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. Which is always interesting to see chefs under pressure in a battle for a $100,000 prize. And well, what can I say, 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. Bachour plated this with a pistachio microwave sponge cake and pistachio tuile. I prefer chocolate with my cherry, so I switched it up a little bit. We went with the cherry semifreddo from the book, and instead plated it with a chocolate almond microwave sponge cake and a chocolate tuile.
Although while I write this post, my fingers and feet are still freezing from the cold weather moving into Texas this week. And eating a bunch of freezing cold semifreddos isn’t as appealing as I thought it would be. After spending last winter in Boston working with America’s Test Kitchen, one would think 60 degree weather would feel pretty warm. I guess I’m just a cold weather wimp. Although I like to call it temperature sensitive.
Ok, back to the cherry semifreddo. There is nothing difficult about this semifreddo. It probably took 20 minutes to prep and create, then it just sat in the freezer until very firm. The microwave sponge cake is also very easy, with the majority of the time taken for the 2-3 hours of refrigeration before cooking in the microwave for 40 seconds. The cherry gel you have seen us use in many recipes, and it’s just a matter of mixing a few ingredients and refrigerate 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.
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.
So give this cherry semifreddo recipe a try. We would love to hear how you do.
- 2 large eggs
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 113 g granulated sugar
- 340 g cherry puree
- 227 g heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
- 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.
- 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°
- 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 before spreading on to a sheet tray lined with a nonstick mat and baking 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.