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Chocolate mint parfait, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

14 May 2010

This recipe by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel is designed to make the most of May's seasonal flavours. For more recipes using ingredients that reach their peak this month, see our feature Flavours of May.

INGREDIENTS(Serves four)

For the chocolate mint parfait

• 6 large free-range egg yolks
• 200g caster sugar
• 250ml whipping cream
• 15 large fresh chocolate mint leaves
• 3 large free range egg white

For the chocolate cinnamon biscuits

• 80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 250g dark brown sugar
• 125g cocoa powder
• 5g bicarbonate of soda
• 5g ground cinnamon
• 2 large free-range egg whites
• 300g plain flour
• 1tsp vanilla extract
• 100g natural full fat yogurt

For the mint oil

• 20g fresh mint leaves
• 25ml peanut oil

For the chocolate sauce

• 40ml water
• 55g caster sugar
• 40ml double cream
• 20g cocoa powder
• 1 leaf of gelatine, soaked

For the crystallised mint leaves

• 1 free range egg white
• Fresh mint leaves
• Caster sugar


METHOD

Chocolate mint parfait In a metal bowl, over a bain-marie, whisk the egg yolk and 100g of the sugar to a thick sabayon. Set aside to cool slightly. Whip the egg whites until foaming, add the remaining sugar and whip to a meringue with soft peaks.

In a Thermomix, blend the fresh mint leaves and cream till smooth, insert the butterfly whisk and whip the cream to ribbon stage. Fold the meringue, sabayon and whipped cream together until all are well incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a flat tray and freeze until completely set, which will take about six to eight hours. Cut the parfait out into the same size as the biscuits.

Chocolate cinnamon biscuits Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon and mix well. Add the egg whites and yogurt and mix. Mix in the flour to make soft dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for four hours.

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Roll out the biscuit dough to 3mm thick. This should be done between two sheets of parchment paper. Cut the 4cm square shapes and place the biscuits on the baking tray. Bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven. Once the biscuits are cooked, let them cool for one minute on the baking tray, and then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Chocolate sauce Soak the gelatine in cold water until soft. Weigh the caster sugar, water and cream into a small saucepan and bring to the boil and boil for two minutes over high heat. Add the cocoa powder and return the mixture to the heat and continue boiling for a further one minute over high heat.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and squeeze the gelatine to remove any excess water, stir the soaked gelatine into the warm cocoa mixture. Mix well and transfer to a squeeze bottle and set aside to cool. If the sauce sets too much, shake vigorously. If necessary dip the bottle in warm water to loosen the gelatine.

Mint oil Blend the mint and oil until smooth, pass the oil through a fine sieve and set aside until needed.

Crystallised mint leaves Preheat the oven to 100°C and line a baking tray with a silpat and heavily dust with caster sugar. Lightly whip the egg white until it starts to foam. Pick the mint leaves from the stalk and dip each leaf into the foaming egg and place with presentation side up on to the caster sugar tray, dust each leaf with more caster sugar and dry the leaves out in the preheated oven. Watch carefully so that the leaves do not burn or the sugar caramelises too much.Leave to cool and crisp. To serve Serve the dessert on a chilled plate. Garnish the plate with the chocolate sauce and sprinkle cocoa nibs over the sauce; dust any excess nibs off the plate. Drizzle on a few drops of the mint oil. Sandwich the parfait and biscuits together and place them on the plate and serve with a few of the crystallized mint leaves. Serve immediately.

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