Friday, July 27, 2007

Mr. Perfect: Cherry Semifredo Cake

Cherry Semifredo (01)


My friend: "Looks are not that important,"
Me: "Hmmmn"
My friend: "It's the inner qualities that count"
Me: "hmmmn"

I look at her wearily. Boy I cannot get over this baloney.

Me: "Ina, do you really believe that crap?"

C'mon do people really believe that? My friend Ina seems to. Ina's story is a bit of sad one, but I refuse to believe it will have a sad ending.



A little over a year ago her husband decided to leave her for a younger, and in his opinion, a better looking person. In his words "he needs someone that creates a fire in him when he looks at her!" If I should ever get my hands on him I will give him an inferno that will heat up his family jewels!

And Ina? She was left behind to look after their, at that time, 3 year old daughter. Shame, because Ina has a great sense of humor, is a fantastic person, honest, sweet, loving, caring and a great girlfriend. She even looks good. So, where is the catch? I sometimes think she is a bit naive.

That's not a bad quality at all, but sometimes I wish I could shake her out of it. She is 33 and thinks her life has ended. She is letting herself go. Something I cannot stand to watch. When he left her, I comforted her when she sulked, cried and felt sorry for herself. One needs it to heal, is what I believe. But slowly I have been encouraging her to go to the gym with me, meet with friends and go out. She does enjoy these times and I know she wants to get out of it but she is being pulled down with self pity and lack of confidence.

So, when she comes up with comments like the one above, I get mad at her. Because I know she is simply consoling herself with second best.

We were recently at a club. Ina, me and two other friends. It was a girls night out and we were having a great time. We were at a club for "30 something" as it is called in Germany.

In Germany the legal age of being allowed to get into clubs is 16 and the drinking age is 18, which means that most clubs have little teenies running around everywhere. The atmosphere is more like visiting some teenage birthday party gone out of control. So, we prefer to go to clubs that are a bit more civilized and sophisticated (on most occasions) created especially for the 30s and above. Sound funny? It's not really if you look at it from one of my friend's point of view. She is a teacher, 30 and says she does not fancy partying with her 16 year old students. Fair point.

Getting back to Ina, we were sitting in the "chill out lounge" sipping on cocktails and there was a guy across the room who constantly was looking over to us. Ina must have caught his attention as she started to squirm in her chair. She does that when she gets nervous. I was noticing all that and looked at her, my eyes wide open and shaking my head.

"Ina, do not even think about it!"
"What?"
"Do not bat an eyelash at him OK?"
"Why?"
"Because he'll be over in a sec!"
"Is that bad?"
"Yes, because he is not very attractive and is not your type!"

To which Ina answered the very typical statement I started this post with.

Now I do not want to come off as a fickle and superficial person to you all. I believe many of you know I am not. So do my really good friends. For those who are not sure - take it from me I am not. What I am, in these situations, is probably just pragmatic.

I think "good" looks are relative. Every one of us has a certain picture, image or vision of what we find attractive. This is our ideal person and we are often attracted to this "type" of person. If you like - this is our standard. Why should one have to reduce their standard?

Let's be really honest, does anyone go to a club and see someone they have never met before and think:

"He's really ugly, but I am sure his inner qualities are incredible so I am going to get to know him better!"

It's like being served a bunch of stinky brown and green mushy slop on a plate and told:

"It tastes much better than it looks!"

Ahhh! I knew Foodies would be able to relate to that!!

Cherry Semifredo (05)


Let's take another example. How many of you find Brad Pitt attractive?

Yes, many of you I know. I do too. But he is not my "type"! Let's say he were to be standing in that club at the bar, I would certainly look but would simply pass (let's just forget the fact that he would never be standing in a club in Weimar and with a woman like Jolie he would not even look at me).

What is my type? The Daniel Craig type is more my cup of tea (let's forget the fact that I may never be his type). Look at Tom and you will see that I am true to my "type".

To me Ina was settling for something that was less her type and standard because she thought she could not do better. A single, 33 year old working mum, divorced, ditched and left to wither.

What a load of unbelievable baloney! Don't you agree?

I pulled her over to the dance floor and soon noticed the perfect person not far from us. Mr. Perfect was Ina's type to the T. Looked good, stylish and left a certain impression in the air. I pushed her a little in his direction. As she realized, she panicked, so it was up to me to make eyes at him. Finally he decided to come over and chat. I moved Ina into his path and once they started talking, I discreetly danced my way back to the lounge. A huge grin on my face.

Ina did not have to settle for second best that night. Or that weekend as it turned out. Apparently the look on her Exs face must have been priceless when he brought their daughter back and saw Mr. Perfect leave.

