Chocolate Parfait with Pecan Crumbs

Chocolate Parfait I have had more than my fair share of doomed desserts. In fact given the choice, I would happily forgo them completely, or buy-in something instead. I am, however, not a dessert person: never have been, never will be. I would rather have a starter for a “pudding” than a crème brûlée, but I’m in the minority; understandably most dinner guests expect a sweet treat to end their meal, not another bowl of French onion soup! Like any good host I like to give my guests what they want, so I’ve taught myself a few special desserts to cater to their not-unreasonable dining expectations.

Which brings me to this particular recipe – chocolate parfait. In my relatively limited arsenal of dessert recipes, this is possibly my favourite. Part ice-cream, part semifreddo; chocolate parfait is entirely appealing but without the hassle of either. Unlike ice-cream, parfait requires no churning or special equipment. Elegant enough to impress, virtually impossible to stuff-up and always deliciously moreish; chocolate parfait is a dessert coup!

Paired with pecan crumbs, whipped cream and a coulis, this dessert is so delicious even I am tempted to scoff a slice!

For more Sweet Treats from The Muddled Pantry, please click here

Chocolate Parfait with Pecan Crumbs: Serve 8 to 10

For the Parfait:

  • 115g caster sugar
  • 100g good quality 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp. brandy
  • 250g mascarpone

For the Pecan Crumbs:

  • 50g pecan nuts
  • 170g caster sugar

Note: if you are in a rush, you can always use some finely processed store-bought peanut brittle instead of the Pecan Crumbs


For the Parfait:

24 hours before serving.

  1. Line a loaf tin (10x20cm) with baking paper (grease the tin with an oil spray before lining)
  2. Put the caster sugar and 1/2 cup of water into a saucepan, bring to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves
  3. Boil briskly for 3 minutes and then take off the heat
  4. Add the chocolate pieces to the syrup and stir until smooth
  5. Add the cocoa and stir to combine
  6. Whisk the egg yolks until pale
  7. Slowly add the hot chocolate mixture to the egg yolks, continue beating until the mixture has cooled slightly
  8. Add the brandy and whisk in the mascarpone, continue whisking till the mascarpone has been completely incorporated
  9. Pour into lined tin and freeze overnight

For the Pecan Crumbs:

  1. Line a baking tray with baking paper and lightly spray with an oil spray
  2. Roughly chop the pecans in a food-processor and scatter the nuts over the baking tray
  3. Put the caster sugar into a saucepan over a low heat and cook slowly until it turns a light toffee colour
  4. Quickly remove the toffee from the heat and pour over the pecans. Make sure all the pecans get caught in the toffee
  5. Allow to cool completely
  6. Remove from the baking tray and make sure no paper is stuck to the toffee
  7. Break up into small pieces and process to a fine “dust”
  8. Store in an airtight container

To Serve: About 15 minutes before serving, remove the parfait from the freezer. Turn out of the loaf tin and sprinkle liberally with the pecan crumbs. Using your sharpest knife, slice the parfait into 1cm slices. Serve with some whipped cream and fresh berries or a coulis, especially good with raspberries.


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