Chestnut parfait with caramelised figs and chocolate coated chestnuts

parfaitServes 12

Ingredients 

For the chestnut parfait

  • 100ml water
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 5 free range egg yolks
  • 200g sweetened chestnut puree with vanilla (we recommend Clement Faugier)
  • 50g soft dark brown sugar
  • 2tbsp dark rum
  • 300ml double cream, lightly whipped
  • 8 chestnuts (sous vide), roughly chopped

For the chocolate coated chestnuts

  • 36 chestnuts (sous vide)
  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped into even pieces

For the caramelised figs

  • 12 figs, sliced in half lengthways
  • 1tbsp icing sugar

For the clementine anglais foam

  • 250ml semi skimmed milk
  • 250ml double cream
  • 4 free range egg yolks
  • 120g caster sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1 clementine
  • ½ a pod of vanilla

Method

For the chestnut parfait

  1. To make the chestnut parfait, start by making a pâte à bombe. Place the egg yolks into a food mixer and whisk until pale yellow, thick and creamy.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the water and caster sugar in a small pan and place over a medium heat. When the sugar has dissolved and the liquid appears clear, increase the heat and bring to the boil. Boil the syrup until it reaches a temperature of 120°C, checking the liquid’s temperature at regular intervals using a sugar thermometer (if you don’t have a sugar thermometer you can use a regular probe). When the temperature reaches 120°C, remove from the heat.
  3. While still whisking the yolks on full speed slowly pour in the hot sugar syrup. The pâte à bombe will increase in volume and become creamy and foamy. Chill before using.
  4. While the pâte à bombe is cooling place the sweetened chestnut purée into a food processor with the dark soft brown sugar and the rum, blend until smooth and creamy.
  5. Lightly fold the chestnut mixture into the chilled pâte à bombe followed by the lightly whipped double cream and the roughly chopped chestnuts. Spoon equal amounts into a 30mm rubber mould and freeze until firm. If you don’t have a 30mm rubber mould, use a 30mm depth half gastro tray lined with cling film and cut out required portions when frozen.

For the caramelised figs

  1. Dust the sliced side of the fig with the icing sugar and caramelize using a blow torch.

For the chocolate coated chestnuts

  1. Place two thirds of the chopped chocolate into a bowl over a pan of simmering water, ensuring that the water is not touching the bowl, and melt the chocolate slowly. When the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and add the remaining third of chocolate. Use a thermometer to gauge when the chocolate has reached 31°C – 32°C.
  2. Using a toothpick, stab the chestnuts and dip into the melted chocolate. Remove as much excess chocolate as possible before placing on a tray lined with greaseproof paper. Leave to cool before serving.
  3. Use any remaining melted chocolate to drizzle a zig zag pattern over the frozen parfaits.

For the clementine anglais foam

  1. In a small pan bring to the boil the milk and cream with the spilt vanilla pod and the juice and zest of the clementine then turn off the heat. Let the milk cool so that the flavours infuse.
  2. Beat the egg yolks together with the sugar until pale and thick. Whisk in the clementine and vanilla-infused milk and cream mixture then pour through a strainer into another pan. Place over a gentle heat and vigorously whisk until the mixture begins to foam. Ensure this is done just before serving.

To dress

  1. Using a pastry brush, draw a line of the chestnut and vanilla purée across the middle of the plate.
  2. Place a bar of the chestnut parfait on to the chestnut and vanilla purée, two caramelised fig halves on one side and three chocolate coated chestnuts the other. A tip is to quickly wave a blow torch over the chocolate chestnuts to give them a shiny finish.
  3. Finish with some of the clementine anglais foam.