Roasted hazelnut–chocolate parfait with mulberry syrup

Roasted hazelnut–chocolate parfait with mulberry syrup

Mark Roper

Parfaits are ideal if you don’t have an ice-cream machine as they require no churning but instead are set in a mould and then turned out. This toasty hazelnut parfait is smoothed with chocolate and flavoured with spices, and makes an impressive, albeit rich, dinner-party dessert.

Mulberry syrup – or cordial – is available from Middle Eastern stores, but other good-quality fruit syrups would do just as well, or you could, of course, make your own from fresh seasonal berries. Choose one you think will give a pleasing complementary tang to the smooth chocolate and nut flavours of the parfait.


Quantity Ingredient
100g caster sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
8 egg yolks
80g dark chocolate
300ml thickened cream
60g currants
100g hazelnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped

Mulberry syrup

Quantity Ingredient
100ml mulberry syrup
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons water
few drops vanilla extract


  1. To make the mulberry syrup, bring all the ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Strain to remove any bits of lime flesh and reserve the syrup.
  2. Line a 1 litre terrine mould or loaf tin with plastic wrap.
  3. Combine 80 g of the sugar with the water, zest and fennel seeds in a heavy-based saucepan over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, then simmer for 5–10 minutes or until the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage (the mixture will form a soft ball when a little is dropped into cold water) or 125ºC on a candy thermometer.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining sugar in an electric mixer until pale, thick and fluffy. With the motor running at medium speed, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup onto the egg mixture. Increase the speed to high and continue whisking for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture cools. It will bulk up into a soft, puffy mass.
  5. While the mixture is whisking, melt the chocolate in a microwave oven or in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Add the chocolate to the whisked egg mixture, whisking briefly to incorporate, then transfer the mixture to the refrigerator to chill.
  6. Meanwhile, whip the cream to soft peaks and chill. Soak the currants in a little hot water for 20 minutes, then drain and allow to cool.
  7. Fold the chilled cream, currants and hazelnuts into the chilled chocolate parfait mixture until thoroughly combined. Tip into the prepared mould and freeze for 10–12 hours until really firm. The parfait will keep in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.
  8. To serve, dip the mould into warm water for a few seconds. Cover with a board or serving platter and invert. Carefully lift away the mould, then peel away the plastic wrap. Use a sharp knife to cut the parfait into slices and serve straight away, drizzled with a little mulberry syrup.
Middle Eastern
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