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Chocolate and Mint Parfaits

Chocolate and mint are a classic combination in this refined dessert.

  • Yield: Makes 8

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2002

Ingredients

FOR THE CHOCOLATE MIXTURE:

  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water

FOR THE MINT MIXTURE:

  • 1 bunch (3 1/4 ounces) fresh mint leaves and stems
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3 teaspoons dried mint
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Chocolate Sauce, for garnish
  • Sugared mint leaves, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Make the chocolate mixture: Place chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Heat 1/2 cup heavy cream in a small saucepan, and pour over chocolate. Let stand 10 minutes, and stir until completely melted and smooth. Set aside.

  2. Place egg yolk and egg in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat until light and frothy, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

  3. Place sugar, corn syrup, and the water (do not stir) in a small saucepan set over medium heat until a candy thermometer registers 245 degrees. Wash down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent crystals from forming. With mixer on low, slowly pour sugar mixture into eggs; mix until combined mixture is room temperature, about 2 minutes.

  4. In another bowl, whip remaining 1/3 cup cream to soft peaks. Fold into egg mixture, and fold in chocolate. Fill 3-ounce plastic cups one-third full. Place in freezer until firm, 4 to 5 hours. Unmold onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper; cover with plastic wrap, and return to freezer for at least 1 hour.

  5. Make the mint mixture: Prepare an ice bath, and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; quickly blanch fresh mint 1 minute. Transfer to ice bath to stop cooking and preserve bright color; let cool completely. Remove from ice bath, and place on paper towels; gently squeeze to extract excess water. Set aside.

  6. Place sugar, corn syrup, dried mint, and the water (do not stir) in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat until a candy thermometer registers 245 degrees. Wash down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent crystals from forming. Remove from heat; let cool.

  7. Add blanched fresh mint; transfer to the jar of a blender. Blend until mixture is a smooth paste, about 3 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve back into saucepan. Place over medium heat, and gently reheat 2 to 4 minutes. Place egg yolks and egg in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat until light and frothy, about 4 minutes. With mixer on low speed, slowly pour sugar mixture into eggs; continue mixing until combined mixture is room temperature, about 5 minutes.

  8. In another clean bowl, whip cream to soft peaks; fold into egg mixture with a rubber spatula. Fill 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups halfway, and place frozen chocolate mixture in the center of each. Level with remaining mint parfait mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in freezer until completely set, 5 to 6 hours. Store in freezer up to 1 month.

  9. To serve, unmold parfaits onto serving plates, and garnish with chocolate sauce and candied mint leaves, if desired.

Cook's Notes

These parfaits freeze exceptionally well for up to one month. The preparation can be spread over the course of one or several days; the chocolate mixture needs to freeze at least five hours before using, and the assembled parfaits another six hours before serving.

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