We all love to eat out occasionally, but e’cco bistro owner and chef Philip Johnson is happy to share favourites from his kitchen in his new book Eating In, including this wonderful, cherry dessert


Serves 6

  • 100g fresh cherries, pitted
  • 300g caster (superfine) sugar
  • 9 egg yolks
  • Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
  • 80ml Drambuie
  • 1 tspn natural vanilla extract
  • 670ml pouring (whipping) cream poached cherries, to serve


Line a 30x12x10cm loaf (bar) tin with plastic wrap, allowing a 4cm overhang around the sides. Put the cherries, 100g of the sugar and 100ml water in a small saucepan over low heat. Gently cook the cherries until soft and reduced to a pulp. Set aside to cool.

Put the remaining sugar and 125ml water in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until the temperature reaches 120°C on a sugar thermometer (known as ‘soft ball’ stage).

Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the egg yolks until thick and pale. With the machine running, gradually drizzle in the sugar syrup, whisking constantly, until the mixture has cooled. Stir in the orange zest, Drambuie and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk the cream to soft peaks. Using a large balloon whisk, carefully fold the whipped cream through the egg mixture. Lastly, fold through the cherry mixture to form a ripple effect. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, cover with the overhanging plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

To serve, turn the semifreddo out of the tin onto a work surface. Using a hot knife, cut into slices about 1.5cm thick. Arrange the semifreddo in the centre of each plate and serve with poached cherries.