Iced Ricotta Parfait with Caramelised Vegetables

Paul Gayler's silky smooth savoury parfait is served with an intriguing pepper syrup and crunchy hazelnut brittle and makes an elegant dessert
By Paul Gayler
Iced Ricotta Parfait with Caramelised Vegetables
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 3 hrs freezing
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the iced ricotta parfait

  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways, seeds removed and reserved
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 100 g ricotta cheese
  • 75 ml hazelnut-flavoured liqueur
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest only

For the hazelnut brittle (optional)

  • 50 g hazelnuts, chopped
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp water

For the caramelised peppers

  • 1 small red pepper, seeds removed, cut into 1cm dice
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeds removed, cut into 1cm dice
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 50 g raisins, soaked in a little water, drained and dried
  • 3 tarragon leaves, chopped

Method

1. To make the parfait; whisk together the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla seeds in a bowl until pale and almost doubled in volume.

2. Whisk the cream until soft peaks begin to form, but do not over-whisk.

3. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until very stiff peaks form.

4. Add the ricotta, liqueur and lemon zest to the egg yolks and blend together.

5. Gently fold in the whipped cream and then fold in the egg whites.

6. Spoon the mixture into 6-8 ramekins, soufflé dishes or 8 metal rings.

7. Cover with cling film and freeze for at least 3 hours.

8. To make the nut brittle; spread the hazelnuts on a lightly oiled oven tray.

9. Put the caster sugar and the water in a pan and stir over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.

10. Bring to the boil and cook without stirring, until caramelised and golden.

11. Remove from the heat, allow the bubbles to subside and pour over the hazelnuts. Leave to set and harden. When hard, roughly crush into pieces.

12. To make the caramelised peppers; place the peppers in a small pan with the honey and cook for 3-4 minutes until lightly caramelised and soft.

13. Add the vinegar, lemon juice, raisins and tarragon and cook for 5 minutes to form a light syrup.

14. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

15. To serve; remove the parfaits from their moulds by quickly immersing the moulds half way up in hot water and turn out on to individual serving plates. Leave to soften for 5 minutes.

16. Pour the pepper syrup over the parfaits and serve immediately. Decorate with the nut brittle if desired.

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