Hands up if you know what a 'semifreddo' is?
If you're not familiar with this term it's simply a light semi-frozen dessert; like a frozen mousse. It's one of my favorite types of dessert and also one of the easiest to make yourself. It also goes a long way and is super impressive to serve up. For those of us living in the Southern Hemisphere, this would make for an ideal Christmas lunch/dinner treat. Better than the traditional Pavlova. Ok I might have crossed a line with that one but you could do what our family does and have both!
And our Northern friends could also enjoy this too. Winter be damned.
As much as I loathe and complain of the perils of an Australian summer; oh hello ridiculously scorching sun and unsightly tan lines, like yesterdays patchy right arm sunburn from driving around all day. Remarkably I can still find some good. For example the abundance of tempting and enticing fruit. Like mangoes or berries, peaches too. Then of course there's cherries.
Those bad boys pictured above are curtesy of the overgrown cherry tree in my parents front yard.
Every year at the start of December that tree turns from a leafy green mass to being lush with plump red baubles of fruit. It's impressive really, they always come away with crates laden with cherries. Mind you, those crates never last long with my father. This year I managed to grab a heap to add to this chocolate semifreddo. And the results were positive. I'm not a fan of "cherry ripe" bars or anything with artificial or candied cherries period. I prefer it in it's natural state. And this recipe manages to catch and retain it's authenticity whilst also bringing chocolate to the party.
200g dark chocolate
3 eggs, separated and at room temperature
300ml thickened cream
400g fresh cherries, pitted and cut in half
1 tsp vanilla extract
Grease and line a cm x cm loaf pan with baking paper.
Melt dark chocolate in the microwave, making sure to stir at 60 second increments.
Allow to cool slightly before adding in egg yolks. Stir until just combined.
Beat cream until whipped then combine to chocolate mixture.
Add the vanilla extract and cherries and mix well.
In a seperate bowl beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form then fold into chocolate mixture.
Pour into loaf pan and flatten the surface. Cover and freeze for a minimum of six hours or leave overnight.
To serve, dust with cocoa powder and top with more fresh cherries.