This past winter’s chocolate and meringue cake was such a stunner that I wanted to recreate it in a more approachable way. I’ve also been sitting on these glass bowls from World Market for months waiting for just the right dessert to use them. You could even say I was waiting for the perfect dessert.
‘Parfait’ in french quite literally means ‘perfect’ and I can’t think of a better word to describe this absolutely perfect chocolate almond dessert. Did you know french is my first language? I grew up between France and french Canada but the only time my heritage becomes apparent is when I say words like ‘croissant’ or ‘bearnaise’. I’m not trying to sound obnoxious that’s just how I’ve always pronounced those words.
Y’all know I have a weak spot for mousse, especially mousse in mason jars. I skipped the mason just this time around but don’t worry, the mousse is just as amazing. Perhaps even more so because I added in some almond extract. While usually somewhat overpowering, it worked quite well in this dish to balance out
As if getting married wasn’t enough of a life change, I’ve got a big move coming up as well. I won’t spoil the fun by giving away where I’m going but just know I’ll be eating way more of my favorite foods to help me cope with my stress over the next few months. That’s a healthy way of dealing with reality, right?
- ¾ cup (93g) confectioners sugar
- ⅓ cup (41g) cocoa powder
- 3 egg whites
- ⅓ cup (60g) granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 7 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Start with the mousse. Whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar. Heat ¾ cup heavy cream over medium heat in a saucepan until simmering. Temper into the egg yolks and return to the stovetop, mixing constantly, until it reaches 160 degrees. Careful not to heat it too quickly - you don’t want scrambled eggs! This is your custard. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring between each 30 seconds, until fully melted. Mix in the almond extract and the salt. Let cool for a few minutes before mixing into the custard.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer whisk the rest of the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into the custard until the color is uniform. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours.
- Next, work on the meringues. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with nonstick mats. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners sugar and the cocoa powder. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Mix in the granulated sugar and continue beating on high until stiff peaks form. Fold in the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder mixture until the color and texture is uniform. Transfer to a piping bag with a large round tip. Pipe three rounds in sizes that will fit in your dish of choice. Because mine goes from small to large, the three rounds were small, medium and large. Depending on how tall your dishes are you will be able to make 3-4 parfaits so use that to decide how many meringue rounds to measure out. Bake these for about 15-20 minutes, or until they feel firm. You don’t want a gooey meringue.
- Change out the piping tip for a very small round one and pipe long thin sticks with the rest of the meringue dough. These will be broken up and become topping. Once the first tray of meringues is done, bake these for about 8-10 minutes, or until they easily lift off the tray and are hard.
- Let all of the meringues cool completely before assembling.
- Ready to assemble? Transfer the mousse to a piping bag. Place first meringue piece in dish and top with mousse. Repeat with the next piece of meringue and more mousse. Top with meringue crumbles. Repeat with the rest of the dishes.