So impressed by the licorice parfait dessert I had at Glass Brasserie, I knew I had to try and replicate it at home. It is a stunning dessert that’s simple yet elegant and guaranteed to draw huge amounts of praise from your guests (as I discovered at our dinner party the other night). For me personally, this dessert married two of my favourite flavours, resulting in a taste sensation that I can only describe as a cold, creamy Sherbet Fountain without the fizz but insurmountably more satisfying.
A lot of people may be put off by the idea of using licorice in a dessert and they’d be forgiven as I’ve always been less than impressed with the various licorice flavoured offerings from your typical ice creameries. However this parfait is sure to change the minds of the most ardent of the anti-aniseed brigade. I sourced the recipe easily online (Chef’s Pencil) and enjoyed reading the preface written by Luke Mangan. It’s clearly one of his favourite recipes and perhaps as such he was kind enough to respond to my tweet about making the parfait, advising that I use a particular confectioner’s licorice. Given this heads-up by the man himself, I simply had to make this dessert!
The recipe itself isn’t too hard as long as you can make a sabayon. A lot of people may down their cooking tools at this stage (I considered it) but it’s certainly a skill worth honing (says she who hasn’t quite perfected it…). A sabayon on its own is a spoonful of poetry. Fortunately for me I have a Thermomix and I remembered George Calombaris making a sabayon with one. A quick search found me Mr Thermomixer’s blog about TMX’ing up a sabayon. He has a fantastic, easy to follow sabayon recipe for the Thermomix which I had no trouble adapting for my parfait. If you can get over the sabayon hurdle (and succeed in not eating this sublime Pernod mix), the rest of the parfait recipe is pretty easy. I recommend making the parfait at least the night before it is required as you want it as cold as possible before nudging them out of their mould. The joy is in the cold, chewiness of the parfait, not a soft puddle! The lime syrup can be made up well ahead of time as can any tuille accompaniment so time can be freed up for other dinner party preparations.
The verdict? You really understand why something is a signature dish; it literally stops people in their tracks in order to comment. As I was serving a fairly standard entree and main, I knew I had to wow the crowd with dessert. This licorice parfait did just that and everything tasted just as though it came out of Glass’ kitchen. Sadly I didn’t have enough time to make a good batch of tuille so used Manner wafers (to be honest, the parfait doesn’t need it – it’s more a visual finishing touch). I’ll be making this again for sure. Licorice Parfait with Lime Syrup Ingredients For the Lime Syrup
- 250 grams (8.9 oz) sugar
- 250ml (8.5 fluid oz) water
- Juice & rind of 1 lime (I needed the juice of two limes as they were small… taste and see)
For the Licorice Parfait
- 300ml (10.1 fluid oz) cream
- 50g (1.8 oz) licorice (make sure it is soft eating licorice!)
- 2 free range eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp glucose (this gives the parfait that slight chewiness I feel so don’t omit!)
- 60g (2.1 oz) sugar
- 2 tbsp Pernod (it’s worth investing in a bottle as you’ll make this again. Trust me!)
To make the lime syrup: Bring the sugar and water to the boil, stirring to ensure the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat & add the lime juice and the rind to taste. Stir well & refrigerate. To make parfait: In a small saucepan combine the cream & licorice & heat gently, without boiling, until the licorice is very soft. Blend the mixture in the Thermomix (a quick but good blast on Speed 7/8) or food processor until well combined. Pour through a fine sieve to strain out the tiny pieces of licorice (very important!) then set aside to cool. For the sabayon, if you don’t have a Thermomix, please refer to original recipe via link above. Otherwise, place caster sugar in the TM bowl and place the butterfly over the blades. Add egg and yolk then beat for 4 minutes at 50°C on speed 3. Add glucose and pernod and beat for around 3 minutes at 80°C on speed 3. Allow to cool. Do not eat sabayon ;) Once cooled, fold half of the sabayon into the licorice mixture and then remaining sabayon until well combined. Pour into individual moulds and freeze. Makes about six/seven 150ml portions.