In my opinion parfaits are a totally underrated and overlooked dessert. They can be made hundreds of ways with just as many ingredients, yet when do you ever have one? When and why did they go out of style? Think about it: when was the last time you had a delicious parfait that wasn't some generic concoction from Dairy Queen or TCBY? If you answered never to this question, then you must make this divine dessert in the very near future. In fact drop what you are doing and make it now - this way it will be nice and chilled for after dinner. Layers of chilled creamy chocolate, softly whipped cream, and crispy praline. I'm merely writing about it and my mouth is watering. The splash of bourbon gives it a New Orleans-ish underlying flavor. This recipe is a great one for a party or dinner because it can be made up to 2 days ahead of your event. For the heavenly recipe,
8 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons bourbon
4 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
3 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
Garnish: 8 praline pieces
- In a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate in 1/2 cup water, stirring until smooth, and stir in bourbon until combined well. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat.
- In a large metal bowl with a hand held electric mixer beat eggs and granulated sugar until combined.
- Set bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water and beat mixture until light and thickened, about 6 minutes.
- In a very small saucepan sprinkle gelatin over remaining 2 tablespoons water and let stand 1 minute to soften.
- Heat gelatin mixture over moderate heat, stirring, until gelatin is dissolved.
- Beat chocolate and gelatin mixtures into egg mixture and cool to room temperature.
- In a bowl beat 1 1/2 cups cream until it just holds stiff peaks. Fold cream into chocolate mixture thoroughly and divide among eight 1 1/2-to 2-cup stemmed glasses. Freeze parfaits, covered with plastic wrap, until set, about 1 hour.
- In a bowl beat remaining 2 cups cream until it holds soft peaks. Sift confectioners' sugar over cream and beat until cream just holds stiff peaks.
- Transfer whipped cream to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and pipe onto parfaits.
- Garnish with praline pieces. Freeze parfaits until solid, about 4 hours.
- Parfaits may be made 2 days ahead and frozen, covered.
- Let parfaits stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.