This is an absolutely gorgeous dessert for a special occasion. I’ve yet to come across anyone who doesn’t like it! Although it takes a little time to make, it can be made in advance and assembled at the last moment.
The use of cloudberries (hjortron) makes it very distinctive. The berries grow in the wild in northern Sweden and are a much sought-after delicacy. I’ve never seen the berries in the UK, but it is possible to buy cloudberry jam (called hjortronsylt), which is used as the basis of this recipe, either online or in specialist shops.
Although this recipe makes 8 portions the parfaits keep well in the freezer so I never bother making less. John Duxbury
• Try and buy some cloudberry liqueur from a specialist shop to add to the parfait. If not, you can omit it.
• Be sure not to overcook the biscuits as they will end up too hard. Cook until they are just beginning to colour in the middle.
• If you are short of time, you can serve the parfaits without the biscuits. (On a couple of occasions I have made them and forgotten to serve them and the parfaits have still been highly appreciated.)
|4||egg yolks (note: one egg white is needed for the biscuits)|
|120 ml||(½ cup)||cloudberry jam (hjortronsylt)|
|4 tbsp||Lakka, a Finnish cloudberry liqueur|
|50 g||(2 oz)||sugar|
|300 ml||(1¼ cups)||whipping cream (heavy whipping cream)|
Hazelbut biscuit bases
|35 g||(1½ oz)||hazelnuts|
|15 g||(¾ oz)||blanched almonds|
|1 tbsp||plain (all-purpose) flour|
|80 g||(2½ oz)||caster (superfine) sugar|
|25 g||(1 oz)||
|8 tbsp||cloudberry jam (hjortronsylt), sieved to make a coulis|
|8 tbsp||cloudberry jam|
1. Half fill a largish bowl with ice ready for step 3.
2. Place a smaller bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and add the egg yolks and sugar. Whip the mixture with an electric whisk for 2 minutes.
3. Remove the mixture and place in the bowl containing ice. Continue whisking for 3 minutes, by which time the mixture should be cold.
4. Sieve the hjortronsylt and then add the liqueur. Fold into the egg mixture.
5. Whip the cream until it is soft but leaving a trail. Fold into the egg mixture.
6. Divide the mixture between the ramekins and place them in the freezer for at least 3 hours.
(I usually line the ramekins with clingfilm to make it easier to remove the parfaits. Alternatively, you can place the ramekins in warm water for a minute or two and then slide a sharp knife round and tip the parfaits out on to a plate, something that is easier said than done!)
Hazelnut biscuit bases
7. Place all the dry ingredients for the biscuits in a food processor and blitz for a minute until the nuts are thoroughly ground.
8. Beat the egg whites until beginning to colour a little (30 sec to 1 min). Add the melted butter and the nut mixture. Stir to thoroughly mix.
9. Spoon the mixture on to two greased baking sheets, creating 8 piles.
10. Bake at 200°C (400°F, gas 6, fan 170°C) for 15 to 20 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown in the centre.
11. Leave the biscuits to cool for a minute or so and then transfer them to a wire cooling rack.
(For a more professional appearance, after the biscuits have cooled for a further couple of minutes, use a ramekin to cut round them so that they are the same size as the parfaits.)
12. Transfer the parfaits from the freezer to a fridge 10 minutes before serving.
13. Place a biscuit in the middle of a plate, top with a parfait, add a teaspoon of cloudberry jam and then drizzle the coulis around the plate.
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