Shrek: NO! Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers.
Donkey: Oh, you both have LAYERS. Oh. You know, not everybody like onions. What about cake? Everybody loves cake!
Shrek: I don’t care what everyone else likes! Ogres are not like cakes.
Donkey: You know what ELSE everybody likes? Parfaits! Have you ever met a person, you say, “Let’s get some parfait,” they say, “Hell no, I don’t like no parfait”? Parfaits are delicious!
Shrek: NO! You dense, irritating, miniature beast of burden! Ogres are like onions! End of story! Bye-bye! See ya later.
Donkey: Parfait’s gotta be the most delicious thing on the whole damn planet!
It’s not too often that one gets to say this in real life. But the Donkey is onto something.
Parfait is delicious.
Now, there’s a bit of debate on what parfait actually is. According to the French, it’s a frozen dessert. According to the Americans, it’s a terrifying concoction, comprised of layers of cream, ice cream, jelly, fruit… Whatever.
This recipe is a little less frozen, a little more mousse like. But, when it comes down to it, what’s important is that calling it parfait makes it sound impressive, and it’s bloody delicious. Who cares what it’s called? I figure, this recipe for parfait is by Curtis Stone, and he’s probably a little smarter than me.
It’s hot outside.
We’ve settled into the Australian summer, the ones that songs are written about. Long, humid, dusty days. A sun that beats down on concrete and sand. There’s nothing as good as that first dive into the cool of the Indian ocean, or the first mouthful of cold beer.
For me, it’s having the cold, sticky juice of peaches rolling down my chin while I devour them. They are the colours of the sunset over Cottesloe, how is it not the best fruit ever? I eat myself sick on stone fruit every summer, because I figure somehow I need to eat a whole year’s worth while the going is good.
So, I set about to combine my favourite summer stone fruit, with a dessert that takes an edge off the heat.
Milk Chocolate Parfaits with Honey Grilled Peaches
Adapted from Masterchef Magazine
For the parfait
2 eggs, separated
160ml (2/3 cup) thickened cream
1 Tbsp honey
180g milk chocolate
For the peaches
2 peaches, halved
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup crème fraîche
Mint leaves, to serve
1. Combine honey and cinnamon in a bowl, and pour over the peaches. Turn to coat, cover, and leave in the fridge until ready to grill.
2. To make the parfait,whisk egg yolks with 2 tbsp water, 2 tbsp cream, and honey in a small, heavy-based saucepan until well combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir over low heat for 5 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (do not boil). Remove from heat, add chopped chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl.
3. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites to soft peaks in a second bowl (tip: Whites are stiff enough when the bowl can be tipped upside down, and will stay). Working in two batches, gently fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Divide among 4 small glasses, then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.
4. Heat a chargrill pan or bbq to high. Add peaches, cut side down and cook for 3 minutes. Turn over, and cook for another minute, or until tender.
5. Stir crème fraîche in a small bowl until smooth. Gently place a peach half on the top of each parfait. Drizzle a little crème fraîche over the peach, and mint leaves to serve.
I like my chocolate. I really like my dark chocolate. But trust me on this, the milk chocolate and honey carry enough sweetness for dark chocolate almost to be too much here. I know, I can’t believe I said it either, but…
Also, grill additional peaches for leftovers. I ate them for breakfast, dessert, everything for days. So. GOOD.
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