You know what everyone loves? Parfait! Seeing as hidden hearts are all over the place at the moment I thought I’d hide them in this lovely dessert too.
(And yes, I know its not baking but it is larking around in the kitchen so that’s good enough for me!)
1 egg white, large
25g caster sugar
1 egg yolk, large
25g caster sugar
150ml double cream
50g caster sugar
2 egg whites, large
50g caster sugar
2 egg yolks, large
50 caster sugar
300ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or the seeds scraped from 1 pod
Plus 100g dark chocolate, melted
This dessert needs to be started in advance, but once it’s made and in the freezer all wrapped up it’s happy to wait until whenever you want to serve it. And don’t be put off by the lengthy instructions, they are by no means difficult – just lots of assembly steps 😉
For the hearts you’ll need a silicone tray with individual heart shapes and a 2lb loaf tin. If you haven’t got one you could set the raspberry parfait in a tray and then cut out the heart shapes using a cookie cutter. Just check that the height of the hearts will fit into the depth of your loaf tin.
Raspberry Parfait first! Whisk the egg white until is starts to go foamy with an electric hand mixer. Continue whisking adding in 25g caster sugar by the spoonful until the egg white has become a meringue mixture with firm glossy peaks. Set it to one side.
Now whisk together the egg yolk and and 25g caster sugar until the mixture goes very pale and foamy.
In another bowl (sorry lots of washing up) whisk 150ml double cream until it just forms soft peaks.
Add the meringue mixture and the egg yolk mixture to the whipped double cream and gently fold them together.
Blitz together the raspberries and 50g caster sugar with a stick blender, food processor or mash with a fork.
Strain this mixture through a sieve into the parfait to remove the seeds.
Fold the mixture together again.
Fill each of the recesses of the silicone mould with raspberry parfait and gently level with the back of a teaspoon. Cover with a sheet of clingfilm and put it in the freezer overnight to set firm.
I’m adding in some layers of chocolate too so it’s a good idea to prepare these now, ready for assembly. Make yourself two baking paper templates – one slightly smaller than the base of your loaf tin and one just a little smaller than the top open edge of the tin and set these to one side.
Melt the dark chocolate and prepare a sheet of baking paper on a chopping board or tray.
Add a little of the chocolate at a time to the paper and spread it out as thinly as possible using a palette knife. Adding a little more chocolate and spreading to make the sheet big enough.
Let it start to set off – once you can just touch it with your fingertip and the top is set lay over the templates and cut with a sharp knife 1 piece for the base and 2 for the top of the parfait.
Now allow the chocolate sheet to set completely.
So, the raspberry hearts are completely frozen and safely waiting in the freezer, it’s time for the assembly. Make up the vanilla parfait in exactly the same way as you did the raspberry; whisking together the whites and 50g caster sugar, the yolks and 50g caster sugar and the double cream to soft peaks. Combine the three elements in one large bowl, adding in the vanilla bean paste and fold together.
Take your 2lb loaf tin and line it with a double layer of clingfilm, leaving enough overhanging to wrap over the top when we’re finished.
Into the base add a couple of spoonfuls of vanilla parfait and spread out.
Add in the smaller sheet of chocolate, lifting it with a palette knife. Don’t worry if it cracks apart, just place the pieces back together onto the parfait.
Now dollop spoonfuls of vanilla parfait along the centre.
Take the raspberry parfait hearts from the freezer and pop them out of the moulds. Place them top down onto the channel of vanilla, adding more to fill up the length of the tin.
Fill in around the sides of the raspberry hearts with vanilla mixture until they are completely covered. You should just have scant amount of mix left in the bowl, scrape this together with a spatula.
Top the parfait with one of the larger sheets of chocolate, gently spread over the last scraping of parfait and add the last sheet of chocolate.
Wrap over the clingfilm so your dessert is completely enclosed, don’t press down the top but give the tin a couple of sharp raps onto the worksurface which should pop any large air pockets around the hearts.
Drop it back into the freezer to chill overnight and freeze fully.
Save the off cuts from the chocolate sheet to crumble up and top the finished Parfait with.
Take it out of the freezer 20 minutes before you want to serve it, remove it from the tin, unwrap the film, transfer it to a serving plate and scatter the chocolate flakes over the top.
Slice with a sharp serrated bread knife and serve!
Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire
Meet me down the aisles of The Pink Whisk Shop – for all sorts of cake decorating and baking delights!