Summer Chamomile Semifreddo, Licorice Ice Cream and Lemon Balm Meringue

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


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By Katrina Meynink

Published 2014

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You will need to begin this recipe three days ahead.


  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) cream
  • 20 g (¾ oz) fresh chamomile flowers, substitute dried if not available
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) milk
  • 150 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 150 g ( oz) egg yolk
  • sheets silver-strength gelatine, bloomed
  • 65 g ( oz) eggwhite
  • 110 g ( oz/½ cup) caster (superfine) sugar, extra
  • flowering herbs, such as chamomile, fennel, tarragon, to garnish

Licorice Ice Cream

  • 650 ml (22½ fl oz) milk
  • 100 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 100 g ( oz) honey
  • 10 g (¼ oz) licorice powder
  • 30 g (1 oz) fennel seeds, toasted
  • 5 g ( oz) iota carrageenan
  • 250 g (9 oz) egg yolk

Lemon Balm Meringue

  • 100 g ( oz) lemon balm leaves
  • 200 g (7 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 30 g (1 oz) eggwhite powder
  • 1 eggwhite

Sorrel Sauce

  • 150 g ( oz) sorrel leaves
  • 40 g ( oz) sugar
  • 1 g (1/32 oz) citric acid
  • xanthan gum, to thicken


Steep chamomile flowers in cream overnight. Strain, chill and whip the cream to firm peaks.

In a saucepan over low heat, mix 50 g of the chamomile cream with the milk and caster sugar. Gradually add the egg yolk, stirring constantly, and cook gently until thick. Remove from the heat. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine, add to the mix and stir until dissolved. Cool completely. Whip the eggwhite and extra caster sugar to firm peaks. Gently fold together with the custard gently using a spatula. Spread 3–5 cm (1¼–2 inches) thick on a tray and freeze for at least 6–8 hours.

To make the licorice ice cream, mix the remaining chamomile cream in a large saucepan with milk, sugar, honey, licorice powder, fennel seeds and iota carrageenan. Gradually add the egg yolk, stirring constantly and cook gently until thick and the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Cool and allow to steep overnight. Strain and churn the mixture in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze overnight.

To make the lemon balm meringue, purée the lemon balm leaves with 70 ml ( fl oz) of water, then strain to make a thin purée weighing 170 g (6 oz). Combine the purée with the sugar, eggwhite powder and eggwhite in an electric mixer and whisk to stiff peaks. Spread a layer 2 cm (¾ inch) thick on a baking tray lined with a non-stick baking mat and dehydrate for 10 hours in a dehydrator. Alternatively, dehydrate overnight in a 50°C (120°F) oven. Break into shards.

To make the sorrel sauce, put the sorrel leaves, sugar and citric acid in a blender with 70 ml ( fl oz) of water and purée until smooth. Add xanthan gum a little at a time until the liquid is no longer runny. Strain and reserve.

To assemble, place a pool of sorrel sauce on a plate. Add 2 small meringue shards. With a spoon, cut out a small circle of semifreddo and place on the shards. Add a small quenelle of licorice ice cream. Place a larger shard of meringue on top and garnish with fresh flowering herbs.