Okay. So here we go.
There are some recipes I have that I feel are useful to have in the back of your brain for when you want them. This is a recipe I demand you have in the back of your freezer for when you NEED it. Which will be always and forevermore once you’ve had a spoonful.
Now the freezer is a complex and wonderous place in equal measures. I have a bizarre relationship with mine. Sometimes it’s a place to store my absolute kitchen must-haves (frozen peas, fish fingers, frozen fruit, chicken wings for emergencies…) but then sometimes it’s a place where my good intentions go to die (leftover stews I’ll never thaw, stocks made with homespun desires and a slice of cake from my 29th birthday that I just can’t part with because I want to stay young forever). Either way, the freezer is my friend in both good and bad measures.
But this cake… oh, this cake… this cake is in rotation.
It’s not really a cake as we know it, so I do apologise if I’ve brought you here under muddled illusions. There’s no sponge or icing involved – there’s barely any cooking involved – but it still gives you that chewy, luxurious spoonful that you want from every mouthful of cake.
It’s kind of lime a Semifreddo, except there’s no custardy, eggy step in the middle. We solve that with meringues, may God ever bless them. Think of it as a no-churn ice cream cake that is sodden thickly with chunks of cherry and the dark, treacly syrup that goes with them. I also bring in a whopping addition of mascarpone cheese (although substitute with full fat cream cheese if you need to…) just to give it that sharp, salty tang of cheesecake.
It’s the best of every world and the best thing is, it just sits idly in your freezer until you need it.
I do need to eat that birthday cake soon though. The lines on my face and the creaks in my knees are the constant reminder I’m not young anymore, I don’t need a slice of birthday cake mocking me from the icy drawers as well.
300ml double cream
6 pre-made meringue nests
50g soft mascarpone cheese
2 teaspoons amaretto liquor
200g dark cherries in syrup (from a jar)
- So many of my recipes start with ‘Preheat your oven to…’ that I was SO close to writing ‘Preheat your freezer to…’ can you imagine?
- Anyway – double line a loaf tin with some cling film
- Put the double cream into a large bowl and whisk until the cream is thick but not stiff and doubled in size, you want it still slightly pliable.
- Scrunch in the meringue nests and add in the cheese, folding it gently into the cream.
- Now add the amaretto liquor and the zest of the lemon.
- Remove 200g of cherries from their syrup on to a board and chop roughly, adding to the cream and folding in with the amaretto and lemon zest.
- Spoon the cream into the loaf tin making sure you use the back of the spoon to cram the cream in as best you can to make sure there are no bubbles or gaps in the mix – this will make it terribly crumbly to slice. The tighter and neater the loaf, the easier to slice.
- Bring the cling film over the top and press down gently so the cream is covered, wrap the tin in a little bit of foil and place in the freezer overnight.
- When you’re ready to eat, bring the tin out of the freezer, remove the foil and lift the now solid cake out of the tin and rest on a cutting board.
- Cut the loaf into slices (the thicker the better) before spooning over the cherry syrup from the jar.