Vanilla Semifreddo with Cherries soaked in Cognac
Pink Vanilla White Chocolate Ganache
Chocolate Cherry Bon Bon and Chocolate Cone
Non-Freezing Dark Chocolate Sauce
Sugared Helium Glitter Balloon
- Pre-heat one sous vide machine to 70C and a second sous vide machine to 30C.
- For the Vanilla Semifreddo with Cherries Soaked in Cognac, combine 120g of the sugar with 50g of the water in a 1 litre copper saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar melts and the mixture reaches 118C.
- Meanwhile, place egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk until pale.
- Once the sugar syrup has come to temperature, pour the mixture slowly into the egg yolks with motor running to make a pâte à bombe. Continue to whisk to cool the mixture, until needed.
- Meanwhile, make an Italian meringue by combining the remaining water and sugar into a small copper saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar has dissolved and the mixture reaches 118C.
- Meanwhile, place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Once the sugar syrup has come to temperature, pour slowly into the egg white with motor running and until mixture is thick and glossy, to make an Italian meringue. Continue to whisk until the mixture has cooled.
- Once cooled, add Italian meringue into the pâte à bombe mixture and continue to whisk on medium speed until combined, taking care not to over work the mixture. Set aside until needed.
- Place the thickened cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Add the scraped out vanilla seeds and whip to soft peaks.
- Working quickly, gently fold the whipped cream through the egg yolk mixture until just combined, taking care not to knock out too much air. Add the chopped cherries and gently fold in until mixed through.
- Place a sheet of 7cm half sphere moulds on a flat tray. Spoon the mixture into the moulds and use an offset spatula to level off the surface. Place the moulds in the blast chiller until completely frozen.
- Once the semifreddo is frozen, remove from the blast chiller and carefully unmould. Using the palm of your hand, gently warm the flat side of two half spheres and join together to form a ball. Use fingertips to gently smooth the seam.
- Carefully insert a skewer into the ball. Stand the ball up in a wooden holder and return to the freezer to harden until needed for assembly.
- For the Colouring Mixture, place the cocoa butter and white chocolate in a Thermomix jug set to 60C on speed 2. Mix until the mixture has melted completely, about 8 minutes.
- Once the cocoa butter and white chocolate has melted, divide the mixture between two stick blender canisters. Add the titanium dioxide and a little of the yellow food colouring to one canister and blitz with a stick blender until the colouring is fully incorporated and desired colour has been achieved. Set aside until needed.
- Add a small amount of the red food colouring to the second canister and blitz with a stick blender until colouring is fully incorporated and desired colour has been achieved. Transfer the red colouring to a spray canister and set aside until needed.
- For the Pink Vanilla White Chocolate Ganache, place the cream and glucose in a Thermomix jug set to 40C and speed 2 for 5 minutes to gently warm the mixture.
- Once the mixture has reached 40C, add the white chocolate and scraped vanilla seeds and continue to mix for a further 7 minutes, at 40C and on speed 2 until mixture is well combined.
- Once combined, add the titanium dioxide and mix on speed 6, at 40C for 10 seconds. Gradually add the food colouring, mixing the ganache on speed 6 in 10 second intervals, until the desired colour is achieved and the mixture is smooth and emulsified.
- Once combined, transfer the ganache to a glass bowl and place in the blast chiller to cool, about 3 minutes, ensuring the ganache does not set. Once cool, place about half the ganache into a piping bag and set aside on the bench to cool until needed.
- For the Chocolate Cherry Bon Bon and Chocolate Cone, first temper the chocolate. Place 300g of the chocolate in a microwave safe plastic bowl and melt in 30 second intervals, until chocolate has reached 50C.
- Remove the bowl from the microwave, begin adding the remainder of the chocolate, a little at a time, stirring until the temperature reaches 27C, ensuring the added chocolate melts between each addition.
- Once chocolate is at 27C, place the bowl back in the microwave and heat in 10 second bursts until the chocolate reaches 31C, stirring well at each interval.
- Once chocolate is tempered, make the Chocolate Cone by placing a sheet of bouchon moulds on to a baking tray. Using a large metal spoon, fill two of the moulds to the top with the tempered chocolate and allow to sit for 1 minute. Turn the moulds over and allow the excess chocolate to drip back in to the bowl, ensuring the inside of the moulds are completely coated. Level off the surface of the moulds with an offset spatula.
- Turn the moulds upside down and sit on a tray lined with acetate. Transfer the tray to the freezer and allow the chocolate to set until needed. Place all remaining tempered chocolate in to a piping bag.
- Snip a small opening in the piping bag, about 3mm, and pipe 4 thin discs of tempered chocolate, about 12mm in diameter, onto a second tray lined with acetate sheet, to form the seal for the chocolate truffle shell.
- Pipe 4 slightly bent lines, with a curl at one tip, next to the discs on to the acetate sheet to form the “cherry stems” for the Chocolate Cherry Bon Bon. Set the tray aside in the freezer until needed.
- To finish the Chocolate Cherry Bon Bon, place a silicone sheet of half sphere moulds on to a flat baking tray. Sit the truffle shell on to the silicone mould to stop the shell from rolling. Use a syringe to fill the shell with the reserved cherry liqueur, leaving a little room at the top of each half shell.
- Remove the tray of tempered chocolate seals and stems from the freezer. Pipe a little melted chocolate around the rim of the truffle shell. Place a tempered chocolate disc on to each truffle shell to seal. Turn the truffle upside down to ensure it is not leaking. Place truffle back on to tray and place tray in the freezer to set until chocolate has set solid, about 10 minutes.
