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Contact: judy@mysweetsolutions.net; 617-922-1315

Seasonal Pairings and recipes by Judy Mattera

Chocolate Pistachio Semifreddo

Pairing: Chocolate Pistachio Semifreddo / Berthoumieu Tanatis, France

Abstract: A “half cold” bittersweet chocolate dessert studded with pistachios is perfect with Tanatis. A red wine made from 100% Tannat grapes from the Madiran region of southwest France, it has a nose of dark fruits: plum, black currant and prune. A fruity taste, it has a velvety mouthfeel and lasting finish.

Yield: Serves 8 - 10

Photo by Ellen Callaway

Italian Meringue

1 3/4 cups heavy cream, divided (3/4 cup + 1 cup)
1/2 cup pistachios
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup light cream
5 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar, divided (1/4 cup + 1/2 cup)
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Oil a 9 x 5 x 2-3/4 inch loaf pan and then line with plastic wrap, overhanging ends.
  2. Whisk ¾ cup of heavy cream to soft peaks and reserve.
  3. Toast the pistachios in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes. When cool, chop roughly.
  4. Place the chocolate in a large stainless steel bowl set over simmering water. When melted, remove from heat but keep warm.
  5. Ribbon yolks with ¼ cup of sugar and pinch of salt.
  6. Bring remaining 1 cup of heavy cream along with 1 cup light cream in a stainless steel pot to a simmer. Ladle a small amount into yolk mixture. Whisk to combine. Add remaining hot liquid and stir in figure eight motion with a heat resistant spatula until incorporated. Return to pot and cook as anglaise to a temperature of 170 degrees or when sauce coats the back of spoon.
  7. Add to melted chocolate and combine. Strain through a chinois or fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl set in an ice bath.
  8. Add vanilla extract.

For Italian Meringue

  1. In a clean bowl fitted with whisk attachment, whisk the whites slowly.
  2. Place the ¼ cup of water and remaining ½ cup of sugar in a pot and make sugar syrup.
  3. When temperature reaches 249 degrees, pour syrup into whites near edge of bowl. Do not pour near whisk. Continue to whisk until sides of mixing bowl are cool.
  4. Fold into chocolate anglaise. Fold in reserved cream and pistachios.
  5. Pour into prepared pan. Smooth top. Cover with parchment. Bring plastic wrap ends up over parchment and wrap well. Freeze overnight.

To serve

Unmold from loaf pan. Slice into desired width and serve with quartered strawberries or mixed berries.

Other Suggested Pairings

  1. Ferrari-Carano Eldorado Noir, Russian River Valley, CA
  2. Mercouri Estate Chortais, Peloponnese, Greece