HomeRecipesSummer Cherry, Balsamic, Yogurt & Chocolate by Rory Macdonald

Summer Cherry, Balsamic, Yogurt & Chocolate by Rory Macdonald

(This recipe appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

When cherries are in season, they are one of my favorite fruits to feature. I love them with chocolate, but didn’t want the dessert to be too heavy or rich, so I made a sour cherry sorbet and a yogurt gelato to cut through that richness. This dish is all about texture: the marquise is rich and smooth, the roll has a mocha-like chewiness, and the pistachio croquant gives it some crunch. The balsamic syrup gives it a savory quality which I think balances the whole dessert.

Yield: 24 servings

Chocolate Marquise

  • 5 sheets gelatin
  • 150 g egg yolks
  • 325 g granulated sugar
  • 1125 g Valrhona Manjari chocolate 64%
  • 300 g melted butter
  • 200 g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 600 ml heavy cream
  1. Bloom gelatin. Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer, make a pâte à bombe: whisk together the yolks and sugar and heat over a water bath, whisking constantly, until mixture reaches 176˚F. Whisk in drained gelatin.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter together, then fold in the sifted cocoa powder.
  3. Semi-whip the cream.
  4. Incorporate the pâte à bombe mixture into the chocolate and butter. Fold in the semi-whipped cream, then pipe into the molds.
  5. Fill small 3D cherry molds to the top, place a cocktail stick in the middle and freeze. Reserve remaining Marquise mixture.

Pistachio ‘Croquant’

  • 140 g Sicilian pistachios
  • 330 g simple syrup (40%)
  • 15 g glucose
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed for 5 minutes.
  2. Pass through a chinois. Seal in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  3. Spread into desired shapes on Silpats and place in dehydrator for 24 hours at 135˚F.
  4. Under a heat lamp, peel off Silpat and break into shards.

Cherry Gelee

  • 23 g gelatin sheets
  • 230 g Morello cherry puree
  • 40 g glucose
  • 1 Tbs cherry compound
  1. Soak gelatin in cold water.
  2. Heat the puree with the glucose until hot, but do not boil.
  3. Melt the drained gelatin into the puree and pass through a chinois. Reserve in refrigerator. When set, it can be gently reheated in the microwave.

Sour Cherry Balsamic Sorbet

  • 60 g balsamic syrup
  • 100 g Prosorbet stabilizer
  • 400 g sorbet syrup
  • 1 kg Morello cherry puree
  • 25 g Pregel sour cherry compound
  1. Boil the syrup together with the stabilizer.
  2. Mix the sorbet syrup with the puree and then process in ice cream machine. Drizzle the balsamic syrup in layers in between the sorbet, freeze.

Emperor Roll Dough

  • 45 g glutinous rice flour
  • 68 ml coconut milk
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 75 ml heavy cream
  • 60 ml water
  1. Line a thin metal tray with plastic wrap.
  2. Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture through a sieve into the prepared tray to a depth of 0.5 cm. Cover with plastic wrap and steam for 15-20 minutes at 212˚F. Cool and chill.
  4. Once cold, spread a thin layer of the remaining Chocolate Marquis over the cooked dough. Using plastic wrap, wrap dough into a tight cylinder, tie knots at both ends and place in refrigerator to set.

Yogurt Sorbet

  • 500 g water
  • 250 g superfine granulated sugar
  • Zest and juice of 4 lemons
  • 750 g natural yogurt
  • 150 g Procrema stabilizer
  1. Bring the water and sugar to a boil.
  2. Pour over the juice zest and yogurt and combine. Allow to infuse overnight in refrigerator.
  3. Strain base, mix in stabilizer and process in ice cream machine.

Graham Cracker Base

  • 400 g all-purpose flour
  • 256 g whole wheat flour
  • 128 g untoasted wheat germ
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 256 g unsalted butter
  • 350 g turbinado sugar
  • 300 g honey
  1. Combine the flours, wheat germ, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a bowl.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the dry ingredients at low speed and mix until blended. Turn out onto floured surface and gather into rough rectangle. Roll out onto sheets of parchment paper.
  4. Bake the dough at 350˚F for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. While still warm, cut out 2” discs from the base.


  • Fresh cherries, pitted
  • Balsamic syrup
  1. Cut a 1”-thick piece of the Emperor Roll and place in the bottom right corner of the plate. Place a graham cracker disc adjacent to it.
  2. Heat the Cherry Gelee to 93˚F. Unmold the Chocolate Marquis and dip into the Cherry Gelee; shake off the excess and allow to set. Once set, remove the cocktail stick and place above the Emperor Roll.
  3. Place the Sour Cherry Balsamic Sorbet on top of the graham cracker. Place a large quenelle of Yogurt Sorbet next to that, and finish the dessert by placing the Pistachio Croquant shards next to each component, facing in different directions. Garnish with some fresh pitted cherries and balsamic syrup.
    Summer Cherry

Photo Credit: Jade Young. 

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