Sunday, November 13, 2011

Amaretto Parfait

        When I first made my own ice-cream at home it was not, strictly speaking, an ice-cream but a parfait. As I saw the recipe in the Internet and then looked at a bottle of the Italian liquor in our bar, I decided to give it a try. As I tasted the parfait the next day, I actually thought that it was the best dessert I’ve ever tried (and cooked so far) in my life – I guess I had such an emotional respond to the dish either because I have always had some sort of “a crush on” Amaretto so that anything that has this almond liquor in it seems to be divine, or because I was incredibly proud of myself for making my first, deliciously creamy and irresistibly luscious ice-cream. No doubt, the name “parfait” (which means “perfect” in French) was given to this type of frozen desserts not for nothing. 

            Since then I always have a few portions of Amaretto parfait in my freezer. Even when we came to Russia for vocation this year I made it for a big home party and it was a huge success with all of our friends (girls were desperate to know the recipe but as soon as they heard that there’s “a double boiler” involved in a cooking process, their enthusiasm had somehow evaporated). I also made a big batch of parfait for my parents while I was staying at their house for a few days and, a month later, when we were already back in India, it was pleasant to receive a praise from the guests who came to visit my mum and dad, tasted my dish and got very impressed!

Recipe adapted from “The Recipe Collection” magazine


5 egg yolks
100 gm sugar
300 ml heavy cream
120 ml Amaretto
300 gm sponge cake


  1. Whisk egg yolks and sugar till pale, place over a pan of simmering water and cook, whisking continuously, till the mixture thickens. Remove the bowl and keep stirring the mixture till it cools down.
  2. Whisk cream till soft peaks, pour in 45 ml liquor in a thin steady stream and whisk till firm peaks are formed. Fold in gently into the egg yolks.
  3. Divide the prepared mixture between individual moulds. Cover and transfer to the freezer.
  4. A few hours later, when the parfait just starts to set, cut circles out of the sponge cake (the same size as your mould). Pour the remaining liquor in a bowl. Dip each of the sponge rounds into the liquor and put it on the top of each portion of your parfait, pressing slightly.
  5. To serve, run a sharp knife around the edges of a sponge to loosen it a bit. Dip your mould in a bowl with hot water for 1 second and invert the parfait on a plate. Garnish with whipped cream, biscuits and nuts.

            Since this parfait has enough alcohol in it, it is not necessary to set it in small moulds – you can make it in a form of a big cake and it will still have a smooth and velvety texture. Take a round sponge (the size of a tin in which you are going to set your parfait) and pour the egg mixture over it. 

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