Cut slats in plastic cups, fill halfway with batter and microwave for 40 seconds to cook.
- Flip cups upside down and set aside to cool.
- Bring puree, sugar and agar agar to a boil in a small pot.
- Refrigerate until cold and process in a blender until creamy.
- Preheat oven to 325° F.
- Mix to combine butter, icing sugar and egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add flour and cocoa and beat until smooth.
- Refrigerate mixture for at least half an hour.
- Spread batter on to a sheet tray lined with a nonstick mat and bake until firm.
- Pipe cherry semifreddo into popsicle molds.
- Insert sticks and place into freezer until very firm.
- Unmold and place popsicles onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- Place popsicle onto the center of a plate and spread Cherry Gel alongside. Top popsicle with dots of gel, and a piece of sponge cake. Garnish with tuile.
Here are a few of our favorite cold dessert recipes:
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