The Village Cooks is open: sharing the art of good food! And better late than never…..that Cherry Ripe Semifreddo recipe from…. you know, ages ago!
Wow, what a year 2017 was! I made changes to my business name and structure; we spent majority of the year under construction, renovating our old laundry/ outdoor toilet/ shed at the back of our home into a cosy intimate cooking studio; our little 5 year old, Freya, commenced her first year of primary school; and well, my dream came true – I began sharing my love of good food through our newly opened cooking school: The Village Cooks.
Let me share with you now a little bit more about this space. It all really began 6 years ago when (after having my first child, Freya) I decided to not return to work as a pastry chef in the industry and to not sell my own Italian pastries at Grower’s markets around Sydney. Instead, I chose to dedicate a whole year looking after our little one. I enjoyed this time immensely. However, I could not be absent from this food sphere for too long, and so, I returned (in my spare time – ha!), sharing my skills, knowledge and love of good food via a food blog & youtube food channel called – A Piece of Cake. I even held a few cooking/baking classes in my home, but found this difficult to maintain with a growing family: insert here our second child, Remy, now 3 years old.
My goal/dream has always been the same; to share my tips & tricks learnt from my studies and work experience as a Pastry Chef, along with what I have gained growing up in an Italian household where simple, fresh, seasonal produce was our only way of life! My Italian parents immigrated to Australia from Italy in the late 1960’s, and brought with them their experience of surviving from what they could grow, preserve and make for themselves. I continue this this tradition of life on a smaller scale for me and my little family.
So in March 2017, my goal/dream started to take shape! We renovated an old space into a new space which is now our cooking studio. I was extremely ecstatic when it was finally completed and my kitchen vision had materialised into reality – this glorious space where I could share my love of good food. I renamed my business; The Village Cooks. I wanted this new name to speak to us all – a village of cooks, chefs, friends, family – coming together to share in the art of good food!
Here is a snippet of our renovation journey:
And the dream really came true when I held my first lot of classes late last year and the beginning of this new year – with most of the classes selling out! I absolutely love what I do and look forward to sharing this space with you more and more!
Our classes are designed to be small (between 4-6 people) allowing for a more personalised experience. All classes are interactive and hands on, where we eat the food we make.
Costs per class vary depending on the class.
Inclusive of cost is:
- Morning tea on arrival (baked treats, coffee, tea, drinks).
- All ingredients required for class.
- Use of all equipment.
- Refreshments throughout.
- One-on-one tuition.
- Take away typed-up notes & recipes.
Classes and workshops are diverse, including preserving, cheeses, gluten-free, international cuisines, however a major component of classes are dedicated to my Italian heritage with pasta classes and a series of Italian Regional Workshops, and my love of baking with pastry, cakes, and the like.
Classes and Workshops are now up for March & April 2018. Stay tuned for classes coming soon in May, June, July 2018.
Check out our Cooking Classes to grab yourself a ticket today!
On another note, I’m now going to share a recipe with you. Some of you have been waiting a long time for this one; since Christmas 2017 in fact. And how appropriate that I am finally sharing it on the last day of Summer – which is set to be a scorcher!
So here is my recipe for Cherry Ripe Semifreddo. I know, I know – the last of the Tassie Cherries are more than likely gone, but you never know. The weather is still hot and you might be lucky. If not and you really would like to make this recipe now, then substitute the fresh cherries with sour cherries or any preserved cherries you may have around. Just ensure to drain them well before adding to the semifreddo mixture.
When I worked as a Pastry Chef at Cafe Sopra` at Fratelli Fresh at Waterloo, Sydney, I use to serve up plenty of semifreddo dessert thorugh summer. The most popular flavour was Torrone e Cioccolato (Nougat & Chocolate).
A note on semifreddo – it is a light semi-frozen Italian dessert. A semifreddo can be flavoured with just about anything, from fruit to chocolate to nuts, to all three together.
The method I’ve shared in this recipe is very simple. There is another procedure which involves making an Italian meringue, however, for your first attempt (presuming this is your first attempt in making semifreddo) then I suggest you follow my instructions in this recipe.
Why Cherry Ripe flavoured semifreddo you ask? Well, why not, and because I just love it!
Never to late for Cherry Ripe Semifreddo.
35 minPrep Time
35 minTotal Time
4 Eggs, separated
2 Egg, yolks
110g Castor sugar
1 tblsp Kirsch (cherry brandy)
170g Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate (Lindt), chopped into small pieces
200g Cherries, pitted
80g Roasted dessicated Coconut (can do in oven at 150c for about 5-10minutes. Ensure not to burn.
500ml Pouring Cream
- Line a 1.5 litre terrine mould or loaf tin with cling wrap and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer (or by hand), whisk all egg yolks (total of 6 yolks), sugar and kirsch until thick and pale. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in chocolate, coconut and cherries. Set aside.
- In a clean mixing bowl, whisk (by electric mixer or hand) cream until it is almost at stiff peaks. Then in 2 batches, gently fold cream into chocolate mixture until just combined. Set aside.
- In another clean mixing bowl, whisk (by electric mixer or hand) egg whites to stiff peaks. In 2 batches, fold into chocolate mixture until just combined. Don't over mix here!
- Spoon mixture into prepared mould and freeze overnight until firm.
- To serve, turn out semifreddo onto a long platter and remove plastic. Decorate with chocolate curls and whole cherries. It can be served in slices or scooped up to be served with a slice of crostata or in an ice cream cone/cup.