Having had the most amazing dessert at The Sugar Club, I set about recreating this dish. Turns out it isn’t as difficult as I imagined it to be, albeit slightly simplified. The flavours and textures are all present though.
The parfait recipe here is an adapted version of Geoff Scott’s (Vinnie’s) and the Cordon Bleu cookbook. It doesn’t contain gelatine and I will make another one later that uses gelatine to test the difference. The rest of the elements are things I make quite often for my macarons, cakes and entremets. So while it may seem like a long list, there are often at least 1 or 2 elements readily made in my fridge at any time. I encourage you to follow suit in case of dessert emergencies.
Peanut butter parfait
- 120g caster sugar
- 80ml water
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon Equagold vanilla paste
- 150g best crunchy peanut butter (I used Pic’s from Nelson, New Zealand)
- 500ml cream
- Lightly whip the cream until soft peak stage. Set aside. (I do this step first as I only have 1 bowl for my mixer. If you have alternate means, do this step after step 3 below).
- Place sugar and water and in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook for 7-10 minutes until it reaches the soft boil stage at 118°C on a thermometer.
- While the sugar syrup is coming up to temperature, whisk the yolks and vanilla paste with an electric beater until pale and thick, continue whisking and slowly pour the hot sugar syrup in a trickle down the side of the bowl (like making Italian meringue). Whisk till it has cooled, about 6 minutes. The mix should be thick and aerated. Mix in the peanut butter paste.
- Take a third of the cream and gently fold into the yolk mix. Add the remaining cream and gently fold through. This step is crucial, do it gently to maintain the lightness in the mixture.
- Line a large loaf or square pan with greaseproof paper then pour in the mix. Freeze overnight. Tip out onto a board and remove paper. Pre slice into thick slices and keep in the freezer until ready to serve.
- Tip: I found it hard to cut through a deep solid block. Using a square pan would help as the parfait would not be as high as it would reach if it was in a loaf pan. Far easier to cut neat rectangular slices out this way.
Chocolate feuilletine crumb
- 125 g 70% cocoa dark chocolate (I used Equagold)
- 1 cup Feuilletine
- Melt chocolate over a pan of simmering hot water.
- Remove from heat.
- Add feuilletine, stir to mix and pour in a baking paper-lined tray. Cool in fridge.
Salted caramel (this produces a large quantity, feel free to reduce if you have to, but I would suggest keeping to the quantity as you would *always* need salted caramel available, right?)
- 200g castor sugar
- 125ml fresh cream
- 50g butter, cubed
- 5g good quality salt flakes
- A few drops of vanilla essence
- Heat the sugar in a wide saucepan until it is melted.
- Be really careful and wait for it to turn amber/ golden and slightly smoke.
- Carefully add the cream in slowly, continuing to whisk but be aware of the resulting vigorous bubbling.
- Add the butter in gradually until it is melted and combined.
- Add in salt flakes and vanilla essence.
- Cool in the fridge for a few hours.
- 60g butter
- 60ml glucose syrup
- 1 can condensed milk (320g)
- 290g brown sugar
- 180ml cream
- In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter and add rest of ingredients.
- Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium high heat till it reaches 118C at the soft ball stage.
- Pour half into a jar for another time or onto a baking -paper lined tray to make toffee squares, like the Mckintosh Toffees.
- Add cream to the remaining butterscotch toffee in the pan and stir till it becomes homogenous.
- Pour into jar to cool.
- Put a dollop of the salted caramel near the top of the plate, off centre.
- In a quick motion, “schmear” it straight down or across confidently.
- Place a piece of the parfait on the schmear.
- Scatter over the chocolate feuilletine crumb and pour the butterscotch sauce over.
This one has been a long time coming. I have been saving my best peanut butter for these and finally it was time to open the jar of Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter. These are made in Nelson, New Zealand with only two ingredients: Peanuts, salt. Yes no added sugar! The nuttiness of the peanut butter matched nicely with the dark chocolate.
You can pair them with any colour shells of your choosing, but I’m particularly drawn to the purple and blue combination.
Macarons shell ingredients
150 g icing sugar
150 g almond meal
110 g egg whites, split into 2 bowls of 55g each
150 g caster sugar
38 ml water
1 g meringue powder
a few drops of violet and blue gel colouring, separately.
Follow my basic recipe to make the shells.
I paired these with a peanut butter flavoured dark chocolate ganache.
100g whittaker’s dark chocolate
100ml full cream
4 tbsp good quality peanut butter
Break up chocolate into small chunks. Bring cream up to a boil in a pan, and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute before stirring. Stir until you have a thickish ganache and add peanut butter in. Stir and let it cool and thicken in the fridge. Spread or pipe a teaspoon of ganache on half of your shells and top them with the remaining half of your shells.
The filled macarons need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to flavour the shells. These freeze well too (up to 3 months).