Ina and Mr. Perfect? Ina had a great weekend, but it turns out Mr. Perfect's inner qualities leave a lot to be desired.

Ina however, is full of confidence and is pretty much back to her vibrant self again. She is now enjoying herself and knows that she can have it all if she wants.

Just like this irresistible dessert. To celebrate Ina's re-coming out I decided to make something grand. We wanted it all - cake, ice-cream and fruit. It had to look good and have the perfect inner qualities.

Voila!


Reminder!

Don't forget those entries for this month's Monthly Mingle.
Earth Food is all about helping raise awareness for the steps and actions we can take to save our beautiful blue planet. Hope you will find it in your hearts to party with me.
Deadline is August 6th!

Important Announcement: I have unfortunately deleted an entry by mistake that landed in my spam. It was from a Toni. Sorry I hit delete on my spam folder and while it was being deleted I got a glimpse of the entry. So, if a Toni sent me an entry for Earth Food. I would kindly like to request you to send it again. I am extremely sorry about the inconvenience!





Ingredients

Cherry Semifredo (02)


200g bitter-sweet chocolate - coarsely chopped
500g cherries - stems removed and pitted
500g mascarpone
250g quark - substitute sour cream if you cannot get quark
250g cream
150g whole almonds - with the skins on and coarsely chopped
300g chocolate cookies - I used some chocolate chip cookies
300ml cherry juice
1 packet vanilla sauce powder (for 1/2 liter)
100g sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter




Method

Cherry Semifredo (06)


Cover the base of a spring form with some baking paper. Snap the edge of the form shut around it.

Place a mixing bowl in a water-bath and melt the chocolate with the butter. Put all the cookies in a large plastic freezer back and using a rolling pin finely crush the cookies.

Mix the melted chocolate with the cookies and pour the mixture into the spring form. Using a spoon press the base gently to even it out. Place in the refrigerator to cool for 1 hour.

Roast the chopped almonds in a pan without the addition of any fat. Take out and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl mix 6 tablespoons of the cherry juice with the vanilla sauce powder. Bring the rest of the cherry juice to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the vanilla sauce powder, constantly stirring. Allow to simmer for about a minute until it thickens. Mix in the cherries, then set aside and allow to cool.

In a large bowl whisk the quark, mascarpone, sugar and lemon juice into a smooth mixture. Beat the cream in a separate bowl until stiff and then gently fold into the mascarpone/quark mixture. Add the almonds and the cherry compote and fold into the mixture.

Pour the entire mixture over the cookie base into the spring form. Cover with foil and freeze for 6 hours.

Take the semifredo out of the freezer 20 minutes before serving and allow to thaw at room temperature. This allows the flavors to blend into each other. Decorate with a few chopped almonds and whole cherries.

Cut into slices and serve.

Enjoy.

More creamy and fruity ice creams to indulge in:


Also check out the I Scream For Ice Cream roundup from last month's Monthly Mingle for more ice cream inspiration.



Verdict

Cherry Semifredo (03)


Refreshingly fruity, sophisticatedly creamy and irresistibly cool. Who said we girls cannot have our cake and eat it too? If all men were like this dessert we'd all have our Mr. Perfect.

Ouch! (That was me after Tom pinched me!) I did mention that my guy is my Mr. Perfect from the inside to the outside, didn't I?

My fantastic girlfriend from The Daily Tiffin Sabrina of YumSugar is hosting an Ice Cream Challenge. There is no way I can miss that and for all girls reading this post I'd like to send a huge piece of this Cherry Semifredo Cake to you.

Go on take the cake and eat it too!


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All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2007 Meeta Albrecht unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

39 comments :

  1. You go girl. Am happy for your friend.
    Looks matter in the sense that we all have a different taste, and what is attractive for one does not do it for someone else. Beauty is in small details, a smile, like the cherry on your cake or the apricot slice on your clafoutis; or in the eyes - the mirror to our soul, like the nuts hidden in the cake that one sees when the cake is sliced ....

    Have a great weekend!

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  2. I loved this post, Meeta. I did not get married until I was 28, and where I live, that is ancient. I saw a lot of my friends of the same age (and still do) constantly lowering their standards (both physical and personality-wise) just because they thought that is all they can get. I did not want to settle, and ended up with the full package! I think every girl out there deserves this!

    And yes, your dessert looks perfect, and I'm sure it tastes perfect as well!!

