Very Small Anna

From The Pastry Dungeon: Semifreddo with Cola and Cherries

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[Photograph: Anna Markow]

Even after last week's post, I apparently still have not had my fill of fluffy sabayon and juicy stone fruit. I've been thinking of other types of sabayon I could make. I really like pairing dessert wines to the fruits that they taste like (Moscato D'Asti has peach notes, some Marsalas have a great apple flavor) but obviously I don't stop at dessert wine. I was looking at some cherries in the fridge recently and found myself wondering if a cola sabayon was a thing that had been done before—or should be done.

After some research into the matter, which involved asking around a little on Twitter, I heard the name "calimoxo" thrown around. I hadn't heard of it before, but it turns out to be very simple: equal parts red wine and Coke. Sounds weird at first, but since I was planning to serve my sabayon with cherries anyway, and many red wines have wonderful cherry notes, I decided it was worth a shot. I actually ended up using Lambrusco, a dry, bubbly, Italian red.

When it came time to make the sabayon, I decided that equal parts of each liquid would be too heavy on the wine and too light on the cola, so I used twice as much cola as wine, sweetening to taste. I also added a pinch of mace (though nutmeg would work as well) because I like the signature spiced taste of a good cola.

Instead of serving the sabayon straight up, I decided to utilize a technique I used on the menu at a former job when I wanted to serve peaches and ice cream but had no machine to make the latter. If you don't have an ice cream machine, you can still make a wonderfully creamy semifreddo that is soft enough to scoop straight from the freezer. By folding together whipped cream and sabayon, you create a mixture of pure air, sugar, fat and alcohol—all things that inhibit iciness in frozen desserts.

The cream in the semifreddo slightly masks the fruity cola taste of the sabayon, but it's balanced by the addition of juicy cherries cooked in a spiced mixture of wine and cola. The resulting dessert is not too sweet and a great treat on a hot summer day.

Get the Recipe

Semifreddo with Cola and Cherries »

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.

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