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Yoghurt and orange semifreddo with cherries and amaretti

Weekend project Dessert Summer
Serves 8

You can make semifreddo without an ice-cream machine, so it’s a brilliantly easy and useful summer pudding to have up your sleeve. This one will look especially beautiful if made in a medium brioche tin or a patterned tin, but a basic pudding bowl (or any other bowl, for that matter) will work just fine, too. A couple of hours before you want to serve, transfer the semifreddo from the freezer to the fridge to thaw, so it’s soft on the outside and icy inside: perfect for a hot day.


270ml double cream
60g caster sugar
1 tsp finely grated orange zest (ie, from 1 orange)
1 tsp orange blossom water
1 vanilla pod (seeds scraped from)
200g Greek-style yoghurt
70g amaretti biscuits (the hard kind, not the soft), roughly broken into thirds, plus 2 whole biscuits, to serve
2 egg whites
70g black cherries in kirsch, drained, plus 2 tbsp of syrup (I used Opies, but see what you can get hold of; if need be, you can always add kirsch to some cherries in syrup)
2 tsp lime juice (1 lime)


  1. Line a 18cm-diameter (or so) 1.5-litre bowl with enough cling-film to leave plenty draping over the sides – you’ll need this to wrap over the semifreddo before it goes in the freezer.
  2. Put the cream, sugar, orange zest, orange blossom water and vanilla seeds in the bowl of a free-standing mixer with the whisk attachment in place (or large bowl, if using a hand-held whisk). Whip on high speed for a minute or two, until firm but fluffy, then fold in the yoghurt and broken amaretti. Transfer to a separate bowl, and thoroughly clean and dry the mixer bowl and whisk attachment. Put the egg whites and a small pinch of salt in the mixer bowl, then whisk on high speed for a minute, until it forms stiff peaks. Using a spatula, carefully fold the egg whites into the cream mix, then spoon everything into the bowl lined with cling-film. Smooth the top with a spatula, draw over the excess cling-film, so the whole thing is covered, and freeze for five hours (or overnight), to set.
  3. Two hours before serving, transfer the semifreddo to the fridge to thaw. Using your fingers or a spoon, tear the cherries into halves and thirds.
  4. To serve, invert the semifreddo on to a large plate and carefully peel off the cling-film. Spoon the cherries and syrup over the top, letting some drop and drip down the sides here and there for visual effect, then drizzle over the lime juice. Crumble the remaining two amaretti biscuits over the top and serve at once.