Semifreddo with Cola and Cherries

[Photograph: Anna Markow]

If you don't have an ice cream machine, you can still make wonderfully creamy semifreddo that is soft enough to scoop straight from the freezer. This recipe utilizes that technique to pair together semifreddo with cherries and a Coca Cola and Lambrusco sabayon.

Note: If you have a favorite Lambrusco, by all means use it. I used Riunite because it is easy to find, affordable, and not bad at all. You may have to adjust sugar levels if you use either a significantly drier or sweeter Lambrusco. I also recommend a cola made with real sugar. My absolute favorite is Blue Sky Cola, which is all natural and often available in health food stores, but Mexican Coke is what I used since it's much easier to find.

I also added a pinch of grated tonka bean to the cherries, but as it's not something most people keep in their kitchens, it's not necessary. A splash of vanilla and/or almond extract would help enhance the cherry flavor in a similar way.

Be very careful about the temperature of your sabayon when you fold it into the whipped cream. If it is any warmer than room temperature, it will likely cause the cream to separate. You can be sure it's cool enough while not losing any volume by transferring it to a stand mixer and whipping it for a minute or so.

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About the Author: Anna Markow is a pastry chef obsessed with doing things that no one else does and giving unusual ingredients their time to shine. You can follow her sometimes-pastry-related thoughts on Twitter @VerySmallAnna.

Semifreddo with Cola and Cherries

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About This Recipe

Yield:Makes 3 pints semifreddo
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:4 to 12 hours
Special equipment:whisk, spatula, mixing bowls, large pot
This recipe appears in: From The Pastry Dungeon: Semifreddo with Cola and Cherries

Ingredients

  • For the Semifreddo:
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup Lambrusco (see note above)
  • 1/2 cup cola
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of ground mace or nutmeg
  • For the Cherries:
  • 1 cup Lambusco
  • 1 cup cola
  • 2 cups halved cherries
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Procedures

  1. 1

    For the Semifreddo: Whip the cream to stiff peaks, set aside. Combine the yolks, Lambrusco, cola, sugar and mace in a large mixing bowl and whisk to thoroughly incorporate. Place over a large pot of simmering water and whisk constantly for about ten minutes, until completely turned to foamy peaks and hot to the touch (see note above). Remove from over water and whisk until cooled to room temperature. Fold sabayon into cream, then scrape into a container and place plastic wrap onto the surface. Freeze overnight or until firm throughout.

  2. 2

    For the Cherries: Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer over medium heat until cherries are soft and syrup is thick and reduced.

  3. 3

    To Serve: Scoop semifreddo into chilled bowls and top with warm cherries and reduction.

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