Iced Coffee Parfait (from Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets)

This was the dessert presented at the Supper Club Night – A Taste of France, taken from Raymond Blanc’s “Kitchen Secrets” from which I have already tried a number of recipes successfully.  A lovely dessert, but unfortunately, although the rIced Coffee Parfaitecipe states 10 – 12 servings, I found them to be rather meagre portions and would suggest that this dessert would better serve 8.  I attach a photo* from the book which shows a decent thickness to the slice – those that I served my guests were rather thinner!

Ingredients:

450ml prepared sabayon
75ml strong espresso coffee (ristretto)

For the Garnish:
50g shelled pistachio nuts
30g flaked almonds
30g icing sugar
2 tablesp. kirsch or Cognac (I had neither and used Almagnac)

For the caramel sauce:
70ml water
150g caster sugar
1/2 teasp arrowroot

To make the iced coffee Parfait: In a large bowl, gently fold the sabayon and coffee together.  Fill a terrine with the sabayon, smooth the top and freeze overnight.

To prepare the garnish: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.  Mix the nuts with the icing sugar and alcohol of choice.  Scatter on a baking tray and bake for about 7 minutes until lightly golden and crunchy.  Allow to cool.

To make the caramel sauce:  Put 20ml of water in a small saucepan and add the sugar.  Leave for a few minutes, then dissolve over a medium heat and cook to a dark golden brown caramel.  Add the remaining 50ml water to stop the cooking.  Mix in the diluted arrowroot to thicken the sauce and leave to cool.

I must say, I struggled with this method of making caramel sauce, as the sugar kept crystallising, even though I had left it a few minutes before cooking (this is key).  In the end I did it the only way I knew how, which was to dissolve equal parts of sugar and water together over heat (I used 150g of each) and then boil until the required caramelisation occurred.

To serve:  Dip the terrine into hot water for 4 – 5 seconds to loosen the parfait, then run a warmed knife around it and turn it out onto a board.  Cut into slices with the warm knife.  Drizzle the caramel sauce onto individual plates and place a slice of parfait in the middle.  Scatter the caramelised nuts around the parfait and serve.

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