Cherry and vanilla parfait sandwiches


  • Serves 16 people

  • 350 gm eggwhite (about 10 eggs)
  • 150 gm caster sugar
  • 275 gm almond meal
  • 150 gm pure icing sugar
  • 150 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), melted
  • Cherry and vanilla parfait
  • 400 gm cherries, pitted
  • 650 ml pouring cream
  • 150 gm caster sugar
  • 125 gm egg yolk (about 8 eggs)
  • titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water for 5 minutes
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
01   Preheat oven to 160C. Whisk eggwhite to soft peaks in an electric mixer (1-2 minutes), gradually add sugar, whisking continuously until stiff peaks form (5-6 minutes). Fold in almond meal, icing sugar and chocolate, spread on two oven trays lined with baking paper to form two 22cm x 32cm rectangles. Bake until cooked through (8-10 minutes), remove baking paper and cakes from trays, cover with a sheet of baking paper and gently flatten with a rolling pin until even. Cool, then trim each cake into a 20cm x 30cm rectangle.
02   Meanwhile, for cherry and vanilla parfait, process cherries in a food processer to yield 200ml cherry purée (you may have a little left over) and refrigerate until required. Whisk cream in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (2-3 minutes), then refrigerate until required. Stir sugar and 70ml water in a saucepan over medium heat to dissolve, bring to the boil and cook without stirring until mixture reaches 114C on a sugar thermometer (3-4 minutes). Meanwhile, whisk yolks in an electric mixer until pale (2-4 minutes). Gradually add sugar syrup, whisking continuously until incorporated, then squeeze excess water from gelatine and add to yolk mixture. Whisk until cooled to room temperature (5-7 minutes), fold in whipped cream, then divide between two bowls. Fold vanilla seeds into one bowl, spread in a 20cm x 30cm cake tin lined with baking paper, smooth top, then freeze until just firm (30 minutes). Meanwhile, fold cherry purée into remaining mixture, refrigerate until required, then spoon over vanilla mixture, smooth top and freeze until frozen (5 hours).
03   Turn parfait out onto one cake rectangle, sandwich with remaining cake, trim edges and cut into 16 pieces with a hot knife, then serve.
This recipe is from the January 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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