Having made a delicious salty-sweet combo out of my cornflake crumble and Kohu Road Pure Vanilla ice cream, I needed something to serve it with. Cookie sandwich was an obvious contestant, but I had a particular picture in mind. I wanted something light but not cakey, rich but not heavy. I need, a mousse cake. More so, I need a Darren Purchese cake. I’ve adapted the recipe from Lamingtons and Lemon Tart as follows.
- 100ml thickened cream, whipped
- 180g 72% dark chocolate
- 2 whole eggs + 2 yolks
- 30g caster sugar
*this proportion when baked in a square tin will produce a beautiful but rather thin (1.5cm) cake slice. If you would prefer a thicker slice, double the amounts and bake for 1 hour 15 mins.
- Preheat the oven to 150C. Line a square baking tin with baking paper with enough overhand to lift the cake once cooked. Spray the paper lightly with rice bran oil.
- Melt the chocolate in short bursts in the microwave (2 mins should do it).
- Whip cream till thick and fluffy.
- Whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar together until thick and pale. Gently fold half of this mixture into the melted chocolate, then fold in the remaining egg mixture.
- Fold in the whipped cream.
- Pour mixture into the baking tin. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 50 minutes.
- Remove from oven and leave cake to cool completely before chilling in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Lift cake by the baking paper and cut the cake into squares.
This is best served warm with ice cream or milk. Perfect for Mother’s day afternoon tea or dessert.
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.
Matcha green tea ice cream is one of my favourite flavours of ice cream. It’s been quite hard to find good quality green tea powders so I have not had the opportunity to try it until recently.
I had some egg yolks left over from my Mango Madness Macarons so this is perfect timing.
1 1/2 cup milk
4 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup cream
2 Tbsp matcha green tea powder
4 Tbsp hot water
Mix hot water and green tea powder together in a bowl and set aside.
Lightly whisk egg yolks in a saucepan and add sugar in, mixing well.
Gradually add milk in the pan and mix well.
Put the pan on low heat, stirring constantly with a spatula, making sure you don’t scramble the eggs.
When the mixture is thickened, remove the pan from the heat. You should be able to draw your finger across the back of a spatula and cut through the mixture.
Soak the bottom of the pan in ice water and cool the mixture.
Add green tea liquid into the egg mixture and mix well.
Add cream in the mixture and stir gently. Cool the mixture down for at least 6 hours ( over night preferable). Pour the mixture in an ice cream maker and freeze, following instructions of the ice cream maker.
This makes about 1 litre.