It has been a long time since I published a post in my blog. Well, today when I received Helen’s recipe for Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits, I decided to make her recipe available in my blog for anyone who wants to give it a try.
Though, I have written about Helen’s extra ordinary baking skills and her love for baking, she deserves another mention. Helen is a professional baker of 25 years. Her blog contains hundreds of recipes, tips, tricks etc.
All her recipes do have colour images. However, when I copied her exact recipe pictures didn’t transfer. So, my apologies to all. However, that would peak your interest to visit her blog to see in colour. Also, by visiting her blog you can receive her free copy ‘ How to be a better baker”.
Now, for the recipe…
Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfait.
These Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits are a simple, no heat dessert that is perfect for the hot summer months. Creamy and crunchy with fresh strawberries and chocolate, these parfaits can even be made the day ahead.
The glass in the picture originally belonged to Mike’s grandmother (sorry, to see the pictures, please, visit her blog). I love the delicacy of the flute and the green stem. It seemed like they were waiting for these parfaits.
The chocolate crunch can be made using any nut you wish. I chose almonds, but have used hazelnuts in the past. To avoid the oven, I put them in a dry skillet over medium heat. It is best to watch them, turning them often so they don’t burn. You will notice I said “best to watch….. .” Since I don’t always follow my own advice I have sometimes burned them using this method so I didn’t wander too far away this time.
Besides the chocolate being good with strawberries, it adds a crunchy note to the parfaits. The one thing to be careful about, is breaking it into small pieces when they are added as a layer. I left some of them rather large and they are hard to cut through when eating. So think small here.
This is my favorite mascarpone filling and I have used it in the Peachy Keen and Tiramasu Parfaits. It is lighter than pastry cream even when lightened with whipped cream and there is no cooking with this filling. The original recipe called for granulated sugar but I found no matter how long I beat it, the sugar never dissolved so I changed it to powdered sugar. The filling is extremely creamy.
The components are layered together and that is all there is to it. I finish them with whipped cream, a shard of the chocolate almond crunch and a few more diced strawberries.
Like I said – a perfect do-ahead summer dessert.
Chocolate Almond CrunchCrunch ingredients for Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits
1/4 cup slivered almonds (35 ounces or 1 1/4 ounces)
5 ounces semi sweet or milk chocolate (140 grams)
1/2 cup rice krispies or (17 grams or about 2/3 ounce)
Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment. Set aside.Sprayed pan for Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits
To keep from heating the oven, I simply put the almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat. I watched them and stirred them several times until they were a golden brown. Cool completely. When cool, place them in a food processor and process them so they are fairly fine but not powdered. Admission: I forgot the pictures but you get the idea.
Melt the chocolate over hot water or in a microwave at half power. Add the almonds and rice krispies. Stir to combine everything and coat the nuts and rice krispies.Chocolate, rice krispies and almonds for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits
Pour the mixture onto the parchment paper and spread very thinly. Refrigerate while preparing the rest of the pafaits.Crunch spread out for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits
Mascarpone FillingMascarpone filling ingredients for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits
2 cups diced strawberries
3/4 cup 40% cream
2 cups sifted powdered sugar (180 grams or 7 1/3 ounces)
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mascarpone cheese (225 grams or 8 ounces)
Dice the strawberries no larger than 1/2 inch. Set aside.
Fit a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment. Whip the cream until stiff. Remove from the mxing bowl and set aside.Whipped cream in bowl for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitsWithout cleaning the bowl, add the powdered sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. Beat 5 to 7 minutes until very light in color and the volume has increased by 3 times or more.Eggs, vanilla, sugar for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitsEggs, vanilla and sugar whipped for Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitsAdd 1/3 of the mascarpone to the bowl at a time. Beat until incorporated. Continue until all of the mascarpone is used. Scrape down often.Mascarpone added for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitAll the mascarpone added for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitsStir 1/3 of the cream into the mascarpone;First cream added for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitsFirst cream stirred in for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaitsfold in the remaining cream.Folding in cream for Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitsMascarone filling finished for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits
Whipped Cream Topping
1 1/4 cups 40% cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar (40 grams or 1 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine cream, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat until very stiff.Cream whipping for the Strawberry chocolate Crunch
Chocolate Almond Crunch
Whipped Cream Topping
5 to 6 wine glasses
Place a small dollop of mascarpone filling in the bottom of the wine glasses.Mascarpone in the bottom of the glass for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitLayer with some of the strawberries. Strawberries added for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitAdd the chocolate almond crunch.Crunch added for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfait Repeat once more and top the last layer of crunch with mascarpone.Top layer for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitPlace the whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with a #5 or 6 open star tip and pipe a large rosette to cover the top of the mascarpone.Piping the whipped cream for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitFinishing piping cream for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfait
Finish with a shard of chocolate almond crunch and a few diced strawberries.
Refrigerate until serving time.