I still amn’t entirely certain what differentiates a parfait from an ice cream. The general feeling out on that internet is that a parfait is less faffy, you don’t need any fancy machines to prevent the ice crystals taking over. Other than that, it might be the syrupy thing you make at the start instead of the usual custard for an ice cream. But who knows. Indeed who cares. Parfait is delicious and I can’t help thinking of a magical, talking donkey when I type that.
This past week has shown variable levels of productivity on my part. One day I made soup, flapjacks, bread, shepherd’s pie, roast chicken and that fatless sponge from the last post. On another day I struggled to make it to the shops, just around the corner, but forgot my card and so came home empty handed. We didn’t even see a poxy duck on that walk. So as I say; some days good, some days bad.
Now this is my first attempt at parfait. I’ve made an occasional iced cream in my time but never a parfait. I decided to test it out because I managed to have a lovely grown up dinner out and for dessert there was a parfait. A delicious caramelised white chocolate parfait. I daren’t make something that swanky but I thought I’d give an entry level parfait a go. It’s a James Martin recipe and although it involves a few stages it isn’t actually too complicated.
It makes quite an impressive quantity so feel free to halve it.
Egg yolks 4
Caster sugar 200g
Mango flesh 250g
Egg white 75ml
Choose yourself a lovely, freezer proof bowl. A large one. Then make a space in your freezer big enough for the chosen bowl.
Now get out one medium, heavy-based saucepan and put the egg yolks, water and 100g of sugar into it. Place it onto a medium heat and cook it out for about ten minutes. That James one says it thickens but mine didn’t really at all, but cook it for ten minutes nonetheless.
After the ten minutes, take it off the heat and whisk it till it cools. Again, your man says it should be light and fluffy. Mine wasn’t. Not to worry.
Now, peel and roughly chop enough mangoes to get the 250g of flesh, then pop it into a liquidiser and blend till smooth.
Ok. Empty the pureed mango and cream into a large mixing bowl and whip till soft peaks. This actually does happen.
Pour in the cooled eggy mix and fold it all together.
In a separate mixing bowl tip in the remaining 100g of sugar and the egg whites. Whip till soft peaks as well. This method of having all of the sugar in with the egg whites at the start takes a bit longer than when you add it in gradually but it makes the smoothest meringue. A little something I learned in the Raymond Blanc cookery school. Ah yeah.
Anyway, add a third of the remarkably smooth egg white mix to the mango cream mixture and fold to combine. Then dollop in the remaining egg white mix and fold again.
That’s it done.
Pour it into the nice bowl you choose at the start and then place it into that space you made in the freezer. I should say you can garnish it, as I did, with diced mango and some fresh mint leaves but no real need. It is best to cover the bowl with cling film though, to stop the weird freezer taste happening.
(that’s a very big spoon, don’t be fooled)