- Place the piping bag of tempered chocolate into a large snap lock bag. Seal and place in the sous vide machine pre-heated to 30C, to keep warm until needed.
- Once chocolate cones have set, remove the bouchon moulds from the freezer and carefully unmould. Stand the Chocolate Cones on to a small round tray lined with baking paper and transfer to the freezer to harden until needed.
- To make the Non-Freezing Dark Chocolate Sauce, place the lukewarm water and methyl cellulose in a small bowl, whisk to combine and set aside to activate until needed.
- Place the cream and glucose syrup in a Thermomix jug set to 50C and on speed 2 for 6 minutes, turn the machine on and allow the cream to warm.
- Once the cream is at temperature, add the dextrose, cocoa powder, butter and dark chocolate and continue to mix for a further 6 minutes at 50C on speed 5, until ingredients are incorporated.
- Add the activated methyl cellulose mixture and continue to mix for another 5 minutes at 50C on speed 5, until well incorporated. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and set aside in the freezer to cool until needed.
- For the Sugared Helium Glitter Balloon, place a small stainless steel saucepan on to an induction cooktop set to 200C. Sprinkle 1/3 of the isomalt granules into the base of the saucepan and allow to melt. Stir with a large metal spoon occasionally to help the isomalt melt.
- Once melted, sprinkle another 1/3 of the isomalt granules into the pan and continue melting.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the isomalt granules into the pan and melt completely, then remove the pan from the heat and stir continuously until the temperature of the isomalt comes down to 100C.
- Add the platinum silver powder and continue to mix until glitter is evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Once the mixture is fully combined set aside on the induction cooktop set at 100C to keep warm until needed.
- To finish the semifreddo ball, take the ball out of the freezer and use the stick to dip the ball into the yellow Colouring Mixture, rotating the ball to cover completely. Allow the excess to drip off the ball, then turn the ball upright to prevent a drip point forming. Allow a few seconds for the chocolate layer to set, then dip the ball again and repeat the drip process, ensuring the ball is evenly coated.
- Push the ball on the stick back into the wooden holder and place in the blast chiller to set and harden until needed.
- Meanwhile, remove the tray of Chocolate Cones from the freezer. Remove the filled truffle from the freezer and place on the lined baking tray with the cone.
- Spray the truffle shells and chocolate cone with the red colouring mixture to give an even, velvety finish. Place the tray back into the freezer for 5 minutes to allow the colouring to set completely.
- Once the colouring is set, transfer the truffle ball back to the tray with the cherry stems in the freezer. Remove the tray with the chocolate cones from the freezer.
- Dispense Non-Freeze Dark Chocolate Sauce into the chocolate cones to about half way. Place the tray with the cones into the freezer until needed.
- Meanwhile, remove the wooden holder with the semifreddo ball from the freezer, slide the ball off the stick and place on a small round tray lined with silpat mat and secure the ball to the mat with a drop of glucose syrup.
- Place the tray on a motorised turntable. Snip a small opening into the tip of the Pink Vanilla White Chocolate Ganache piping bag. Turn on the turntable and, starting from the top, pipe the ganache around the sphere, creating a spiral pattern. Place the sphere on the tray into the blast chiller for a few minutes to set the ganache.
- Once the ganache on the semifreddo ball is set, remove from blast chiller. Take the piping bag of tempered chocolate, pipe a little chocolate around the rim of the cone and carefully place the ball on top of the Chocolate Cone to secure the ball.
- Pipe a little tempered chocolate in the centre of the top of the semifreddo ball then affix the Chocolate Cherry Bon Bon on top. Pipe a little more tempered chocolate on top of the cherry and affix one of the tempered chocolate cherry stems so that it is standing upright with the curl at the top. Use cooling spray to set the chocolate if required. Pipe a small dot of tempered chocolate on to the back of the tempered chocolate signature disc and affix the disc to the side of the cone.
- Return the assembled ice cream dessert on the tray to the freezer until needed.
- For the Hydrocolloid, place the water into the canister of a stick blender, sprinkle the xanthan gum and methyl cellulose over the top and blitz with a stick blender until the mixture is white and just smooth, being careful not the overwork the mixture.
- Transfer the mixture into a vacuum seal bag and place onto vacuum seal machine to remove some of the air and seal the bag. Place the sealed bag into a sous vide machine preset at 70C. Leave the mixture in the water bath until needed.
To finish the dessert:
- Add 73g of the Hydrocolloid mixture to the isomalt and continue to stir until the mixture is fully incorporated. Leave the saucepan on the induction cooktop to keep mixture warm.
- Ensure one end of the plastic hose is attached to the helium tank. Leaving the pan on the cooktop, dip the other end of the hose into the isomalt mixture and swirl a little to coat with mixture. Lift the hose slowly out of the isomalt mixture and release the gas slowly at a steady speed. As the balloon begins to form, turn the hose right side up and continue to release gas to form an isomalt balloon.
- Once balloon is formed, wrap one end of the fruit leather string around the bottom of the balloon. Without touching the balloon, use the string to pinch together to seal off and separate the balloon from the hose, ensuring there are no holes.
- Remove the assembled dessert from the freezer. Working quickly, wrap the bottom of the fruit leather string around the curly tip of the cherry stem and use a little tempered chocolate to stick the bottom end of the string to the stem.