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  3. Your friend is lucky to have such a supportive friend at during such a difficult time in her life, especially if you make her such nice cakes! ;-)

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  4. loved the post meeta:) no one is perfect but i hate it when people underestimate their looks, abilities and stick to second best. i am happy that u did manage to push ur friend in the right direction n made her realise her worth:) everyone deserves the best from life not the second best:)
    cheery semifredo cake is an eye candy for people like me who r scared of ovens;) jus love the way it looks n the way it sounds:)

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  5. Semifred cake looks divine...i cant find any other word for it..btw, i always wondered why people find Brad Pitt attractive....how about Mathew McConaughey ? :)

    Shn

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  6. Hi Meeta,

    Semifredo cake looks yummy. I am going to try this recipe for my next dinner party. I had a quick question-u told that sour cream could be substituted for the quark. Aren't the textures for both of them totally different? In the sense I think quark has the consistency of mascarpone whereas sourcream is liquidy. Just did a google search and the substitutes some websites recommend are ricotta or mascarpone. What's your take on it?thanks.

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  7. Hi Meeta, semifredo cake looks yummy and so is the motive behind it. Life teaches us simple lessons and we are the one who make it complicated. Personally I feel what matters is the inner beauty. But I agree we judge the person first by their looks, but once you know/move closely to him/ her Looks hardly matter.

    Your eye for capturing such beautiful pictures of the cake is really unique. I liked the cracked almonds on the top of the cake but the inner slice adds more beauty to it.

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  8. oh wait!!! u dont need to use oven for this...yayyyyyyyyyy....

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  9. Its not fair to tempt me with another of your cherry creations. Am yet to try yr cherry-sour cream cake. Looks awesome.

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  10. i have been wanting to try some of your recipes.... but didnt have all the ingredients.... until now.... i have cherries, mascarpone and sour cream sitting in the fridge... i m making it this weekend.... its yummm and the best part eggless too... i totally agree- nobody should underestimate themselves....life becomes miserable if you do.... great post meeta

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  11. very nice post, Meeta! and an incredible cherry treat:) well it so happens that by mistake we bought a refrigerator sans freezer. it didn't matter to me in these 2 years coz being vegetarian i always only kept frozen peas when needed. else i was happy having my occasional ice-cream at the cafe. but after seeing so many ice-cream recipes in the blogosphere... well i actually noticed them in your blog first then i see it's everywhere... i've ordered a small freezer:) i hope to be brave enough to try this beauty soon:)

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  12. Hi Meeta, I almost fainted looking at this....And the recipe doesnt look that difficult! Looks yummy!

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  13. This cake looks almost (almost) as good as Daniel Craig. *drools over both of them*

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  14. great post meeta and love the pictures.. I was just looking at the pictures and drooled . Also, made the chocolate raspberry tiramisu and it was super!

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  15. Well, this one is totally over the top PERFECT from the inside out! And you are the perfect friend for your friend. I am exceptionally glad for your friend and that I get to enjoy reading this entry and getting to know you. Oh my yes Meeta you are a rocking woman!

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  16. There's only one word to say about this - DIVINE!!!! Great job Meeta.

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  17. hi meeta! been reading your blog for a while now and it's very lovely. i specially like this post. i wish your friend ina the best!
    mwah,
    divalicious

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  18. Meeta, you've outdone yourself! That cake is way beyond any Mr Perfect.

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  19. fabulous dessert. toasting in 38 deg weather here - this would be perfect --jai

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  20. What a funny post. You are so right and I hope Ina remembers that she has a lot of life left in her beautiful self.

    Your comment about her ex and what you'll do to him had me lol!

    And Mr Perfect...nothing like a little one on one time with a hottie to regain some confidence.You go girl!

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  21. This is simply gorgeous! Too good and picturesque to eat. I have to make this asap, can't wait.

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  22. Daniel Craig... and Cherry Semifredo Cake...

    They both look good! What's a girl to do? :)

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  23. Hi everyone! WOW! Thanks for all your comments.

    Isis, I love you you know. Your words are always just perfect. Hoping we get to meet each other soon.

    Deborah, exactly the right thing to do. I did make a mistake in my earlier life but now I too have found my Mr. Perfect. No one has to settle for second best.

    Mevrouw, LOL! Thanks, but I too am lucky to have such good friends too.

    Sia, we are on the same wave-length girl. Thanks!

    Shn, Oh yes Mathew would be my type too. Brad is eye candy alright but well there is something that is not my "type" there! But that esprit and wildness in Mathew is just right for me!!

    Shobitha, there is no REAL substitute for quark. Unless you are willing to make it yourself you will have to find something that more or less fills the space. You can substitute ricotta, mascarpone and sour cream for quark. I suggested sour cream here because there is already a good amount of mascarpone in the semifredo. Adding more or even ricotta would make it far too heavy. Sour cream is the best substitute here. In Germany we get a very thick type of sour cream called "Schmand" which would work best here.

