Recipe | Stokehouse's strawberries and cream semifreddo | The Gourmand & Gourmet

Recipe | Stokehouse's strawberries and cream semifreddo

Enjoy the Ekka from home all year round with this strawberry sundae-inspired sweet treat.

Yes, we know this dish is a very, very sophisticated take on the strawberry sundae. But we encourage all budding cooks to give this a go… we can guarantee the final outcome will impress. This dish was designed by Stokehouse Group’s pastry chef and Masterchef alumni Lauren Eldridge to raise money for The Common Good, just like the iconic Ekka dish.

The recipe is divided into the three main components: the meringue sticks, the strawberry parfait and the fruit element.

Meringue sticks


  • 75g egg whites
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 75g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/8tsp fine salt
  • 1/2 tbsp freeze dried strawberry powder, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • Red food colouring


  • Preheat oven to 70°C.
  • Whisk together the egg whites and salt until it just starts to foam.
  • Gradually add the caster sugar and whisk to dissolve after each addition.
  • Once all the sugar is dissolved, fold in the sifted icing sugar.
  • Separate the meringue into 3 bowls.
  • In one bowl, add in the scraped vanilla bean.
  • In the second bowl, mix in 1 tablespoon of freeze-dried powder and a small amount of red food colouring, so it is light pink.
  • In the last bowl, add red food colouring to form a deep pink colour.
  • Using a size 2 round piping nozzle, pipe the different colours onto a lined baking tray, about 10cm long. Sprinkle the freeze-dried powder over the dark pink meringue sticks.
  • Bake at 70°C on low fan until dry. Do not bake with a high fan or they will start to crack
  • Store in airtight containers. 
Strawberry parfait


  • 55g strawberry puree (no sugar)
  • 1 gelatine leaf
  • 500g thickened cream
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 115g sugar
  • 50g water
  • 170g egg yolk


  • In a small saucepan heat the strawberry puree on low heat.
  • In ice water, soak the gelatine leaf until it softens. Squeeze out excess water and melt into the strawberry puree.
  • Whisk together the cream, crème fraiche and caster sugar until medium-stiff peaks form.
  • Leave to one side.
  • Place the egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
  • In a small saucepan, stir together the caster sugar and water, using a wet pastry brush to wipe any sugar that may stick to the side of the pan.
  • Heat the syrup over a medium-high heat. When it reaches 110°C turn on the stand mixer at high speed. Continue cooking the syrup until it reaches 118°C.
  • Once the syrup reaches 118°C, turn the stand mixer down to low speed. Carefully pour the syrup onto the whisking egg yolks. When all the syrup is added, turn the speed back up and continue whisking until it is at room temperature. This will take between 5 and 10 minutes.
  • Add the room temperature strawberry-gelatine mixture into the egg yolks and whisk to combine.
  • Remove from the machine, and by hand fold in the whipped cream in two additions.
  • Pour the parfait into the dome moulds and leave to freeze overnight.
  • If you don’t have special moulds, you can set the parfait into a tray lined with two layers of cling wrap.
  • Once frozen, use the cling wrap to lift out of the tray and cut into portions.
Fruit element


  • 125g fresh strawberries
  • 35g caster sugar
  • 250g fresh strawberries, as extra


  • Combine 125g strawberries and sugar in a large bowl and cover with cling film.
  • Place the bowl over pot of gently simmering water until the juice releases from the berries, and the berries lose their colour, around 45 minutes.
  • Pass the mixture through a sieve, saving the liquid.
  • Cut the extra fresh strawberries into rounds and coat in the strawberry syrup
 To serve

Place a spoonful of strawberries and syrup into a bowl. Top with a portion of the frozen strawberry parfait. Scatter the 3 types of meringue sticks over the top. Serve immediately.

You’ll want to dig into this dish right away once it is assembled, and get ready for an influx of compliments on your cheffy skills! Bon Appétit!

Words by Elizabeth Markwell
- the gourmet who has a new dinner party go-to