CHOCOLATE AND CHERRY SEMIFREDDO
Two 80g packets chocolate wafer biscuits (the Loacker brand is excellent) Six digestive biscuits 100g unrefined golden caster sugar Quarter of a teaspoon Maldon salt 85g butter, melted and cooled One jar of cherry jam Spoon half the jar of jam into a small pan with a splash of water and bring to the boil.
Simmer for a few minutes, then pass through a non-reactive sieve.
Chill the strained jam for use later and discard the whole fruit (or scoff it on a slice of hot toast – treat yourself!)
The mixture should just hold together.
Too much butter and it will be hard to slice.
Press the crumbs gently into the base of the springform pan and smooth with a palette knife.
Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for five minutes to set, then cool on a wire rack and set aside as you start on the parfait filling.
Combine the chocolate, the cocoa, vanilla extract and salt in a medium bowl.
Heat the cream until it is just about to break into a bubble, and pour it over the chocolate, whisking until the whole thing is fullycombined and smooth.
Chill, whisking occasionally, until cooled but not set.
Dissolve the sugar in 160ml water in a saucepan set over gentle heat.
When dissolved, raise the heat and bubble until the sugar thermometer reads 120°C.
As the sugar syrup heads to wards this point, beat the egg whites to the soft peak stage, and when the syrup is ready, carefully pour the hot syrup into the egg whites in a steady stream, avoiding the beaters.
Beat the mixture until glossy, stiff peaks form and the meringue is cooled.
Gently fold one third of the cooled meringue into the chocolate until smooth, then fold in the remaining two-thirds. Spoon or pipe small blobs of the sieved cherry jam over the cold base, and gently spoon in the chocolate mousse filling, smoothing the surface. Cover with two layers of clingfilm and freeze.
Remove the semifreddo from the Melt the chocolate and pour onto a small chopping board. Pop a small bowl in the freezer. Allow the chocolate to cool, then refrigerate until required.
To shave the chocolate, use a large carving knife with the blade held straight up vertically, and draw slowly across the cold chocolate to form curls and splinters.
Quickly transfer the flakes to the iced bowl. Keep cold until you’re ready to serve.
When the time comes, whip the cream to soft, pillowy peaks.
Serve each guest a thick slice of semifreddo with a big dollop of cream, some chocolate shavings, and a spoonful of Amarena cherries in syrup.