Since it is slowly (very slowly) becoming milder outside in my corner of the world, I’ve been looking at cold desserts which work in my tiny kitchen and shoebox freezer. My flat is much too small for an ice cream machine of any sort, which is a shame as I do love making ice cream, but it has encouraged me to explore a different and just as delicious range of desserts. So far, small batch frozen honey parfaits have been my favourite.
These parfaits are easy to make on a small scale, but be warned that they contain raw egg and involve a bit of whisking. But if you can make these, they’re truly a melting, honeyed reward for your efforts. And, provided they’re well covered and kept away from strong-smelling things, you can keep them frozen for a couple of days.
They are, for me, preferable to much of the no-churn ice cream recipes I’ve tried, though they’re really different desserts perhaps it’s not fair to compare them. I really want to get on with no-churn ice creams but they never thaw well enough no matter which proportions of ingredients and where and how much I let it ripen–I’m always either wrestling with rock-hard ice cream or spooning soupy sweet cream out of the tub.
It seems silly that something meant to be so easy and stress-free is high troublesome, so I’m leaving them for now. I can certainly look forward to character development in people (real or fictional), but I want perfect ice cream right away.
But these parfaits! Oh, they were instantly wonderful: they thaw quickly and consistently, a little melted and luscious at the edges but cool and velvety in the middle. Love it.
FROZEN HONEY PARFAIT
* Contains raw egg
Serves 2 as a dessert or snack. Can be kept frozen for 2 – 3 days.
Allow about 20 minutes for preparation and 2 – 3 hours for freezing.
Use your favourite honey for this, you won’t be disappointed.
You can of course freeze them in pretty moulds, but I’m lazy and prefer to serve them in ramekins or just freezer-safe tupper. If I’m making this just for me (you and I are worth it), I scoop it right out of a tub and into my face.
for the parfait
70g (3 tbsp) runny honey, I used Mexican orange blossom (if your honey tastes very strong, use 2 tbsp)
2 UK medium (US large) egg yolks, room temperature
150 ml (scant 2/3 cup) double or whipping cream, kept very cold; remove from fridge at last minute
A few drops vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
to serve (completely optional; it’s perfect naked, but you might want extra decoration)
A small drizzle of extra honey
A couple of mint or thyme leaves
A few chopped lightly toasted nuts, or something else crunchy
Gently heat the honey in a small pot. After a few minutes it should become runnier and start bubbling; remove from heat.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks until pale and thick (about 3 – 5 minutes with an electric whisk, closer to 8 or 9 by hand). Slowly add the honey to the yolks, followed by the salt and vanilla extract, whisking until everything is combined.
If re-using your whisk, clean and rinse with cold water for the next stage. In another medium mixing bowl, whisk the cream to firm peaks (about 5 – 7 minutes by hand). Pour the egg-honey mixture a third at a time into the cream, folding thoroughly between additions. Mixing gradually like this makes it easier to eliminate any lumps.
Pour the mixture into your chosen container(s), cover and freeze for 2 – 3 hours until just firm, or for several days until you need it. If it’s been frozen for days, you may want to let it ripen in the fridge for 20 minutes or for 5 – 10 mins at room temperature, but if it’s a very warm day you’ll want to serve it straight from the freezer.
If you like, thinly drizzle with a little extra honey (which will set slightly, giving a slightly chewy sweet layer) and sprinkle any other garnishes on top. Serve as you please.