Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Coffee Parfait--A Perfect Dessert

I had very different ideas for what my next post would be about but, unfortunately, my computer crushed a couple of weeks ago and before I restore everything the way it used to be, I can only share the recipes for which finding pictures is easy. But I do not think anyone would regret to read about this wonderful coffee dessert, perfect for the upcoming warm days.

This dessert is not only delicious but also very simple. A classic of the French and Italian cuisines, with some variations very similar in taste to ice creams, it is made almost entirely in a stand-up mixer. This particular coffee version has been one of my favorite summer desserts ever since I tried it. Coffee parfait can be served at the end of a dinner with or instead of an espresso. Accompanied by an extra glass of Frangelico it is an absolutely delicious finale to any feast.

I like it so much because of the roasted hazelnuts--my most favorite nuts--which give it an extra flavor and crunchiness. I recently discovered at TJ roasted hazelnuts from Oregon which have an unbelievable taste and flavor similar to those I used to eat in Poland. But if you do not have hazelnuts, another version of this dessert, which is also very good, can be made with almonds and any Amaretto liqueur.

Besides their great taste, frozen desserts come very handy as they can be made ahead. I usually keep one or two in my freezer in case unexpected guests arrive.

Coffee Parfait

1/2 cup espresso coffee,
2/3 cup sugar,
4 large eggs yolks, preferably organic,
2 cups heavy whipping cream,
1/2 cup crème fraîche or additional heaving whipping cream,
3 tbsp Frangelico liqueur,
1 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts.

1. Brew the coffee, and put it together with sugar in a medium heavy-duty pot. Bring it to boil, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until it becomes thicker, more like a syrup. Watch the mixture as it has the tendency to over boil.
2. Put egg yolks in a mixer bowl and beat until pale. Add the hot coffee syrup and beat again until they are well combined.
3. Add to the coffee/yolks mixture crème fraîche and the heavy whipping cream and beat until combined and fluffy. Pour in Frangelico liqueur and beat briefly again.
4. Line 2 aluminium loaf pans (approximately 4 by 9 inches) with plastic wrap foil. Divide the parfait between pans and freeze for 8 hours.
5. Before serving, remove the parfait from the foil, place on a serving plate and decorate with hazelnuts. Cut it into inch-thick slices and serve with a small glass of Frangelico liqueur.