    Padma, inner qualities are very important and sure once you get to know the person it's what counts in the end. But in this post I wanted to show that initially it really is the outer appeal of a person that really attracts us first. The next is the inner quality.

    Sia, are you kidding in this heat!!

    Bee, Thanks darling!

    Suganya - LOL! the best thing would be to buy enough of cherries and make both in one go!

    Priyanka, Great then off you go. Make sure you tell me what you thought of it.

    Latha, living without a freezer I would never be able to imagine. I freeze many things. In the summer the fresh berries and fruit and vegies. Also the leftovers. And ice-cream is an important thing here at our place. Hope you have fun making ice-creams when you get yours. You do not need to be brave. This is really easy to make. Good luck!

    Poonam! Poonam! Are you there? Here have a piece of the semifredo!

    MC, hey sweetie grand to see you around. Are you kidding? My cake would whip Daniel's hot booty anytime!! LOL!

    Dee, thanks you! Also glad you liked the choc/rasp ice-cream too!

    Tanna, oh I wish we did not have to get to know each other only over our blogs. I hope one day we too can spenbd time sipping on cocktails and getting to know each other in person.

    Anh, thank you!!

    Divalicious, I'll let my friend know! Thank you for visiting. I hope to see more of you around here ;-)

    Bril, LOL! I know. Now only if I could find a way to make the male species as good as this cake!!

    Jai, hi! yes, you bring one of your lovely mixed drinks and I'll bring this cake.

    Kristen, hehe! Exactly. I agree totally!

    Foodie, hope you enjoy it!

    Mae, like I said have it all!!

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  24. Meeta, that was a touching one...Glad to hear your friend is bouncing back to happiness.. And the cake is simply superb.

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  25. I love the photo! It looks absolutely wonderful...and I understand about squelched self esteem... :/

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  26. Oh Meeta! I love this post! Besides the gorgeous looking semifredo cake, the story you have about Ina just brings a smile to my face. I totally, I said TOTALLY, agree with what you said in the post (okay, maybe except the fact that I don't find Brad Pitt attractive).

    I had been through the same low self-esteem stages and had my fair share of second bests when it comes to boyfriends. Now that I've come out of that stage, I don't even understand what was wrong with me back then. Here's to Ina for having the same realisation as well: we deserve only the best.

    Cheers~!

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  27. I love this post. You sound like a true friend...Ina is very lucky to have your help in realizing her own fabulous-ness. As for the food, the semifreddo is gorgeous and I love the look of the whole cherries!

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  28. Loved this post Meeta, absolutely loved it.... I'm glad Ina had a fun weekend... sounds like it was well deserved... you are a great friend...
    Me think Brad Pitt is cute, but if he wasn't a big time actor, I wouldn't have looked at him twice... But Daniel Craig... yummalicious.. thats one cake I will eat :D. So Tom looks like Daniel? You better not invite me home girl... :D

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  29. I agree... to each his own :-)

    I got married at 29 years and 11 months... just 4 weeks short of turning 30 :-) and I was willing to wait for my Mr. Right. I know of so many of my friends who married because they were getting old, and in the process settled for the first guy who came their way.

    Lovely recipe. Let me see if I can pick a box of cherries up :-)

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  30. Oh, Meeta this dessert is Mr. Perfect, well after my own Mr. Perfect. :) As for celebs...I'd pass on Brad Pitt too, but George Clooney and Clive Owen I'd definitely stop in my tracks for.

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  31. If only most men were as attractive as that cake...my husband, of course, is perfect. So are Brad Pitt AND Daniel Craig, but what are you gonna do???
    Julie

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  32. Sometimes all someone who has been down in the dumps needs is a refreshment! Looks like Ina has been rejuvenated! And, jeez, that cake looks (and probably tastes) fantastic!

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  33. What an utterly gorgeous looking dessert! The photos are just breath-taking too!

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  34. Great story as well as pic. So glad Ina is "back on the horse" so to speak ;o

    p.s. I am drooling over your cherry semifredo cake... I am desparately allergic to cherries but I might chance it after seeing this pic! YYYYUUUUMMMMM!!!

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  35. Hey! Meeta - I made this, and its just great! Thanks for all the help! Please look it up and let me know what you think!!

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  36. Thank you all. I am so chuffed that you are liking this refreshing dessert.

    Sunshinemom, thanks for trying this out and am totally excited about the vegan version you made. Looks great!

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  37. Your cherry semifreddo looks so beautiful. Great job on the matchmaking, also.

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  38. What a real post and the dessert look absolutely divine!

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

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Meeta